Let me first start off by saying that this was a great day overall. It was wonderful to run at 99% effort. There is always that 1% I can do better at. It was great to cheer on and encourage others to their finish. Going into this race I did not have the best attitude. I felt as if the 5k race was an after thought to the longer race distances. While I am happy to have anyone compete to challenge themselves and enter a 5k event, I do not like it when walkers line up 4-5 rows from the front of a self seeded corral. I am sorry if that is rude of me, it is one of my pet peeves of running. I dislike when I am going to run 7's and someone is set on walking 20's in front of me. I don't want to toe the front line because I know I cant run 5's. I am happy others are there to better themselves. I will even cheer you on and encourage you in your endeavor. I did this after I finished, I ran back up the course to cheer others on, but only got dirty looks. I ran back to the start area when runners doing the longer distances were coming down off the bridge. I noticed a friend of mine running the wrong way, so I chased her down to see if everything was alright. A young girl that was running with her needed medical attention. What an amazing thing to do during a race that is "for you" I think that just shows who she really is, someone who cares greatly for others. I did some extra cool down miles with her on course then headed over to mile 11 of the half marathon to cheer on runners. Everyone there was surprised to see someone that was not a runner. No dirty looks, just looks of grit and determination mixed with a few grimaces and wry grins.
I woke up at 4:30 am to the sound of thunder. Oh crap, I told myself as I wiped the gunk from my eyes to check my glaring bright smartphone. The radar screen confirmed my nightmares, rain! Rain on race day means good luck right, or is that a wedding? I jumped in the shower to loosen up my muscles, something I do every race day. Eating breakfast of organic honey grahams I checked the weather, still rain, and twitter, then the weather, still rain. My mind races as I attempt to figure out what to wear.
As the "gun" goes off for the start I dodge and weave other runners before I can get into a groove. I felt great but checked my watch and noticed I should slow down to save some for the end. The course goes up a freeway overpass and back down, a few turns and your done. Half way up the "hill" or bridge my watch was showing mid to low 8's. I didn't think I was struggling too much but I was also staying with the pack of runners. In past runs if you are the leader of a pack you can slow your pace by a few seconds and the majority of the pack will slow down with you if you back off slow enough. I might have been taken by this, or the Garmin was reading as if I was running at level ground not on the incline plane up the bridge. As we approached the turn around I began to count runners, something I do every time there is an event. I like to know where I stand in relation to the front. I counted somewhere in the 40's before I hit the turn. Coming down the hill I just let my legs carry me. I didn't push it, I just focused on hitting even footfalls and good cadence. I saw my pace hit sub 7's. At the end of the bridge there are two quick right turns and a left. When racing I like to surge on turns to give those around you a sense that they cannot catch you. A turn and run through the summerfest ground was flat and I was able to stay fast near 7:15-7:30. A small man made hill I charged up a veer to the left and right I was almost home. Just two more turns remained, two right hand turns. Somewhere after 1.7 I started calculating what my finish time should be. I can break 25 was still in my mind. 2 miles down I figured I could maybe break 24. Three quarters of a mile left I knew 24's were in reach and with half a mile to go I thought breaking 24 was a reality. I made one last turn and the end was in sight. Clock above the finish line read 22:03. Checked my watch and it read 2.97 miles. What? I was .13 miles short. At first I was upset by this. Maybe my Garmin was off, but when someone else had the same distance I had to wonder. Regard less of measurement of the course I had a great time.