Yesterday I ran the Opening Act 5k, put on by Fleet Feet. It’s like an opener for the Rock n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon & Half Marathon in October. From what I understand, Fleet Feet is going to be doing a majority of the race organizing so they were also using this as a tester for the RNRSTL race as well.
I never realized how hilly the area of Chesterfield where we ran was before! The course itself could have been a little better. It basically looped around the Mall, which isn’t very scenic. Plus it also started at 8 a.m., which given the heat we’ve been having I didn’t really think was that good of an idea. Several racers said they would have preferred a 7 a.m. start time. With the course being what it was, hilly with little to no shade, the earlier the time the better. But since this was the first running of the Opening Act, we can’t be too picky.
I got there about 30 minutes before the start time, and parked across the way at the mall. It was about a .25 mile trek to make it to the starting area, which wasn’t too terrible bad, because it provided time to warm up my muscles and such. Once I reached the start area, there were portapotties and a table handing out cups of water, which was nice since I HAVE NO CLUE WHERE MY NATHAN WATER BOTTLE IS!! They used a start corral/wave start for the race, releasing groups about 1 minute apart. That was nice because it only took me three minutes to cross the starting mat. But I reiterate, there was NO shade in the pre-race area!
The Course and Race
I had marked down my expected finish time at 50 minutes, because I knew that I wouldn’t have a whole lot of running under my belt going in. Plus, I haven’t been drinking much the past couple of weeks, and definitely not a lot of water at that, so I wasn’t properly hydrated. Also, I knew I most likely wasn’t going to luck out with decent weather like the Firecracker. And to be honest, I haven’t had much time to run…it’s either been crazy hot, or I’ve been too busy. So I knew I wasn’t going to be setting any PR’s yesterday. I felt like I had a hard time pulling in air, and just wasn’t feeling it while I was running. I was in crabby ass mood, which was not made any better by the negative nancies that I simply could not get away from. You barely hit the one mile mark, and you’re already giving up? Geez, just accept that every run isn’t going to be stellar. At least you’re out there, doing it! I walked A LOT of the race. I just wasn’t in it, and I had forgotten to use my anti-friction stuff, so my chub rub was screaming by mile two. Once I saw mile three though, my spirits lifted a bit because there was a nice little cheering section, and I was almost done.
I finished in 52:57 with an average pace per mile of 16:46, which isn’t bad but I know I can do better.
I was lucky enough to have a few friends who were running the race as well, and they finished just slightly ahead of me, so we hung out and cooled down for a while afterwards. There were plenty of refreshments, and with your bib you could get one free beer. They also had a band, Surrender Dorothy, playing in the amphitheater for everyone to listen to, so that was a nice touch, but once again-not a lot of shady areas to relax in, but there was a nice breeze moving through the area. I grabbed a few refreshments, and hung out for a while before heading to my parents to swim.
Now another hectic busy week, and then serious training time starts!