On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend I ran in the Stoneleigh Stampede 5k for the second year in a row. I knew going into this race that it wouldn’t be a PR day, as there were many things working against me. In fact, I almost didn’t run it at all (I signed up on race day).
This was one of my first runs in the heat. I was also suffering with allergies. However, I knew I would run and I honestly just wasn’t in the mood to go out and do my own run in my neighborhood. I figured a race would be more exciting and would force me to push through the heat.
I arrived at 7am when registration opened, but realized they didn’t have a credit card machine so I had to go to the ATM around the block to take out cash. I should have known this from last year but it just slipped my mind! I was still able to fit in a 3 mile warm up before the race started.
I felt pretty good during the warm up, especially because the neighborhood is really shaded. Well, it turns out it was shaded at 7:30 running on the sidewalks, but during the race when I was in the street the sun was beating down on me!
I lined up at 7:55 and had to squeeze my way up front. This race has alot of kids and they like to start in the front- which is fine except that it’s not chip timed. I started out slower than I would have liked due to some weaving. There are also alot of turns on this course as well as rolling hills.
There was nothing too remarkable about the actual race. My splits were 7:32, 7:24, and 7:13, and my watch actually measured the course a little short (I think I started my watch late so that may have been why). I had a strong kick at the end (which was a nice downhill) and passed a few other female runners during the last 1/4 mile. Official gun time was 22:35 for a 7:17 pace overall.
The heat was definitely the biggest factor for me in this race. It felt like 80 degrees at the start, and I think last year it was in the 50s. I ran about 8 seconds slower this year than last year, even though last year I was just getting back to running after an injury.
After the race I ran a 1 mile cool down and then got some food and water. I stuck around for the awards, but they only gave first place overall and age groups. Turns out I was second in my age group (which I found out later when I checked the results). The runner who got first in my age group ran 21 minutes, so I wasn’t even close!
Overall it was a good race and I was glad I got out there to push myself, even though I have had many better races. I have to get used to running in the heat at some point, right?!
Have you ever signed up for a race just because you didn’t feel like running your usual route?
What factors make racing the toughest for you?