I ran the inaugural company 5K at work last Friday. The race was at 3:30 pm, and I headed down to the locker room at about 2:45. I was surprised to find it empty. A few minutes later, another women named Andrea came in, who, it turns out, used to work with Sarah and Becca. Very cool! After changing, we headed out to the paved trail, and gradually some other people began to show up. In the end, I think there were maybe 100 people there, probably 85% men, but I’m terrible at estimating numbers, so take that with a grain of salt.
It was hot and humid by my standards, given that I usually run in the morning when it’s in the mid 50s, and the sun is still coming up. Friday afternoon it was around 70 and humid, not terrible but not awesome either. The event was totally informal, and eventually the women who’d organized it stood up on a table and said, “go!” and off we went.
We started out WAY too fast. I tend to start out a bit fast usually, but this was nuts. I was trying to stick with a guy who’d told me he ran a 24 minute 5K. As the lead woman disappeared into the distance, I glanced down at my watch, and even though I’d already slowed down, saw that I was running 6:15 pace. Ouch! No wonder it felt to hard. My GPS watch informed me afterwards that I’d gotten a “best 400m effort,” not want you want in a 3 mile race! I let the lead woman go and tried to stabilize at a reasonable speed that I felt I could sustain. I ended up running 6:52 for the first mile, which is a bit fast for me, but not crazy. Still, I wasn’t feeling awesome. The course was almost completely flat, just out and back. The turnaround seemed to take forever to come. I passed one guy at the turnaround, and then ended up running with another guy all the way back, until the very end when I couldn’t keep up.
It was kind of cool on the way back running past so many people I knew. I probably knew 25% of the people there (which is kind of crazy, considering I used to know 100% of the people at my company), and they were all cheering for me or giving me high fives as I past. The guy I was running with seemed to know a completely different group of people who in turn cheered for him.
In any case, I was really dying by the third mile, due to having gone out too fast. My second and third miles were 7:15 and 7:35. I sprinted a bit across the line and then tried to regain my composure before the rest of my co-workers finished. The woman who beat me actually was only 1 minute exactly in front (thank you Strava for telling me this), so I guess she started too fast, too.
Afterward, they served beer and Gatorade, and I must say, I think there is a lot to be said to post-race drinking. (My last race they served Cosmos, also nice.) All in all, it was a good time, and I’d do it again. My run was good but not great, but you can’t have a PR every race.