i am convinced that the world is against me when it comes to running a 5k for a legit time on a legit course. all i want to do is break 18 minutes on the road. i really thought today was going to be the day...
in sum, the race was a fiasco. fun, but a fiasco. but i sort of expected it to be that way -- i picked a very small 5k in pleasant grove because the course appeared to be unaided and accurate. that is really all i was looking for. i saw catherine and eric (aka faceless ghost) at the start. we were all in for a fun morning.
it ended up that the course was not marked in any way and there were multiple street crossings sans traffic control. it is a good thing i was wearing my bright crossing guard colored shirt, because i was forced to be my own traffic director at multiple times during the race. at one point i literally put my hand out in front of a truck and pointed to my bib number as i crossed the street. he was totally annoyed at me, and he had every right to be, but what else was i going to do?
i ran completely alone for the most part. eric and another guy went out fast and i lost sight of them on the turns. luckily there was a guy close enough behind me that knew the course and shouted at me when i went off course. in total i made two wrong turns and had to come to a complete stop twice to wait for cars, totally shattering my rhythm and momentum. at the finish, i turned up the wrong street and couldn't see the finish line anywhere. i yelled out to a lady (who oddly enough was cheering me on), and asked where the finish line was. at this point she stopped clapping and told me i was on the wrong street. ha! perfect. i rounded the next corner and saw the finish clock at 18:14 and was very surprised. i didn't have much of a kick -- by that time my heart was no longer in the race. i was just confused and stressed [i was seriously concerned for the safety of the runners -- the lack of traffic control was quite dangerous].
even with the wrong turns, the course was within .01 of being the correct length, so i will take it as a PR. however, i am left wondering how much faster i could have gone if i didn't have to make the multiple stops and awkward, momentum-crushing pivots on the turn arounds. i will never know exactly how much time was lost for that, so it looks like i am again left with some unfinished business in the 5K. it never ends.