The day after my attempt at the Liberty Half Ironman I was very sore. My legs felt heavy and my lower back was hurting. I was able to do some light biking at the gym to recover. The biking seemed to help and I was able to bounce back quickly and felt fairly good heading into the chase race.
The day of the race there were some storms moving into the area in the evening. There wasn't supposed to be much lightning, but there was a potential for some very heavy rain and it was warm and humid. My goal was to try and better my 5k PR of 26:10 from just about a year ago at Turtlefest. Erin was hoping to break the 30 minute mark. We headed towards the downtown Y and on the way realized Erin forgot her Garmin so we had to head back to the house to get it.
When we got to the Y we did a quick search of the crowd for people we knew. We saw a few acquaintances, but none of the people we hoped to see. While the kids races were going on Erin and I did a mile to warm up and when we got back to the starting area it had started to rain. Many of the participants huddled under a tent that had been set up for the race to avoid the rain. Erin and I headed just across the street to the parking ramp to get out of the rain and avoid the crowd.
A couple of minutes later the announcement was given to line up and we took up a position toward the back of the pack. Once the race started I hung back before crossing the starting line. It was chip timing and I wanted to have some room to run once I got going. It didn't take me long to catch back up to Erin and settling down into my planned pace. The route went south along seventh street and I started to pass a few people. I wondered if I was heading out too fast, but decided to stick to my plan. As I crossed 13th Ave. a guy had gotten out of his truck and was yelling at the volunteer blocking traffic. I think I heard him whine something to the effect of why does the route have to go here. I laughed with some of the other runners near me before continuing on.
When I passed the halfway point I thought to myself, "only a mile and a half left, I should be done in 20 minutes" It took a few seconds before I realized if this was the halfway point I could just look at how long I had been running and see how much longer it would take. I was relived when I saw I would only be running for another 12 minutes or so. I was huffing and puffing, but was still holding my pace. I wanted to slow down, but kept thinking about how soon this would all be over. When the route reached island park again I was happy to have some downhill to help keep the pace up, but I knew I would have to pay for it with some uphill just before the finish.
As I approached the last uphill there was a guy in front of me who looked like he was in good shape. He definitely wasn't breathing as hard as I was and I thought he would easily finish before me. As we went up the hill I kept gaining on him and moved off to the side to pass him. I thought for sure he would pass me just after turning the last corner, but he didn't. I looked up to see 25 minutes still on the clock and I dug deep to finish strong. As I passed the finish line I stopped the Garmin and staggered over to where volunteers were removing chips. After they cut mine off I grabbed some water and headed back along the course a little ways to wait for Erin. From where I was standing I had a good view of the course and of the clock. Right on schedule I saw her turn the corner and I let out a yell. As she ran past I gave another shout of encouragement and followed her to drop off her chip.
We had both met our goals, I had finished in 25:41 and Erin had come in around 29:14. Now we just need to recover before running the Hilsboro 10k on Thursday.