Today I ran the first race in the Winter Cross Country Series presented by the Memphis Runners Track Club. The first race was a 3K trail run. Last year was the first time I did this series, so I had a time goal I wanted to beat. Last Year's time was my goal! Last year I finished it in 17:08, so I had a better idea of how to run this race.
At the start, we all ran into a problem because someone started up at the front of the group with their kid. The kid tripped or something and went down and the parent tried to grab/protect and almost got trampled. So, if you are reading this and want your kid to run with you, that's cool and all, but please, start in the back!
Anyways, I knew I could start off faster than I normally would because we ran through a big field for the first 1/4 mile or more before we hit the actual trail. Once in the woods, it was very difficult to pass people, I felt like I was in NASCAR picking my spots to pass. It got pretty bad in a couple of spots and we bottle necked and pretty much came to a stop. I knew this would happen, so it gave me some time to catch my breath after starting as fast as I did. It eventually opened up and we were able to get into a good pace.
I did not run with my Garmin or iPod. I wanted to really beat my time from last year and I did not want to be looking at my pace the whole time, so I was glad I left them at home and just went with the old stopwatch.
Anyways, here is the good news. I set a new PR on this race by 1:08. I finished in 16 minutes flat! (I really wished I had hit under 16) I was 17th out of 44 in my AG and 195th out of 750 Overall! So I can say I brought it! Nice way to start off the new year!
P.S. I really think the marathon has helped my running because after running a marathon, a 3k seems kind of silly and no reason that I should not push it!