Had the first race of the season today; a 5K in Portland. I ran this race last year. Last year it started at Peak Performance. There was a pretty good hill right at the start of the race that climbed from Marginal Way up to the Eastern Prom. This year they started on the Eastern Prom, went downhill and then had a very tough hill at the end. Below is the elevation map:
I went out Monday to run the course for the first time. I parked my car in the little round about at the end of the Prom. When I opened my door, the wind caught it and blew it open. I thought it was going to blow it off. When I got out, the wind took my breath away. Was 20 degrees out with wind blowing at about 20 MPH.
Today, it was much nicer!. No wind to speak of and in the high 20's. There was close to 300 entrants this year.
The race started off fast on the downhill. It was a bit crowded but thined out pretty quick. I hit mile marker 1 at 7:10. This is waaayyyy to fast for me. The first 1/2 mile was down hill and the other 1/2 was flat. I knew I had to slow a bit. The next mile was pretty much flat along the water. The sun was shining. I finally settled into a decent pace. Heart rate was around 170. I usually am in the high 170's during a 5K. I was taking it easy because I knew I had a good hill comming up.
Then the hill. It was rough. It started at just before mile 2 and is close to 1/3 mile long. By the time I got to the top, HR was at 180. I passed mile marker 2 half way up the hill at 15:30. After the hill, the course flattened for the rest of the race.
I could hear someone running behind me the whole way up the hill. SLAP, SLAP, SLAP was all I could hear. Finally this 70 year old lady goes by me. She was cruizin. She had on those running shoes that are nothing more than fabric covering your feet. Basically gloves for your feet.
With a 1/2 mile to go and my HR back down to 165, I decided to kick it up. There was an OK crowd as I approached the finish. I was feeling pretty good. I made it past the 70 year old and a few more before finishing. Overal time was 24:24. Works out to about a 7:53 pace. Not my best, but OK for my first race this year. Main goal was to stay under an 8 minute mile.