I ran my second 5k on December 2 at NIGHT! It was so much fun. Unlike my the course for my first 5k, this one was completely flat. I knew that going in and I was fully prepared to increase my time significantly in this race. Minus the hills and peeing BEFORE the race, this time I was going to see how fast I could run an easy 5k outside. Yes, I only train inside because...you know...dogs, mainly. Anyway, the route went through a super-charming neighborhood called Mueller. I have friends who live there and the route passed right down their street. So far, I'm two for two running 5k's with nobody I know there to cheer me on, so I was thrilled to know I'd see familiar faces smiling and cheering for me.
I made it to the starting line about eight minutes before the race. I exchanged pleasantries with the people around me and then turned on my iPod. When the race began, Kanye West's "Workout Plan" was playing. What a fun song to start a run too. I was so into vibing off the song and starting strong that I forgot to start my Nike+ app right away. I have yet to record an accurate 5k time on my Nike+ app, but third time's a charm. So I turn on my app and not long after Dirk Navinsky congratulates me for starting another run for consecutive weeks, the app tells me that I have completed half a mile at a ten-minute per mile pace. I haven't run a ten-minute mile since I started running. I was still feeling great, so I kept the pace pretty easily until after 1.5 miles. According to the app, I had run a 10 minute mile and was on track to do it again, but I was beat. Pacing is something I hadn't read up on, but I was sure that I started this race way too fast.
I wanted to slow down to a speed walk, then realized I was less than a block away from passing the home of my friends. No way was I going to pass by there huffing and puffing, holding my waist and speed-walking. I wanted to look strong and fast. I did slow down a bit to save myself for the sprint pass their home. When I turned onto their street I turned it on! I even considered how I would casually look over to them and throw up a peace-sign and look super-cool and athletic. Then I saw their house, lights on, nobody on the porch. It wasn't until after the race that I saw a text message from my friend. She had seen me running, but from a neighbor's house. I remembered the house, because there was a balcony full of people playing instruments that I heard through the music playing on my head phones. I felt happy that I was indeed, not completely alone that night.
It was just past that musical house that I saw the 2 mile marker and got the update from my app. I was determined to run the whole race without walking, so I slowed down. Just as I had settled into my slower pace, with half a mile to go, I passed by the Merry Beer Shiner Bach stand. Who needs to chug water when you can chug six ounces of Shiner? <--What not to do when you're at the height of exhaustion. After tossing my empty cup, "Monster" started on my iPod. I wanted to stop running, but it's hard to do that with Rick Ross says, "BITCH I'm a MONster..." in ones ear over an aggressive beat. I ran as long as I could, but ended up walking almost all of the last mile at around a 12-13 minute per mile pace. I ran the last bit as fast as I could because I wanted to finish strong and look awesome crossing the finish line.
I finished my second 5k in 38'19". I can live with that. There are some really fun runs coming up in February. I don't think I'll race again before then. But I will keep running in the meantime.