Last year, the Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K was only my second 5K to finish, so it felt good to return to the course this past weekend and see if I could smoke my time. Last year, it rained the entire race (which I actually didn't mind) but this year it was the exact opposite: really sunny and really warm.
I've been training for my half-marathon with Kristie, but we're lucky to have other friends who run, too, and this group of ladies has dubbed itself the Running to Drink Team (fitting, right?). We run, we brunch, we laugh, we high-five. They're fantastic.
We even have our own signs bedazzled for us.
We all run at slightly different speeds, but Kristie and I took off at the start together. Pretty soon after that, though, she pulled ahead. It was hot, and I didn't want to force myself to go any faster than I could, especially not at first. I knew the run was going to end on a tough hill, so I tried to focus on that as I slowed down a little.
My initial goal was to finish under 33 minutes but not even a half-mile in, I didn't think that was going to happen. The sun! Oof, it was a bitch.
I somehow caught back up with Kristie around mile two, and that re-energized me to push on. On that last, horrible hill, I saw my friend's husband, holding the sign above, and it was then that Mumford & Son's "The Cave" came on, which pushed me over that hill, feeling pretty good.
Then, right at the finish, I saw Mike. All it took, and we finished strong!
Last year's time: 45:38 (a 14:41 mile)
This year's time: 31:17 (a 10:04 mile)
I shaved over 14 minutes off my time and over 4 minutes off my mile pace. I'm running another 5K this weekend (in addition to a five-miler) and I'm hoping to finish under 30 minutes, if the weather cooperates and everything else falls into place. Cross your fingers!
It was a hard but good run with an incredibly supportive group of friends around me. We headed to The Pour House afterward for oh-my-goodness-so-good food and cheap brunch-y drinks.
It was such a nice day.
(Well, until kick-off of the second half of the A&M game. Ouch.)