I ran the Aliens vs. Astronauts 5K on Saturday morning as the culmination of my post-pregnancy Couch to 5K effort. I’m not sure how long this race has been around but it was my first time doing it. It started/finished at NASA JSC’s Gilruth Center (the space center’s gym and events venue) so I was VERY familiar with the course — when I lived a mile away from JSC from 2002-2008, I ran the Gilruth trail a couple times per week!
After some pretty warm weather last week, things cooled down a bit on Friday night and when the race started at 9:00 it was about 60 degrees outside. However, it was also VERY windy. The wind was strong enough to be an obstacle for the first half of the race since we were all running into it, but then the course changed direction and the wind was blocked by a forested area, so the second half was better.
I started out slow and steady and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I had MapMyRun going on my phone, and it measured 3.24 miles in 36:56. It obviously measured a little long, and I didn’t get a chance to stop the timer until 10-20 seconds after I’d crossed the line, so we’ll call it 5K in ~36:45. (I think official results are supposed to be posted at some point, but I haven’t found them yet.)
The mile splits my phone recorded are probably a little off too, but they’re close enough that I can say the third mile was my fastest and the second mile was my slowest. (The second mile is where the headwind was strongest.)
That’s slow, I know. But I ran the whole way without walking! That was the goal all along. I can work on speed later if I want, but right now it’s just not something I’m concerned about. I loved being out there in a race setting again, but I also loved not worrying about pace. I had enough left in the tank to hold off that guy in white shirt that you can see in the photos above. Ha! Even when slow, I still don’t want anyone sneaking past me at the end!
Jose and the girls came along too, so I had one of my biggest fans waiting very excitedly to greet me the moment I crossed the finish line. Seeing and hearing your kid cheer for you is seriously one of the best things ever.
Hooray for a successful race!