Hooray, the 7th 5K of the season, quite possibly the last one I will be doing for the year 2008. *tear*
This 5K was called the Autumn Color 5K. Since it would be like a 3 hour drive to get there, we overnighted in Salida last night. Attempting to find good food was not easy and I ended up ordering some crappy ravioli. However, a nice relaxing soak in the hot tub helped me out. We then retreated to the room and chilled out. I played some poker and had some amazing hands, which I figured would be a good omen for the race.
Slept like shit though. There were a lot of weird noises in the hotel that woke me up, which is surprising, since I am usually a ridiculously sound sleeper. This I figured was a bad omen for the race. When we dropped our stuff off at the car, there was a fire truck and an ambulance outside. I immediately knew there was a heart attack or something in the hotel, and sure enough, I hold the door open for two paramedics who were wheeling out Old Man River on a stretcher. He was breathing, luckily.
We ate some Holiday Inn Express breakfast, which wasn't too appetizing, actually. I had some eggs, bacon, yogurt, banana, and oatmeal. We then took off for the drive up to Buena and the race.
We got there and immediately headed for the porta-potties, as we tend to do. Time was a little shorter, but we managed to stretch and get on the bus to get dropped off at the start. This race is unlike any I have done to date. There is no starting line; just a Boy Scout volunteer that says "go". The course is also a straight line; they bus you to the start and you run to the finish line where the bus picked you up.
So anyway, the bus dropped us off and after a minute or two of dinking around, we heard go and were off. I was so startled by it I couldn't even get my Nike+ thing going, which didn't matter anyway, because again it wasn't working. *tear*
I juggled with my iPod still and was able to get my running playlist on. And I was finally in the groove. Shortly after the race started my shoe came untied so I had to tie that, goddammit. Got knocked out of the groove of course, but settled in quickly.
When I saw the 2 mile to go sign, I was in disbelief. I didn't feel like I was running that spectacular, but I had an idea, and when I'm 13 minutes deep into my running playlist, I knew I wasn't running a 13 minute mile. Then something happened to me that really hasn't since the Rockies 5K. I settled into a consistent pace. I was able to hold a steady pace through pretty much the whole rest of the race. It was awesome!
I saw the finish and picked up my speed. I crossed the finish line not knowing my time, but hearing about 10 seconds after that people were in the 27 minute. I tried to go back for girlfriend to get her camera, but she was pretty much right behind me and she crossed the finish line in 27:45. We were both pretty happy about our times and went to get some post-race goodies and wait for the official times to get posted.
Unfortunately, something happened. Girlfriend's time got posted,but mine wasn't on the board. We then finally found it, and it said 28:17. The endorphines that I felt were gone. I was downcast and sad, because in my mind, nothing matters other than the official time that is posted. To make matters worse, when we tried to talk to someone about possibly getting my time changed, they balked at the idea, even though it was obvious that I finished in front of girlfriend.
We determined that I finished in between 27:00 and 27:30, roughly 30 seconds ahead of the girl. We called it 27:17. I ran the time of my playlist and it added up. So I'm ok with that. It's a PR obviously, which feels amazing. And it is a good feeling knowing how well I actually ran. I can keep working at it and keep improving.