Saturday morning we ran the Rap River Run 5k in New Port Richey. This was Chris’ first, and possibly last 5k. Running is my thing, he likes it, and he enjoys being able to run together, but I don’t think going out at 7am to run 3 miles in the blistering humidity is his idea of a good time.
Nevertheless, he did it.
The race started at 7:30, so we left the house around 5:50.. I’m a touch anal about getting to race starts early. I freak out about traffic, or getting lost – so If I get to a race an hour early and have to stand around, then so be it… Chris doesn’t really feel the same way. Arrive at 6:20 for a 7:30 race start was kind of ridiculous, but he deals with my crazy well, so it was okay.
Around 7:10 we went out for a warm up run with one of my teammates, Chris. We ran for about 10 minutes, and got a great feel for how ridiculously humid it really was. ugh. I must have said this 10 million times yesterday, but I was so thankful not to be racing. My plan was to run with Chris and keep him on pace. Like a lot of new runners, hell, like a lot of runner in general, not just new runners; Chris like to go balls to the wall in the first mile, and then slowly dies the last 2 miles. We knew that he would be able to have a better race if I was there a long side him to keep him in check
We discussed keeping an avg of 9min/mile – Chris was on board with this. I wasn’t sure what he was capable of, but since he doesn’t have a garmin, and he doesn’t know how fast he’s running, I thought I could push him just a little. (shhh, don’t tell him).
The gun went off at 7:30, and we were on our way to finishing Chris’ first 5k!
For me, the first mile was uneventful…. maybe I should have Chris write his own recap. I’ll ask him. We didn’t say much in the first mile, I was just trying to keep us on track. Chris later told me that when he saw the 1 mile sign he though, “WHAT?! ONLY A MILE! I THOUGHT WE WERE HALF WAY THERE!!!!”
Mile 2 was as equally uneventful. The course winds around some neighborhoods in New Port Richey, nothing really exciting but it’s a decent course. We did get to see the lead runners, but I didn’t get to see to many of my Strider friends. One of my favorite part of out & back courses is seeing all my friends either in front of or behind me! I love cheering for them as we pass by – I’m sure other runners find my random bursts of shouting annoying, but I really don’t care.
Mile 3, Chris started to struggle a little bit. IT WAS HUMID, y’all. He eventually broke down and took off the thick white shirt that he insisted on wearing. It is an “athletic” shirt, but it’s not wicking, and it’s really thick. He carried the shirt for a few minutes, but when he started to really struggle I offered to carry it for him. (nasty. it was SOAKED).
We slowed our pace just a tiny bit; I tried to give him a few pointers to relax and just focus on the task at hand.. I gave him the same tips that David gives me when I’m killing myself in the last mile of our long runs:
deep breath in through your nose, out SLOWLY through your mouth
relax your shoulders
stand up straight
relax your hips, push them forward
Garnin time is 27:03, 8:36 avg. Official results haven’t been posted yet, but we weren’t far from the start line, so it’s probably within a few seconds.
Chris said he had a good time, and he was glad that I ran with him. He also said racing isn’t his thing, but he would do a 5k every couple of months.
I hope he sticks with running through the summer; I think he’d have an even better 5k time with some cooler weather!