Executive Summary: Finished in 26:03, good enough for a 42 second PR and 2nd place woman in the 30-39 AG. 15 seconds slower than Awood, who I had challenged a few days ago.
I am just about to start training for my first half marathon. But since I hadn’t raced or done any speedwork since September, I really had no idea where to start as far as pacing on the plan. So I decided to run a 5K as a quick fitness test just to see where I was. I ran this race without any extra RDs, and coming off my highest-mileage week ever.
But I did have some competition! I found out a few days ago that Awood was also planning to run a different 5K the same day. Our PRs were within 10 seconds of each other, and he has also seriously bumped up his mileage lately (more than I have!). So I decided to issue a friendly challenge to see who would have the better time today. I figured that anything that encouraged both of us to run just a little bit faster on race day would be a good thing!
That turned out to be lots of fun. There was lots of interest in the penguin thread the last few days, and it was a nice diversion. We both agreed to run by feel, without GPS, and I also agreed not to peek at his time until my race was over.
Today was cold, rainy, and a bit windy. There was even snow this morning up just a bit higher than where I live. I had to wait until 4:30 for the race to start, but I had a pretty busy day early on. Then on the way to the race, I got rear ended! I was so relieved when I got out of my car and saw that there was no damage at all!
The race started and ended at a gym. I pulled up, and it was maybe 37 degrees, pouring rain, and windy! Yikes- I am going to race in this? Luckily the race came with a free two-week trial membership to the gym, so I decided to take it so that I could do my warm up on the treadmill. I ran two easy miles, accelerating up to race pace in the last .25.
By the time the race started, the weather had improved. The rain was pretty light and the wind had died down.
Mile 1: It was a small race so there wasn’t much of a bottleneck at the start. This was good because the first half mile or so was on the golf cart path through a golf course, and it was fairly narrow. There were quite a few turns, big puddles, and a slippery bridge, too. Luckily everything was very well marked and they even had brought in some lights for the path.
I spent the first half mile wondering WTF I had been thinking. Somehow I managed to simultaneously think that I was going to crash and burn and not even finish and that I sucked and was going so slowly that I was going to turn in a personal worst time or something. Then I realized that I was breathing too hard to be running slowly, so I must be doing OK on that front.
I was feeling pretty ragged already and was getting passed. Finally I thought to loosen up, run more upright, and relax my shoulders. That made such a big difference! I re-passed some of the people who had passed me.
We came out of the golf course and into a neighborhood. It was a beautiful neighborhood with nice wide streets and lots of decorations. Some people had come out into their driveways to cheer us on.
Mile 2: Just kept going, pretty much holding my own and I think holding a pretty even pace. I had been hoping to pick it up in this mile but was already feeling fatigued, so settled for what felt like even. The course was a loop, so there was no halfway point marked.
Mile 3: We hit the 2 mile marker and were headed back towards the golf course. This mile took much more of an effort. A couple had passed me in mile two that I had been hanging on to for a while, but they got ahead of me here. There was a pack just behind me that I managed to gradually pull away from, though. My legs were hurting and my breathing was super ragged, but I knew I was almost there! The way back through the golf course was easier with much less traffic. I thought about my challenge to Awood and did my best to pick it up now that I knew I was getting close! Right before the end of the mile, I got my photo taken by a photographer that I hadn’t even seen because it had gotten dark. I’m pretty sure he caught me mid-grimace. We’ll have to see if they post those!
Last 0.1: I know that I can kick for much longer than this at the end of my easy runs, but I didn’t have a kick in me today. Although maybe if I’d known I just needed 4 more seconds for 25: XX or 15 more seconds to tie Awood that would have helped? I finally managed to kick once I actually could see the finish line, so a bit of a cop out, really. I crossed the line with an official time of 26:03, 43 seconds faster than my previous PR.
Post race: They had a nice set up in the gym after the race. They had chili, coffee, hot chocolate, water, and Gatorade, plus prizes for costumes and door prizes. I was really happy with how this race was organized and would definitely run one of their events again.
I ended up with 2nd place in the female 30-39 age group, and got a mug and a framed certificate- nice! That’s my first AG placement other than one race I ran that was so small they only gave out overall awards.
Here’s a picture of my swag. The santa hat and hot chocolate were in the packet, the mug and certificate were from the AG award.
This was a lot of fun after the jitters of the first half mile were over. I also want to thank Awood for being a good sport and playing along with the challenge. We will have to have a rematch down the road, I think!
Started C25K Feb. 2012! First 5K 5/1/12 32:00
Current PRs: 5K: 26:03 12/15/12 10K: 58:32 9/23/12
10M: 1:26:15 3/16/13 HM:1:56:00 4/14/13
Loved the swag in photo. 2nd place AG award and and a PR in those conditions deserve an "Atta Girl!"
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot
U Run 10K - 24 Feb (47:21)
2XU HM - 31 Mar (1:48:44)
JP Morgan 5.6K - 18 Apr (30:14)
Sundown HM - 31 May
Bali HM - 16 Jun
King of the Road 16.8K - 11 Aug
Newton 32K - 20 Oct
Congrats on the PR and AG award!
Secret: if you adjust for gender, you might have won this competition. Shhhh.
DamarisMarathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
PRs: 24:57 (5K); 51:25 (10K); 42:46 (5 Miles); 2:04:31 (HM); 4:34:09 (Marathon); 8:00 (Trail 50K)
Next: San Francisco Marathon * Chicago Marathon * MCM * Ft. Myers Beach Marathon * Philadelphia Marathon * Space Coast Marathon * WPB Marathon
Damaris Runs with Asthma
Danger makes me hungry
Nice job and congrats on the PR! Good point you made about relaxing your shoulders - sounds like you are in tune with your body.
Moving forward one step at a time :-)
Congrats Melanie !!! Great PR. I have that cold weather shoulder problem too. we'll haveto discuss some more.
First HM: Covenant Health Knoxville HM 4/7/2013 2:24 PR
Second HM: North Shore HM, Highland Park, IL 6/2
Smaller By The Day
Our race was very cool, but after seeing what you came home with, and hearing about the food situation, I think your race sounds better.
Blueberry Stomp 5K (9/12) - 31:02
Feel The Learn 5K (10/12) - 26:58
Indianapolis Monumental HM (11/12) - 2:03:56
Run For The Heart 5K (12/12) - 25:48:48
Valpo Valentine's Day 5K (2/13) - 24:45:08
Chi Town HM (3/24/13) - 01:54:07.2
Dart For The Arts 10K (4/13/13) - 48:59
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (11/02/13) -
Feets don't fail me now
YAY Mel!! Congratulations on an awesome race!! You ran it really well and should be really proud of your PR. You and awood are very well matched and I can't wait to see how you both keep improving!!
Congrats on a great race! Love that you and Awood had a competition going! Enjoy your new PR - I'm sure that with all your running, you'll smash this one quickly!
But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.
Great job. Sounds like a great day. And congrats on the AG awards!
Way to go Zel! Congrats on the PR and AG award!
5k 19:26 4/27/13 - 10k 41:35 1/15/13 - 20k 1:24:55 2/23/13 - HM 1:28:10 3/17/13
Upcoming - ERR 10K 5/25 - OK5K 6/8 - MS 5K 7/30 - Strider Mile 8/17 - RnR HM 9/1
Cograts on the AG place and PR. That was a close race, I can just picture the two of you sprinting together towards the finish, so fun, and so close. I like the swag too. I won a coffee mug once, it gets used all the time.
Thank you everyone! Awood- our races were very similar! We even both had the slippery wooden bridge, although it sounds like that part of mine was much shorter than yours was. And no Santa ambulances.
Nicely done! And the friendly competition was a great touch. The Santa hat is much better than some dumb race shirt.
running is my prozac
Great job! Super speedy penguin! Congrats on the AG placement
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