We picked up my dad on they way and planed to meet my mom there since she decided to walk the short 3.1 miles to the race. We arrived at the golf course around 7:45 and checked in to get our bibs, goodie bags, and t-shirts! The rain continued to sprinkle as I warmed up with Brian and we checked out a little of the course. The whole thing was run on the golf course which had some pretty crazy rolling hills.
I was nervous before the race because I wanted to PR but didn't know if it was possible because the whole course was either uphill or downhill. All of my previous PR's for a 5k had been run on fairly flat courses. Brian and I stood near the front and soon we were off and running!
The start was downhill (see above picture) and then after about 0.2 miles we made a left onto the grass, up a small hill and onto the golf cart path. The course wound its way around the holes and stayed on the path. I was feeling pretty good, didn't want to start too fast so just tried to stay with the people around me. We would run this path/loop twice before heading onto a new area. We climbed two bigger hills before a steep downhill and then circled around to where my mom was standing and the start of the second loop. The first mile was just before the end of the first loop.
Mile 1: 6:51
We headed back up onto the grass as we circled back to the golf cart path and went for another loop. I was still feeling ok - there was one girl WAY out in front of me, one older women who was running with me and 3 girls behind me. The hilliness of the course was starting to wear on me and my legs just slowed down in this mile. I saw my mom again as I finished the second loop and she told me about the three women right behind me! Just past seeing my mom, I came to mile 2.
Mile 2: 7:29
Brian coming into mile 2
I slowed down a lot for that second mile but I thought it was a good move. For the two miles I ran a 14:20 which was pretty much where I wanted to be. My goal had been to run the first two miles in 14:14 and then just hold on and maybe speed up for the last mile. After Mile 2 there were rolling hills and I started to feel horrible. I got a cramp in my right lung/abdominal area and couldn't breathe. It felt like someone had stabbed me and I wanted to stop and walk. I was upset that I had to slow down just so I could stop from making wheezing/dying noises and actually feel ok. Eventually the pain became bearable and I continued on but I had been passed by three women, going from second place to 5th.
It was a disappointment that I was unable to hold on. I really wanted to finish strong and run well for my first race back but the hills of the golf course did not agree with me. I really wanted to quit on that last mile, it was the most pain I have ever felt - almost as bad as my hip flexor strain that I had from college track.
Mile 3 + 0.1: 8:41
At the finish line
With Brian and my mom at the finish!
Brian and I after racing in the rain!
Overall it was a fun race - it was a new experience to run on a golf course, just not ideal to PR.
Time: 23:08 (7:28 min/mile pace)
Age group: 1/6
Female place: 5/52
After the race, we went back to my parents to clean up. I basically laid around all day yesterday, I just felt so tired and my right ab/lung was sore from the cramp. I tried to think about why this had happened - it wasn't like I had gone out too fast for the race. It just seemed the up and down hills were too much for me. I have been running on hills but I was not used to or ready for the terrain of a golf course.
My next race is the Pink Ribbon Run 5k for the Breast Cancer Coalition on May 9th. The race is on Mother's Day and I will be doing it with my mom. It is also a women ONLY race which I am excited about because this will be a first for me!
Thanks for reading! Happy Monday!!