This weekend I ran my first official 5K in Fishhawk Ranch in Lithia, FL (where I live). It was called the 15th Annual Fishhawk Ranch Road Race. There were just under 800 total runners either participating in the 5K or the 10K.
When we woke up on Saturday morning, it was overcast, in the high 60's and a bit drizzily. Normally, that would've been considered a dull day in Florida, but for a day that you will be running, it was a perfect day.
On a day like Saturday, you arrive at the race with a few layers of clothing on, like wind pants and/or long sleeve shirt or a fleece, but then you get to running and you definitely don't want to be wearing all those layers. It's a pain to have to keep running back to your car (esp if the parking is not near where the race starts) or tying a bulky shirt to your waist.
That's where I got the idea of a 5K shrug. Basically it is a long sleeved t-shirt cut up so you are wearing only the sleeves, like a regular shrug that you wear with tanks or dresses. This means a lot less bulk when you are running. Here's what I did:
Take an old long sleeved t-shirt or athletic nylon/quick-dry/whatever shirt you have. This one came from my I-want-to-donate-but-I-might-wear-it-one-day pile. Then cut the bottom straight off just below the armpits.
Cut it up the middle. (Or not, it won't really be a shrug, but it can be your 5K I Love the 80's Half Shirt)
I then matched up the two fronts, wrong-sides together.
I took chalk and drew where I wanted to cut so that it is rounded in the front.
I did the same for the neck area.
Here we are...a 5K shrug. This t-shirt was a loose one, so you can choose to add a button or a pin to the front to keep it closed, in case it is windy or you might actually want to run with it on.
It's now tied around my waist with very little bulk. Since it's all cut up, you may even be able to place the shrug somewhere in the race start area or by a bush or something until the race is done. The likelihood of a cut up t-shirt still being on the ground when you get back is pretty good. I would advise doing this to a shirt that you won't be sad if someone else thought your idea was fabulous and really did take it (junk pile/Goodwill/yard sale/gift from old boyfriend that you forgot to burn).
Back to the race. This was a chip-timed race, which is nice, but they still took the guntime as your official time, so I don't really see the point of the chip. I also timed it with my heart rate monitor watch.
I did a thorough job of stretching out before the race. Vince and I had been running at least 3 times a week for months now, and we recently added a boot camp style training workout 2 times a week (so awesome, its right after work and work pays for it - how can you say no?). The boot camp has improved my running measurably. I'm also sticking to the My Fitness Pal calorie counter and a healthy diet. That has to be helping too.
My public goal was to run the 5K in under 33 minutes. That is about an 11 minute mile. During our practice runs, I would be able to run 2 miles at a 10 min/mile pace, then the last mile it would drop down to 13 minutes. It just took practice and pushing to get a more steady pace.
My personal, more private goal was to run the 5K in under 30 minutes (less than 10 min/mile pace). I have not run that distance in that amount of time since running a weekly 5K running series in Mass in 2005. That's a long time ago!!
I was able to run the 5K in 30:12 (30 minutes and 12 seconds)! I'm so excited. My watch time was actually 29:32, but I will just stick with the official guntime of 30:12. So, I can positively state that I beat my goal. Whoo-hoo!
A perk of running the race, you get free stuff at the end. They had hot dogs, bagels, pumpernickel rolls, chic-fil-a breakfast biscuit sandwiches, Gatorade, water, energy bars, granola bars, water bottles, towels, Beef O'Brady's refillable sippy cups and best of all...booze. They had hard iced tea (Mike's Lite) and Sam Adam's beer.
Even though I did not win a medal for my running efforts (I came in 202nd overall out of 519 runners, 65th out of 285 women and lastly, 9th out of 40 women in my age group of 35-40 yo), I had a great time!