Shenandoah Riverfront 5 mile race

What a gorgeous, temperate morning along the riverfront in Shenandoah, VA.

Shane and I rose early since we had a 30 minute drive to the start line. Super pumped, can’t you see?
Lucky #23! There were 60 participants total. 
What a nice, small, local VA race. This marks race #14 for me, and Shane’s #2. He  enjoyed this one much more than the Love the Run You’re With race in February. It might’ve had something to do with the fact that the Feb race was 12 degrees vs. 75 degrees along a river…
I loved that this race was locally sponsored. No national sponsors, no commercials, just local VA people coming together to support one another. We were one of two groups from Maryland, but one of the local residents spent some of her life in Galena, MD! So close to home…

We ran 5 miles along the Shenandoah River. Five hilly miles. The Baltimore 10 miler had nothing on these hills. I might even venture to say that this 5 mile race was my most challenging race to date. The distance is fine, I have no issues running 5 miles, but the hills were killer!

Though this was more of a relaxing destination race for me, I’m always interested in a PR time. And…I did PR! By a huge margin — my best 5 mile race (and only other…) before this was Al’s Run, with a finish time of 47:20. The Shenandoah Riverfront race time was 42:37. Almost 5 minutes faster!!!

Here are the splits:
Mile 1: 8:33
Mile 2: 8:34
Mile 3: 9:25
Mile 4: 8:50
Mile 5: 8:05

I calculate all time using the Nike+GPS app on my iPhone. The GPS is sometimes spotty, but it catches up. While I’m running, it gives me a good indication of my pace and time. I’ve loved using it for races this year!

Mile 3 was the toughest (see the crazy change in time?). It was uphill, then a right turn, more uphill, then a left turn and uphill around a bend. Physically, I felt fine, but mentally, it totally threw me for a loop. I even started breathing shallowly, which messed me up for that entire mile.

But I recovered quickly, thanks to Shane being there and offering encouragement (he ran the whole thing with me, but I know he could’ve raced much faster).

The last mile was speedy, and felt amazing. There was a section of it down a hill, and then at one point, I could see the finish cones. I made a mad dash for the finish. I love sprinting to the end – it’s my favorite part of a race. No matter the distance, no matter how tired I feel, I get this rush of adrenaline that carries me through the finish.

Shane and I even won some of the door prizes from local businesses! I got this LED light and Shane won a steering wheel cover and other accessories for the car. Silly and sweet!

Each time I run a race, my love for running is reaffirmed. What a wonderful, challenging, and exhilarating sport! I hope to be able to run for years and years.
{Next race: 10 miler in Annapolis in August!}
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