This was then...
I have improved a ton in terms of not only weight loss (-90lbs) but running since that first time and even the other 2 times running this race. I had high hopes for this year. My goal was of course to beat my current 5k pr (25:51) but I knew either way this would be a course PR for me.
I got my race plan on Thursday and was excited. I knew it was doable based on the course and my training. I was rady mentally and physically to go get it.
This year the race was chip timed, which was a huge plus. In past years they relied on runners to stop after the finish and record their time on a piece of paper!
We got our race packets race morning, did our warm up and hit the port-o-potties before doing a few striders and lining up. At the start line there was an announcement made that due to some recent storm/tornado damage the back part of the course on the trail there might be holes. I was not worried at all. I figured it would be like one of the trails here where there would be a few ruts in the trail but nothing we couldn't dodge.
I held my pace as close to my race plan during the first mile as best as I could.
Goal - 8:00-8:10 Actual - 8:12
Around mile 1.5 my stomach began to talk. I'm kinda over the GI issues actually. I begged w/my body to relax.
Goal - 8:00 - 7:50 Actual - 8:44 (boo hiss boo)
Then it got tricky. We were basically single file on the trail/cross country portion of the race. When I saw an opening and I was able to pass people I did. The grass in the infield towards the finish was mega high. Not something i recall before in this race and definitely not what I expected this time. It made it difficult for me to really pick up my pace despite my best effort.
Goal - all out Actual - 9:08
I finished though.
Garmin - 27:32
Actual - 27:34.03 (.08 away from 3rd place in my age group...mega pisser)
I am still very very very happy with how this race went despite how bummed I was to not hit my race goal. A course PR is still something to celebrate and the big picture is even more important for celebrating. 21 minutes faster than when I ran this the first time 5 yrs ago and 7:30 faster than when I ran it last 2 years ago.
This race also told me that road racing is quite different than trail/cross country courses. And that my friends in Knoxville are so much faster than those folks down south. ;)
More stats on where I finished:
4/15 in my age group
I'll be back next year, hopefully. It was a fun weekend with my hubby (and family).