The Austin Reindeer Run 5k was my final chip-timed race of the year. (I have Operation Jack coming up next week but that is a satellite run).
This race was also my last chance in 2011 to crush the sub-30 goal that has been taunting me.
The race was at 9am which equals SLEEPING IN! Awesome. I left the house around 8:15 and made it to Camp Mabry in plenty of time.
On the way to the parking area you ended up driving part of the race course. It was at this point when I realized it may not be a PR day. There were a few decent hills that could certainly give my legs some issues.
I hit up one of the tents to grab my timing tip and strapped it around my ankle.
Yep, the fun socks made an appearance at this race as well.
I searched high and low for reindeer antlers but surprisingly couldn’t find any. I settled on an old festive tee I found in my closet instead, which prompted many compliments. And because 50 degrees is a bit chilly to me I rocked the arm sleeves as well.
I had turned on my Garmin on the drive down to the race to eliminate the satellite location problem that plagued me before the Jingle Bell 5k.
I spied a lot of people with coffee mugs not quite dressed to run so I positioned myself in front of them at the starting line to avoid the old bob-and-weave issues.
The first mile was flat as a pancake. I kept my pace fast but comfortable to keep some in the tank for the rest of the race.
I passed the Mile 1 marker in 9:46.
Shortly after that marker, we hit a water stop followed by a small downhill stretch. Part of me welcomed it while part of me knew this only meant the hills were about to start.
And they did.
I cursed every step of the long, steady incline. It was at this point where I realized the course was an out and back. My freakin’ favorite.
I hit Mile 2 in 10:10. Obviously the hills slowed me down.
Why don’t the hills look as bad in photos as they do in real life?
At this point I could see the finish line across the field. It was SO. FAR. AWAY. A quick glance at my Garmin showed I was two minutes from the elusive 30 minute mark. I picked up the pace, but realistically knew it was probably too late.
Mile 3 in 9:48.
I had fifteen seconds to make it across that finish line, which was still SO. FAR. AWAY.
I was hauling ass but felt like I was running in slow motion. I just couldn’t turn my legs over as fast as I wanted.
.1 in 0:36. Not quite fifteen.
Official Finish Time: 30:20, 9:47 pace
I was halfway through a banana when I came across this glorious sight:
Yes please. I’ll take two.
I also grabbed a chocolate Zico.
Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with my time. I’d also be lying if I said I thought not doing any speedwork would have helped me get in under 30 minutes. Oh and that 7 mile run from the day before probably didn’t help either.
Oh and maybe I should have looked at the elevation map on the website:
It wasn’t as bad as it looks – it was scaled a little poorly. But there will hills – you get the idea.
So, sub-30 5K goal will be accomplished in 2012. I’ll getcha next time.