If I Ran the Zoo… or Through it

I ran the Zoo 5K on Saturday!

After I found out I got into the NYCM, I wanted to run a 5K and just kind of see where I’m starting at. I’m not a total beginner, but I’m pretty close. So I signed up for the first 5K I could, the Phx Zoo which sounded like a fun race so I signed up last week!

I worked another 12 hour shift Friday night, got off at 6 AM and ran over to QT to down an energy drink. The race was set to start at 8 AM but that’s my usual bedtime so I was tired. But it was a beautiful day, great weather and I just wanted to do a nice 3  mile tempo run.

zoo start

I did zero research about the course when I signed up for this thing! There were only a few hundred runners out this morning and a lot of people seemed like this was a) their first 5K b) they had no intention of running and it was more of a leisurely walk through the desert. I’m always happy to see runners and racers and wanted to support them but this course was narrow! It was only about 4 feet wide in a lot of places so when the gun went off we bottle necked through the start line and it was very slow going till we finally got a little more spaced out.

That’s where the nice tempo run I had planned turned into a HILL run. There were a TON of short but steep hills all throughout the course. I think I ran up 100 hills. I mean look at this beast:

hilks

With all these up and down spurts and general welcome back to activity, I started to get a side stitch so I just focused on my breath. Breathe in for 3 steps, breathe out of 2. Over and over and over. 1 2 3 4 5. It helped!

elev

Doesn’t even do it justice!
I was a tiny bit happy because I need to train hills since NYCM is notoriously uphill with all the bridges but that’s a whole different kind of hill. But it is nice to know I can come back to this path on some future non crowded day for another hill training run. When I’ll be more prepared.

zoo course

I still was hoping for a neg split but I forgot to turn my tracker off once I passed the finish line. So between that and the slow slow slow start, my numbers are definitely skewed.

splits

After the race, we all got free entry into the zoo. I really wanted to go but it was coming up on 9am and I had to work Saturday night. So instead I ran over to Genuine Fresche and grabbed a pitaya smoothie. It totally hit the spot!

 

 

pitaya