I figured one of my best chances was the Electric Bolt in Ann Arbor. It's a fund raiser for Ann Arbor Active against ALS, the same group that organized the Twinkie run, where I would have won my age group, if the race was 18 days later so I could be in the next age group.
Anyway, there was both an 8k and a 5k, and I thought perhaps the more serious runners would be in the 8k, and the 5k would be more casual runners, families and walkers (not the zombie type...) I reasoned I had a better chance in the 5k, so that's the one to do.
I didn't sleep well the night before and the weather was something else. It was in the upper 60s, but massive humidity - 90+%. It was too dark for sunglasses, but too bright to not wear them. Plus my legs were still a little lethargic from the 14.5 miles I ran on Friday night.
To PR, I would have to average 9:08s. The first mile was no problem, even though we had to run across grass for a stretch and mostly on dirt roads. Then we hit the hills. I should have looked at the course map ahead of time and prepared myself for the hills. Somehow I passed more people going uphill than any other place in the course. Weird.
It was rough going. I could tell I wouldn't PR, but there was an out and back part, and I definitely looked at who was coming my way, to gauge where I was in relation to the rest of the field. I'm a terrible estimator of ages, but I thought perhaps I could hold on for top 3, even if I didn't hit first place for my age group.
After a huge uphill at mile 2.9, the end was a massive downhill. We turned the corner and the finish was 0.1 miles away. I saw a man 0.04 miles in front of me, and determined that I had to beat him! Somehow once the finish line is in sight, the pain goes away and I can fly.
Then we waited.
Something really nice about small races is the post race food - homemade cookies!!!! Someone made lightning bolt shaped cookies - yum! Plus chocolate milk, coffee, popsicles, fruit, etc.
Yay!!!!!!!!!!! The winner of my age group smoked me, and I'm ok with that. I'm not sure I could beat her time even on a treadmill, much less on a hilly course. The top three in each age group got a pint glass, which I promptly added to my collection of race glasses that I never use :) Another runner finished after the results were printed at the event, so I was actually 2/7. I looked at all the female finishers and my time was 11th overall among women. Had I done the 8k my half marathon pace would have gotten me 2nd place in my age group for that race.