I didn’t really have many races on the spring schedule, but when I heard about the Ants In Your Pants 5K, I thought I should do it for multiple reasons. The first reason to do the race was that it was being put on by a local elementary school and all of the proceeds went to benefit their PTO. When my kids were in elementary school (gosh, that seems like ages ago), I was on the PTO. I know how much money the schools DON’T have. It seemed like a good cause.
The second reason to do the race was that it was really close to my house. I thought about running there as a warm up on race day, that’s how close it is. And the final reason is that selfishly I hoped that word had not gotten out about the race and that I might actually have a chance of placing in my age group.
Running a race in May in Texas is almost guaranteed to be hot. It’s a no brainer to get up, throw on some shorts and a tank and go race. Well, normally. Not this morning. When I woke up this morning, the temps were in the 40s. In May. Wow. What to wear?
The wind was also blowing, so I decide to wear shorts with my tank and then throw a long sleeved dri-fit over that. I also took gloves and my ear band as my hands and ears get cold pretty easy. Instead of doing that warm-up run over to the school, I drove. I knew I’d get warm on the run, but I didn’t want to get there and be sweating and then get cold from standing there and waiting for the start. So yeah, I drove. And sat in my nice warm car until just a few minutes before the start.
There weren’t a ton of runners there, but there were some running groups, so I knew there would be some fast runners. It’s hard to tell what age group the runners are in (you know, their age isn’t written on their calf like it is in a triathlon!), so I had no idea who my competition would be.
When the horn sounded and we started running, I just went with what I could. There was a group of us that pulled away pretty quickly from the main pack, but I was at the back of that pack. Interestingly enough, however, no one really passed anyone else. Whatever place we fell into was kind of where we were.
The first part of the course wound through a neighborhood and was relatively flat. I’m pretty good about judging distances, but didn’t know if the course would be marked well or not, so I glanced at my garmin to see where I was. What I saw scared me. At 0.91 into the race, my time was 7:50. Um, I’m not usually that fast. I hit mile 1 at 8:05. The other scary part was it really didn’t fell all THAT hard. Yes, I was pushing it and didn’t know if I could keep that up the whole time, but why not try.
The second mile was still fairly flat with a little downhill through another neighborhood. I started getting a little warm here and debated about taking my long-sleeve top off. I did take my ear band and my gloves off. I hit mile 2 in 8:08. Surprised myself with that one. I thought to myself that I might actually place if I could just keep up the pace. But the last mile was a lot of uphill. And into the wind.
I took off my top and wrapped it around my waist and then prepared to climb the hill back to the school. With the wind blowing straight at us, my pace slowed. But I wouldn’t stop. I wanted to finish strong.
Mile 3 was a bit slower, with a pace of 8:49 and then the last 0.1 mile took 1:04. I crossed the finish line in 26:05. My 5k PR is 24:42, so not too bad for not running a lot lately. I hoped that it might be worth at least 3rd place.
I hung around to see what the results would be and got a massage in the meantime. Then I saw where the results were posted and headed over to check it out. I can’t remember now exactly where I placed but it was either 6th or 7th, so no podium for me. Since it was still cold and I had a soccer game to get to, I headed home.
This was a great first year small race and if the schedule allows, I’ll do it again.