I’ve been so bad about blogging lately, but I sincerely thought I could post a recap of this race within a month of running it. Turns out I was wrong. Also, the shorter the race, the less material there is, and so this will be a very short (but hopefully sweet) race recap.
Even though I’ve only run one 5K a year for the past few years, I decided to sign up for the OktobeRun 5K (my second this year) for three reasons. One, I’ve been slacking on the running front and anything that would get me out the door on a daily basis would be good motivation. Two, friends were signed up and there was a good chance of brunch after the race. Three, I’ve paced the half marathon before and knew that it was a logistically well-run event, and a relatively short drive on Sunday mornings. It also helped that the race proceeds benefit the Redwood City schools, and registration prices weren’t crazy high.
Early Sunday morning, October 28th, I woke up and headed over to Redwood City. Bib pick up was a breeze, and I started warming up around 7:00, thinking that the race started at 7:30. As I finished my warm-up, I heard an announcement that the half marathon was starting at 7:30, and the 5K at 7:45. Dang it! Oh well. The nice thing about a 5K is — I don’t really care as much, so it wasn’t a big deal that I mis-timed my warm-up.
I met up with friends before the race and chatted until it was time to line up. Angela and I went towards the front of the corral, which I’m glad we did because I had forgotten how narrow (and therefore congested) some of the route was. Plus, when I paced the half marathon, it was the 2:20 group and we took our time. A 5K is a very different story.
At 7:45, the gun went off and so did the 5K runners. I let Angela go rather early on, knowing she’d be at least a minute/mile faster than me. I settled into what I thought was a “decent” pace – which for me is between 8:00-9:00 min/mile these days. My C goal was to finish under 27 minutes (and not blow up), B goal under 26:30, and A goal was to beat my time at the RTTEOS 5K from 8 weeks earlier, 26:13. I had no real reason to think I could achieve my A goal, since I hadn’t been running more (in fact, Sept and Oct were very low mileage months for me). It would mostly come down to mental strength.
The course was an out and back course, starting in Downtown Redwood City, running over Highway 101 to the Bay Trail, then a small segment of the residential area of the Bay Trail before heading back to the Redwood City. It isn’t a very scenic course, there’s a few sections of gravel, and two “hills” – one overpass and one fairly steep and narrow pedestrian overpass that just about everyone walked up and down. So, compared to the RTTEOS, which was fairly flat (some gradual inclines and small rollers, but nothing crazy) and paved, OktobeRun was on paper a more difficult course. However, I think the fact that field was larger (466 finishers vs. 104 at RTTEOS) made the whole experience more mentally engaging. I always had someone to chase down at OktobeRun, whereas I ran most of the last mile of RTTEOS on my own.
My splits were: 8:35, 8:32, 8:22, then 7:25 for the last sprint, finishing in 25:46. Woohoo, A goal achieved! My Garmin only registered 3.04 miles, but the GPS trace for Downtown Redwood City was pretty atrocious. (It thinks I ran through several office buildings. I definitely did not.) I decided to count it as a victory, Garmin be damned.
We celebrated with post-race brunch at a nearby restaurant/cafe. It was a delightful morning! I would definitely run this race again.
8/17 AG, 30/246 F, 100/466 overall