We ran the Beson4 Corporate Run last Thursday. It’s another one of the larger 5K races in Jacksonville. It is also a bit unique in that it is after work on a Thursday. As it isn’t a morning race it changes your approach to race day prep a bit as you have to make sure you eat right in the early afternoon to be ready for the evening.
Susan and I went out for a light run Monday evening after spending 5 hours in the car so she could have a better feel for the pace she would need to keep up to hit her goal time for the race. I went into the week without a real well defined goal for what I wanted to accomplish. I ended up deciding on a 9:15/mile pace after talking to my trainer. This would be a minute per mile quicker than my recent half marathon pace. This was also my first 5K since I have been training harder so it was a little up in the air about what pace I might actually be capable of in a race that short.
Driving downtown to get to the race was a taxing experience, navigating rush hour traffic on top of extra traffic for the run made for a less than relaxing drive. I ended up spending about 4 times as long in the car as I did running the actual 5K. I cranked up my River Run music mix for the drive though to get motivated and keep focused.
Once I got the car parked and got all of my race day items squared away (goPro and harness….check) I made my way over to the Hyatt tent. I was an adjunct member of the Hyatt Thrive team for this race. We wandered down to the start line about 10 minutes before the scheduled start and began to line up by anticipated pace. As we were packing in to the starting chute it became apparent the race would be delayed. Some obstructions on the route needed to be cleared up so we stood in a large mass of people for an extra ten minutes. As the minutes ticked down I made sure everything was working, got my GPS ready to track and got ready to turn the goPro back on, didn’t think the world needed to see time lapse from the delayed start. After they played the Star Spangled Banner I popped my earbuds in and turned on my music, Lady Gaga got things started with a little bit of “Bad Romance”. When the gun went off we started to shuffle towards the line, with about 20 yards to the line the people in front of me stopped jogging causing me to nearly run into them, after a brief pause we were off and running.
I got off to a quick start, dodging other runners on my way to the right side of the course and the first right-hand turn. My pace over the first couple hundred meters was a bit quicker than I was targeting, peaking at about 6.5 minutes per mile before I settled down some. Hot Action Cop came on after Lady Gaga and their full sound and driving beat got me into a good rhythm that saw me through the rest of the race. DJ Kool struck again, imploring everyone to, “…freeze one time.” Everyone around me ignored DJ Kool. I’ve really got to take DJ Kool off the playlist. The English Beat, Sister Hazel, The Tragically Hip, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis rounded out my musical stylings for the rest of the race. I had reservations about the strength of my playlist going into race day but I had nothing but nice things to say about all of the quality acts that pushed me on through downtown Jax.
I finished the first mile feeling strong, the clock was showing 8:55 so I knew I was safely below my 9:15/mile pace but I really wanted more. As the race wore on it felt like I was getting slower. After the water stop at about the halfway point I made a conscious effort to try and run quicker, it didn’t seem like it was having any discernible effect. I missed seeing the 2-mile mark so I had only a general sense for my pace. As we rounded the last turn back on to Bay Street I started to feel good, having a pretty good idea for how far I had yet to run. My goal on that last stretch was to run tall and keep my pace up. Just past the 3-mile mark I began my kick to the end and finished strong in 25:44, comfortably underneath my planned 9:15 pace.
As I crossed the line I was very excited about the race I had run but shortly began wondering if I couldn’t have pushed a little harder. There’s always next time… I wandered back to the finish chute and tried to get pictures of friends and family finishing the race. The nondescript grey color that was chosen for the team shirts made picking out fellow Thrivers a bit more of a challenge though…
Megan was the first one I noticed crossing but she was too quick for me to get any pictures. Erin came next, followed by Melissa and Susan.
I think everyone was pretty happy with the times they had run. Susan and I both finished ahead of our goal times, which was excellent. Susan was also about as excited as she has ever been about running.