Though I have run a bunch of 5K's in the past, the #Run3rd 5K was a bit of a new experience for me, as I ran as a "virtual" participant for the first time.
You can read more about it here. I became familiar with #Run3rd a few months ago and joined their Facebook group soon after. It's a good group of peeps, Sean is a great guy (who I want to meet someday -- come to Chicago, Sean!) and I enjoy the feeling I get when I run for other people besides myself. All good stuff.
One thing I liked about being a virtual runner is that since it's all on the honor system you can pretty much run whenever you want! For me that was a big benefit because 1) I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. on Friday night playing FIFA and 2) it was kind of chilly early on Saturday but I knew it was going to warm up by late morning.
So after sleeping until almost 11 -- if you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I can be an epic sleeper -- I got up and got something to eat and told Kev we would be heading out around noon. By then the sun was out and the temperature was nearing 60, so it was just a perfect time to run.
I took this photo afterwards and I wanted to include the forest preserve in the background, which is why we are both kind of squinting into the sun!
Thanks to my Runtastic app (I'll stop talking about it so much sooner or later!), which can measure distance, of course, I decided to run at the Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve trail, otherwise known as my most fave place to run. Since it would be an out and back course with a big hill in the middle, it wouldn't be my favorite type of course -- flat and fast -- but it would still be a lot of fun.
So we headed over to the trail and got started. As usual, I chose a soundtrack to listen to, this time it was a live set done by my favorite techno DJ, Hardwell. Big fan of his. Kev has this weird thing that he won't run next to me, he always runs ahead. Oh wait, he's 14, that explains it.
We were running pretty conservatively, but got a little momentum going down the hill and ran the first mile in 9:48. Just then Kev stopped to tie his shoe and told me to go on and he'd catch up. I ran on down the path and stopped at 1.55 miles -- the halfway point. Kev ambled up a couple of minutes later, and told me to go on ahead as he wanted to take a breather for a minute. I told him it was OK that we could run together, but he said it was all right and that I should just run my own pace.
So I was off again, and ran the second mile in 8:53, which put me on pace to break 29 minutes, not bad considering the hills. Speaking of, the uphill was waiting just after two miles, and it painful! The elevation change is 40 feet from the bottom to the top, it's pretty massive. Everything was hurting and I was breathing pretty hard that I couldn't thunder down the other side of the hill, but I tried to keep a pretty good pace going.
I ran the third mile in 9:09 (elapsed time of 27:50) and tried to hold my pace the rest of the way before finishing in 28:42, just three seconds off of my PR! Now, in all fairness I did stop at the midway point, so if I had set a PR I'd probably have gone with the asterisk! :--)
I was really proud of him, he didn't think it was the most fun thing ever but he tried really hard and got an idea of what the distance is like. He plans on running cross country in the fall and I told him that after training with the team all summer a 3-mile run will feel like a breeze!
Normally I post a picture of my bib and medal at the top, but I don't have either of those things yet so I'll just go with a screen grab from Runtastic. I'm so glad that I did the run, not only to be part of the #Run3rd community but to spend some time running with Kev. I have a good (and hopeful) feeling that we will be running partners in the future.