Yesterday I ran in my first NC race. It was the NC 5K championships...and it also catered to first-time 5kers and had a kids mile, so it was an 800 person event. It was a very well-organized affair. The course circled Wake Forest's sports complex and had a steep downhill first mile and an uphill 1.5 miles smack in the middle. I thought the course was challenging due to the hills (it was thankfully only 80 degrees, down from higher temps earlier in the day) but I was quickly put in my place post-race when I heard that this is one of the flattest and fastest courses in the area. That is telling-it is HILLY around here!!!
The race had a gun start and chip timed finish so I made sure to start far enough up in the corral (a few steps ahead of the sub-20 sign) and on the best side of the tangent. With the huge downhill I allowed myself to run a 6 minute first mile (passing a lot of people), held it together for mile two (a little slower; a lot more painful; still passing people), and suffered through mile 3 (I don't think I was passed; I passed one guy). The last 600 meters Justin started yelling at me that the 11th place woman was gaining on me and I somehow picked it up. At the 3 mile mark there was a clock still in the 18:5Xs and that was AWESOME to see and I was extra motivated to get in and get my PR. I finished with a 19:31, a 9 second PR. So, yay! I wasn't eligible for USATF awards b/c you need to be a 1 year resident of NC, but I did pretty well and I feel good about my running given how gross I was feeling about myself post-business trip (lots of running but also too much food).
So at my new job no one except for the people who interviewed me knew anything about me except I'm an athlete. For example, no one knew I was an attorney or what I did at my previous job, but they were like, "So I heard you run." That's a lot of pressure to not be a slug!
As far as running around where I live...it's okay. There have been a few attacks on local trails and my area has a slightly bad reputation. J4 and I haven't had a chance to fully explore yet b/c of our respective business trips over the past two weeks (I enjoyed running in California while I was away though-60 degrees and no humidity!!), but we'll figure it out. I can definitively say though, home is very hilly!!!