Thursday, June 30, 2011

A 5k PR and a promise to return

Last weekend I ran a 5k in Portland, Michigan organized as part of the St. Patrick Parish Festival. I did this race last year because one of my friends lives in Portland. It's a nice, small, fun race, and I thought why not - I'll do it again this year.

Portland is a small city of about 3,800 people just 25 miles west of Lansing. What many people don't know about Portland natives, however, is they are freakishly fast (at least the ones I know).  My friend Nikki (Portland native) and her friends and family are avid runners. Did I mention they are super fast?

Runners at the start of the 5k

My previous 5k PR was about 28 minutes and 30(ish) seconds. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I run because I love it, not because I will ever win the race. The St. Pat's 5k is a nice out and back on the river trail. It's shaded for most of the course, and the 58 degree temperature made this a flawless morning for running.

When the race started people were just flying by me. I felt as though I was running quite hard, but I tried to not let the mental stuff get to me. I didn't need to keep up with anyone - I was just running my own race.

Starting the race - the kid in the cast smoked me

I felt as though I was running quite hard, but I was shocked when I rounded the corner to the finish. I crossed the finish line at 26 minutes even, shattering my previous PR. Those fast Portland runners pushed me!

All smiles after my PR

 I'm not really going to do a city analysis of Portland now because it's hard to do that sometimes with a 5k. I did, however, just register for the Portland ½ marathon at the end of July. I'll get to see more of the town then. I'm hoping these fast runners push me to a ½ marathon PR as well.

As we were driving out of Portland I did notice they use their riverfront beautifully. There are trails, bridges, parks, and benches all along the river. It's a great use of public space to encourage people to use the river trail.

I'll be back in Portland in a month for the half marathon. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also nervous. These runners are kind of intimidating! I've got some big training runs ahead the next few weeks. I've got my eye on you, Portland. See you in a few weeks.

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