I met up with a friend from college to do the Kent State Homecoming 5K this morning. It was a fantastic day to be out and about, in the 70s, sunny. Finished in 26:17 by my watch, 26:30 by the official race time (I like my time better since it took a few seconds to get to the start because there were so many people -- there was no chip timing!)
Except that it was a day of near misses! Only the first 400 people got the really cool tshirts, I was #408. My 5k PR is 26:06, so I was 12 seconds off. And when I went to Ray's Place afterward to dutifully replace carbohydrates lost, like every good little runner should, they had just run out of the Centennial Alumni glasses. *Pouts.*
Seriously, though, it was a really good day. It was by far the most crowded race I've done... almost 1000 people. The first mile was pretty slow, around 9:30, just because there were so many runners. I started out in the middle of the pack. I picked it up the second mile, but there was a bottleneck when the race turned onto a narrower trail, so I was just under 18 minutes at the marker. Kicked it up toward the end even more but the finish was all uphill.
It was a nice course though I wish more of it was on campus. We ran past two of my old dorms, Leebrick and Korb, and across the few remains of Small Group, where I was sentenced my first two years (one as a freshmen in Altmann, the second as an RA in Humphrey.) Though current freshmen should thank their lucky stars those dorms are gone, it was kind of sad to see the vacant lot. I just wish someone had called me for the demolition...
But then it went past College Towers and off campus. People came out and watched from their lawns and the college student volunteers had way more enthusiasm that I could have mustered if dragged out of bed on a Saturday morning for a bunch of sweaty alums.
I was 8th of 33 in my age group, which wasn't bad by any means. There were some hardcore runners there. The winning female beat 18 minutes.
5Ks seem so short now, compared to the 10K and the 10-mile long runs (and yes, I'm well aware that I was absolutely not saying this last July). I was just getting going, then it was over. I think the 8-mile run at Mohican at the end of the month will cure that!
After the race we walked around campus -- we walked a lot, my pedometer is reading 23,500 and I haven't walked the furballs yet. Went down to Main Street, was so happy to see two of my professors and toured the new journalism building (jealous jealous jealous, made the old DKS offices look like a closet with dinosaur age computers). Met up with another friend, went to Rays, the primo watering hole. Wanted to go to the Zephyr but they weren't open. Got some new KSU gear, drove back to Lakewood. Hanging out with family tonight, back to Newark tomorrow.
It's been a long day! Rest tomorrow, training plan calls for 8 Monday (what I was supposed to do today, but did the 5k instead), 4 Tuesday, hills Wednesday, 4 Friday and 8 Saturday.
Next up is the Nu-Race trail run at Mochican Oct. 30.
Dog walking time!!