I completed the 5K this morning. I had planned to be in bed by 10 pm, but I was seduced by the TV coverage of the guy walking across Niagara Falls, and I didn't get to bed until 11 pm. I didn't sleep very well due to anxiety (I'm always that way when I have to get up for something important), so I only had 5 1/2 hours of sleep last night. I wasn't in the best of shape for the race.
It was a beautiful morning for a race. The race started at 6:30 am, before the sun was up. I was cold while walking around, but as soon as the race started I warmed up and was fine. I alternated running and walking, running for 1:30 and walking for 0:20. After about half a mile I reduced my running to 1:10 and increased my walking to 0:50, and I kept that ratio for most of the race. There were a few times that I took more time for walking to give myself extra rest.
There were about 130 runners in the race. I started towards the end of the pack and quickly found myself last. There were two girls in front of me who were alternating running and walking, and I kept up with them for about half a mile, and then they were gone. I doubt that they went faster; it's likely that I went slower. There was a woman in front of me who was also alternating running and walking, and I kept up with her for another mile, and then she was gone, too. I finished the race in 52:46. My PB made 6 months ago was 47:28, and I missed that by 5:18. The good news is that I only missed my age grading score by 2:57. My age group for this race is 65-99, so I am approaching the middle of the range. There were several runners who were in their 60s, and they got medals for the first three places in our age range. No participation medals were given out.
I've been focusing on distance rather than speed, so I'm not surprised or sad that I was slower today than I was a year ago. As I get older, I'm finding it harder to be faster. Also, my problem with the in-vein filter that quit working in 2009 and caused blood clots has caused me to be slower. I'm just glad to be alive and able to run at my own speed. I will continue focusing on distance rather than speed, because distance is more important to me than speed.