And then a facebook post pops up about this race. One you had thought about doing before realizing you would be in SoDak (South Dakota, for the uninformed). But now you're not. Now you're home. With nothing to do. And your morning run SUCKED.
What's a girl to do but show up last minute for a run in downtown Grand Rapids? Especially when the race swag includes a pint glass and a sweet tech shirt.
So about an hour before, I signed up to run my first ever Streets of Fire 8k. (Seriously, an 8k? That is a WEIRD distance for a race, but why not...)
And lemme tell you, it was GREAT! This race was in Downtown Grand Rapids, running in a mostly residential neighborhood, but had some nice hills to it and some visual interest along the golf course. But most importantly, it felt GREAT.
Remember how I had been complaining that my run that morning had SUCKED? Two miles. Two LONG miles, where I had side cramps and foot pain and had hated deciding to run. But this, THIS WAS GOOD. I started out at what felt like a good pace and then just made a decision that I would pick the person in front of me and pass them. And then pick the next person ahead of me... and pass them. And I did really well with this for the majority of the race. And as a result, I set my personal best time for a 5k distance, as well as beating my predicted race pace for my upcoming RAGNAR in September. My only bummer was that I finished fourth, missing out on a "medal" by one spot. But the girl that finished third... Man! I passed her for a brief moment when she stopped for water at the last aid station, but then she went FLYING! And I had no hope of catching her.
But I was still pretty excited. And I made a few connections with some members of the Grand Rapids Running Club, who organized the event. It was very well done. Registration and check-in was simple and even though I was a last-minute addition, they still had plenty of shirts (in my size!) and pint glasses, as well as a discount card to a local bar and a nice little tote bag. There was plenty of water and gatorade along the way and at the end plus the added bonus of PIZZA when we finished.
According to my Nike+ GPS Watch:
Distance: 5.0 miles (8k)
Average Pace: 9:28 / mile