My lackadaisical attitude was a good one for today since the course was all kinds of messed up. Evidently lots of tinkering with the course to work around construction in downtown Fenton, MI caused some incorrectly placed mile markers. Or since there is also an art festival in town today, perhaps they were going for an abstract or post-modern 5K. Either way it made for some very amusing mile splits.
6:14 for mile one. I would love to say I was running that fast but I am very aware that I wasn't. I purposely started out slower than last week (6:24 or so for that first mile) because I knew it was a hillier course, I hadn't done much of a warm up, and I just plain didn't feel like trying to run that fast. I wasn't wearing my Garmin but there is no way that mile wasn't short.
That's okay because the second mile was long. Really long. Possibly the longest mile I've ever run. That split was 8:39. Mile two was basically one long climb so I know I slowed down, but I didn't slow down that much. I didn't suddenly lose a limb. I was not attacked by sloths.
Have no fear though because I was about to come raging back with a 6:09 third mile. Yes, this did have a nice downhill finish but, again, I just wasn't running that fast. Another short mile. Or something. Add in the final .1reallyitcouldhavebeenanything and I finished in 21:52.
Now that was a little depressing. After all, I ran last weekend's 5K in 20:38. Yes, this course was hillier and it was a hotter morning and I wasn't trying as hard, but really? Barely breaking 22:00? I haven't run a 5K that slowly since high school. Come to think of it I haven't run a 5K over 20 minutes since high school, but I'd really rather not pull on that thread right now. However, before I could hang my head in shame, my friend who won the race, bearer of happy news, told me that her Garmin measured the course a quarter mile long and that made me feel loads better. Phew. I didn't have to retire on the spot.
The best part of everything was that my 13 year old niece ran her first official road race. She's getting ready to start high school in the fall, will be running cross county, and has so much potential it's sick. She ran just under 25 minutes (remember the course was .25 long), finished with a smile on her face and loved the hills. She didn't even break a sweat! Imagine what she could do if she actually worked at it a little bit!! She did tell me she knows that she could run faster. Up until now, and mostly evident during her one year of middle school cross country, she hasn't had a competitive bone in her body. I think that's changing. And it won't hurt that today she snuck in her first age group win. By a week! Her age group today was 13 and under and she turns 14 this coming Friday. I am kicking myself now for not getting a post-race picture of the two of us, but hopefully there will be lots of opportunities for those in the future. Preferably ones where she's sweating a bit too.
The little monkey had a blast at his second race (read: he did not cry once).