I hate running fast. I hate it so much.
In fact, my dislike for speedy running is so severe that I have NEVER finished a track workout. Ever.
Because of this disdain for speed, I didn’t really know what to expect for this year’s Mustache Dache. Technically, it was my first time running a 5k. I walked the Mustache Dache last year…except walking a race course alone is super boring, so I cheated and cut the course short. Sad, I know. I’m so ashamed.
But, back on topic: So this was my first ever 5k, and since I don’t ever actually complete speed work, I really had no clue what a reasonable goal was. I decided to just try to keep it under 8-minute miles, and call it a day. I also braced myself, anticipating that I’d be miserable the whole time.
In the end, I suppose I was somewhat miserable since I was maintaining a faster-than-comfortable pace throughout. But when you’re aiming for 8-minute miles for a 3.1 mile course, it’s really easy to just think, “Not much farther! You can keep this up for 20 more minutes…for 18 more minutes…for 15 more minutes,” etc. Before I knew it, I was in the chute, speeding past everyone else (I’m so freaking lazy that I’m almost always up for a huge burst of speed in the chute). And then I was done and thinking, “Ooh! That was fun! Let’s do it again! I could go faster.”
Then, I was up for the surprise of my life when I checked my results and found out that I finished in the top 5% of women finishers! (My time was 24:10). Okay, let’s be honest here, I love feeling like I’m good at things. But usually at races I’m pleased to have finished in the top 50%. Since I’ve never run a 5k, I had no idea that suddenly I get to be one of the speedy ones with the shorter distance (since there are so many walkers). Woo hoo! Now I really like 5ks!
Here’s what was good about the Mustache Dache this year:
1) Race “corrals” by speed. So, admittedly they weren’t really corrals, but signs with pace ranges written on them to indicate to runners where they should stand. I get super stressed out trying to figure out where to place myself at the start of races. I don’t want to block anyone speedy. Nor do I want to be blocked by slower people. So it becomes quite a conundrum! How do I place myself in the perfect position so that I don’t inconvenience others, or get inconvenienced?? Well, if the race gives me specific directions on where to stand, that helps a lot! (I will mention that while there were designated places for people of different speeds to stand, it ended up getting so packed that many people were not able to get in line at an appropriate place. It still ended up being a pretty big mess for the first quarter mile or so, trying to weave around people jogging slowly in large groups).
3) Better course. Last year the course bottle-necked at one point, and crossed a parking lot (forcing runners to stop and wait for cars) at another. This year, they changed the route so neither of these things were a problem. Amazing.
4) Free photos! I love photos of myself. What a great gift! Oh. Weird? Sorry. Maybe I do kinda like running photos of myself more than I should. It’s nice to promote my narcissism with free race photos.
5) More-than-adequate post-race food. Yum. Oh, and I got a free chapstick too.
6) Nice girls. There were lots of nice friends at the race, and a few of us went out for some post-race food afterwards! The nicest of all was Lar, who let me stay at her place the night before. Thanks, Lar!
What do you think of 5ks? Fun distance or silly distance?