As I shared in yesterday’s weekly recap, on Saturday I ran a last minute 5k. I had been looking to do a 5k to see where my fitness was, and this one seemed like a good option. I signed up on Friday afternoon, the day before the race!
The race didn’t start until 10 am which seemed very late. However, I had to drive about 45 minutes to get there, plus pick up my bib, so I figured a later time wasn’t so bad. (Initially I thought it was a 35 minute drive, so I am glad I planned some extra time in there!)
On Saturday morning I woke up early and did some blogging. Around 7:00 I had breakfast, which was bigger than usual before a run because I would have so much time before actually starting the race. I had a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and scrambled eggs. Along with water and coffee.
A little after 8:00 I started the drive to the race. I told Rob to stay behind since he didn’t want to run and this was a long trip for him to cheer for just a 5k. I’m glad he didn’t come since it ended up taking so long!
I got to the park where the race was being held a little before 9. Picking up my bib wasn’t too hard, although the registration from the day before hadn’t processed, so they just checked my confirmation on my phone and assigned me a bib. I went back to my car to warm up for a bit.
The weather there was chillier than I expected and pretty windy. Not as windy as other days this month, but not ideal for running. It was around 30 degrees, with a real feel of around 25, and no sun. I stayed warm in my car until 9:30 when I ate a honey stinger waffle and headed out for my warm up.
I ran a mile and a half, part of which was on the race course, and used the bathroom. Knowing the race was supposed to start soon, I started heading over to the starting line. However, no one was there. I noticed a long line where I had picked up my bib earlier. I wandered around trying to figure out what was going on. Eventually a bunch of us started walking over to the start line. We were directed to line up, 5kers first, with the 10kers all the way in the back. (They would start after us).
A few minutes after 10:00, one of the announcers asked us to be patient as we waited for more runners to make there way over. Eventually a race director came over and explained that the race had grown this year from 200 participants in past years to over 500 participants. They were not prepared for that number of runners and were trying to get through the line of people registering and picking up bibs.
I think we were all as understanding as possible, but it was COLD! And at this point I felt like my warm-up went out the window. When we finally started running, it was 10:27.
Knowing it was a smaller race, I started pretty far up front. Unfortunately the long wait put me in a pretty bad mindset from the start. I knew we would be running on a narrow path, so my goal was to run fast enough early on to not get boxed in.
The first mile was mostly downhill, but I knew I was in trouble when I felt tired pretty much right away. I think I started out at around a 7:10 pace but by the time I finished mile 1 my average pace was 7:24. Not bad, but not good for how tired I was feeling.
Mile 2 had a short, steep downhill. I was constantly worried we would have to run back up the same hill or something similar. Luckily, we had longer, less steep hills to get us back into the park.
I was pretty sure there was 1 lead female runner pretty far ahead of me, with 2 others right near me. We all took turns taking the lead. I managed to pass them both towards the end, which was actually on some of those final hills. Even though I was tired it made me feel like my hill training is paying off.
Right around the 3 mile mark I felt like I was going to throw up. It was frustrating to be so exhausted and knowing I was working so hard, but my pace was just not where I would have expected for that effort. I was happy to cross that finish line and be done.
I ran another mile to cool down, and headed back to my car to warm up. I wanted to stick around for awards, but debated just starting the drive back. A few minutes later the announcer said they posted the awards, so I checked them out and saw I was 3rd female. One of the girls I had passed had started behind me, and awards were based on chip times, not gun time. (I feel like usually they go by gun time for awards, which I never quite understood. I was 100% fine with her getting second because she ran the race faster than me!)
We kept hearing that the awards would be starting soon…but it took awhile. Luckily they did overall male and then overall female so it went pretty quick to get to my name. I won a beer mug, a free entry to next year’s race, a free car wash, and a $10 gift card to Walmart! Not too shabby. Although I live too far away to really take advantage of the car wash. I guess if I run it next year maybe I will plan to stop on my way back!
Oh, so here are my stats:
Mile 1: 7:26
Mile 2: 7:47
Mile 3: 7:42
Last .1: 6:39 pace
Total (official) time: 23:51
17th finisher overall
I know that I could list a whole bunch of excuses why I couldn’t run this faster. (Wind, cold, late start time, a hard week of training, etc.) I think I just get frustrated because I keep comparing my times to how I could run pre-injury. Back then I was able to run 5ks 1-2 minutes faster in similar conditions. I could even run a 10k or half at a similar pace!
At this point I feel like I’ve been back to running for a long enough time that I would expect to see better results. Maybe age is a factor? Or the fact that I run less mileage now? I’m trying not to worry about it too much. I mean, I said this was just a starting point to work from. On the other hand, maybe I just wasn’t meant to run 5ks. I think longer distances come much easier to me!
[Tweet “Check out the Lucky Leprechaun 5k Race Recap from @milebymilerun @tuesdaysontherun #5k #races”]
How do you feel about races starting much later than planned?
Have you ever gotten slower in any distances?
What is the farthest distance you would drive for a short race?