The Race For Justice 5K

I completed my first 5K today! The Race For Justice route starts and ends on Nicollet Island, looping back over the Stone Arch Bridge, with a final stretch along the cobbled streets of St. Anthony Main. It's a fun area, but we were in for a cold run. When the race started, it was 35 degrees outside with 13 mph winds blowing off the Mississippi River.

I arrived early, picked up my race packet, and walked back to my car to wait for the start. Those gusts were brutally cold! I figured out how to attach the timing chip to my shoe and pinned the bib to my jacket. I returned to the island at about a quarter to 9 and soaked in the pre-race energy. I found a spot near the back of the pack when everyone started lining up.

The horn blew and we surged forward, shuffling across the start line. I got comfortable behind someone setting an easy pace and then mostly passed people as the race went on. I was doing great until about the 2.5 mile mark, when I started getting sharp abdominal pains, like I have been doing toward the ends of my runs during the past week. I had to walk for a minute or two with the finish line in sight. Then I caught my breath and sprinted over the bridge, passing a few of the people who breezed past me while I had been struggling and clutching my gut.

This was my first time pushing to run 3 miles flat out. My longest continuous run until now had been 22 minutes. Still, I figured I could probably do three ten-minute miles. My total time was 31:09, a pace of 10:03, which is a little slower than I expected but about par for what I've been doing in training. I placed 257th out of 393 (that's faster than 35% of the finishers--not too shabby for my premiere event).

I didn't stick around long afterward (I had to get home for the Palm Sunday church service) but I did meet the guy who finished fourth. He asked how I did and I told him, "I finished!" Which really was the most important thing next to having a good time. Mission accomplished!

p.s. I totally forgot to write about my lucky door handle. When I was milling around in the park before the start, I found a metal handle in the grass and carried it in my jacket pocket for the entire race. This will not be a tradition.

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