Yesterday, I jumped into the Sole Mates 5K in Longmont. Actually, I wasn't allowed to enter officially, but a race official said I could join the race. Instead of being a true bandit, I offered a donation and toed the line sans number. It wasn't clear on the website that there wouldn't be race day registration, but officials were casual and super friendly, except for one nasty and rude individual who very clearly wanted to prove to the world just how grumpy she could be. Other than that encounter, the day was filled with pleasant moments and nice interactions.
I have a list of excuses as to why I'm not where I want to be that includes but isn't limited to the wind, my hormonal situation, and my usual mechanical issues that haven't completely been resolved, but, as everyone knows, we all get to the start line with our own set of problems and race with whatever baggage we are carrying that day. If I'm honest, it was a pretty nice day on a fairly fast course.
As far as the race, I surprised myself in some ways and was left feeling disappointed in others, probably a typical experience for many runners. Since it has been about a year since I last raced, I wasn't sure about pace, so I started out strong but not like a maniac. My hips won't allow any wild movements anyway, so I'm forced to start out on the slow side. In a few places, I made some bold moves and decided to pass people. It was only in the last mile that I started having some doubt about whether or not I could go with one lady who blew by everyone. That moment of hesitation and a lack of confidence left me simply holding steady rather than picking up the pace to go with her. I might have had enough fitness, but mechanically, I think I was pretty close to the maximum my body could handle, unfortunately. That just means I have more PT to do before I can truly race. Having two miles of race experience, though, got me excited about possibilities, even if it left me a bit tweaked and sore the following day.
The final result was that I ran just under 22 minutes and placed 5th or would have placed had I been able to enter. Since I started my watch at "go" and wasn't at the starting line, my chip time would have been a hair faster than what my watch read, but I can't imagine it would be significant. I know my final time isn't great, but considering I was on a scooter after having surgery this spring, I shouldn't complain. Plus, I'm old. That's really not a terrible result, all things considered. On the other hand, I would love to shave off a few seconds... or a lot more. For now, my main focus remains on staying healthy, doing the right PT, and eating well.