Last Thursday night I ran my fifth “Pickle Run,” a goofy, lighthearted, prediction-style 5K organized by the local race-timing organization, Run The Day. Thursday’s “Pickle in the Streets” 5K was hosted by the Garden City Fire Company in Wallingford, PA and the course wound through the wonderfully flat neighborhoods around the fire house.
Pickle Runs are supposed to be fun and laid back. I have to admit, however, that I had been putting some major pressure on myself going into Thursday’s race. Thursday was my chance to see if I had broken out of the running slump that seemed to dominate my summer. Unfortunately, this race was a prediction run with no mile markers and no watches allowed, so I had to wait until the very last seconds of the race to get any feedback regarding how I was running.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would submit as my predicted finish time. Should I go big with my PR time of 23:25? Or set the bar low with my slump-inducing, last 5K finish time of 24:56 from May?? I finally settled on what was hopefully a realistic number: 23:41, my exact time from this race last year.
Thursday night arrived in fantastic form with low humidity and temperatures in the low 70s. I don’t think I’ve raced in weather that nice since April! Feeling naked without my trusty Garmin, I toed the start line with 111 other Picklers and we were off at 7PM sharp. (Or maybe a few minutes late… but no one cared because it’s a Pickle Run!) 😄
I stayed with the crowd and set off running, happy to finally be on my way to discovering how I would fare in an end-of-summer 5K. The course had just taken a gentle left turn down a neighborhood street when suddenly everyone started yelling and I watched the leaders turn around and run back towards me… we had all taken a wrong turn! Luckily I hadn’t gone very far off course so it wasn’t a big deal. (The guys in the front had it much worse!) I’m still confused as to whether it was a prank (you know, because it’s a Pickle Run), or an honest mistake. Either way, we were all back on the correct road within a few seconds so this mishap really just helped to break up the first mile.
After what felt like 3 miles of hard running I finally turned back onto the main road that the fire house was on. I picked up my pace, sure that the finish would come into sight soon, only to watch in dismay as the runners in front of me turned back into the winding neighborhood streets. I guess we hadn’t actually run 3 miles yet, crap! I begrudgingly followed the course back onto the smaller streets for another few blocks of twists and turns until finally we emerged back on the main road “for real” and approached the finish.
As I ran towards the line I squinted to see the clock time. At first I thought it was ticking away in the 25’s (BOO!!) but then as I got closer realized that I was seeing 23’s… YES!!
My official chip time for Thursday’s race was 23:40, a single second faster than my haphazard prediction time. Crazy!! My close prediction earned me a googly-eyed “pickle” prize and, most importantly, helped me realize that I am, apparently, on track to be just fine this fall. After a tough summer that’s a HUGE relief!!
Matt and I celebrated by going out to dinner in nearby Media, PA at the newly opened Sterling Pig Brewery. Yum! A great finish to a very satisfying day. 😄
Miles since last post:66.9
Days since last post: 14
2015 MILES: 1146.3
• August ’15: Boxcar Mile (8/13)
• June ’15: Media 5 Mile (6/19)
• May ’15: Broad Street 10 Mile Run (5/3) [10M PR], Rocky Run Trail 5K (5/15), Victory 5K (5/17)
• April ’15: Tyler Trail 10K (4/11) [10K PR], Empower the Children 5K (4/18), Haverford Twilight 5K (4/26) [5K PR]
• March ’15: Athlete’s Closet March 5K (3/7), St. Pat’s 5K (3/14), Granogue Trail 10K (3/21), Pickle Run #3 (3/28)
• February ’15: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/7), Pickle Trail Run #2 (2/21)
• January ’15: SRA New Year’s Day 5K (1/1), Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/3), Pickle Run #1 (1/17)
• December ’14: Jingle Elf 2 Mile (12/5) [2M PR], Brian’s Run 5 Miler (12/7) [5M PR], Athlete’s Closet Holiday 5K (12/14)
• November ’14: Trinity Berwyn 5K (11/1) [5K PR], Metal Run 5K (11/8), Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/27)
• October ’14: Martin’s Run 5K (10/5), Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/18), Bark in the Park 5K (10/25)
• September ’14: Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13), Run A Muck Trail Race (9/20), Haverford Township 5K (9/27)
• August ’14: Riddlewood 5K (8/3), Radnor Red Steeplechase (8/17), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28) [5K PR]
• July ’14: Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10), Swarthmore Independence Eve 8K (7/18) [5M PR]
• June ’14: Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1), Media 5 Miler (6/20)
• May ’14: Elwyn 5K (5/3), Run for Victory 5K (5/18) [5K PR], Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30)
• April ’14: Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3), Rick’s Run 5K (4/19), St. Tim’s 5K (4/26)
• March ’14: Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1), Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30)
• February ’14: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1)
• January ’14: Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4)
• December ’13: Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14), New Year’s Eve YMCA 5K (12/31) [5K PR]
• November ’13: Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2), Turkey Trot 5K (11/28)
• October ’13: Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19), Oy Vey 5K (10/27) [5K PR]
• September ’13: Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)