I ran a 5k this morning with some friends from work. It was a small race and very disorganized. They started the race five minutes early, so two of my coworkers almost missed it. We may or may not have run the correct course, according to some Facebookers who claimed the officials directed them to run a different route than the official course map. My Garmin (which in this case I trust more than the race's official timing) said I ran 3.28 miles in 26:05, which matched my official time but not the official distance. The Garmin said I ran a new 5k PR (24:44).
It's a bit frustrating to get out there and give it your all and find that you've just run THE SLOWEST 5k YOU'VE EVER RUN. Oh well. The important thing is that I ran well according to the pacing plan that Coach Erin set out for me. My mile splits were 8:06, 7:53, and 7:57. Did I think I could run faster? Yes, but not much. It was a solid effort.
For the first time ever in a race, I passed lots of other runners, just like Erin said I would do if I didn't go out too fast. In the final stretch, I heard loud footsteps behind me and I fought hard to keep my position, which I did. I never saw the woman who almost caught me. Since the race wasn't chip-timed, we had to stay in finishing order in the finishing chute. My pursuer actually tried to cut in front of me in the chute, after I finished ahead of her! Fortunately the girl who was collecting our tear-offs (from the bottom of our bibs) saw what this lady was trying to do and made sure she took my tear-off first. I was shocked that anyone would be so unsportsmanlike (unsportswomanlike?) in a small neighborhood race.
I finished 26th overall and 2nd in my age group, 30-39. I've never placed in a race before! I missed getting my award because I was eating. Typical.
I'm slightly annoyed about the timing issues, and I'm impatient to get an official 5k PR. I'm not dwelling on it though; I don't have time for that shit. My goal race - a half marathon - is just two weeks away. I'll be damned if I let another race go by without an official PR.
Update: We did in fact stray from the official course. Check out my Garmin map vs. the course map:
The race officals have apologized.