Will Run for Waffles
Summary: Gun time 24:25, 6/42 OA, 3/24 Women, 2/4 AG, on an uncertified course.
I injured myself in my April HM, and took most of the spring and summer to recover. But my training has been going well lately, and I’m working towards my second HM in November. I decided that I wanted to try a 5K, since my PR (26:03) is from last December, and that’s an eternity for a beginning runner.
I chose the race mostly because of the date and location. I don’t need to take off from work to do a Sunday race. The race itself was a small local race to benefit the local Celtic dance group.
I decided on a goal of 24:45. Even with an injured knee, my HM pace was in the 8’s. So I really wanted to see a “7” in front of my pace for a 5K. This isn’t totally random, since I’ve been doing some track workouts based on a VDOT of 38.3 (from my best race so far, last March). Those track workouts have gone really well.
The weather forecast called for rain and thunderstorms, but it was only really overcast and 70 degrees at the start. It did rain during my warmup.
First mile: The start itself was really nice. Small races have some advantages! I try to settle in to what my Garmin says is a 7:59 pace, and it starts feeling awful after the first half mile. WTF? I got a side stitch, and my pace was slipping. By the end of the first mile, my watch says I’m running closer to tempo pace than 5K pace. I just try to focus on putting forth the best effort that I have today. Maybe I can still PR, though my goal is clearly out of reach.
I realize that I haven’t run a single tempo mile since probably March. I’ve only been back to speed work for 3 weeks, and I’ve been going to the group track workouts since they’re a lot of fun. But since I only do speedwork once a week, that means that I haven’t done any tempo miles. The longest I’ve had to hold a pace has been 1000m. I decide that must be my problem.
My watch says that I ran mile 1 in 8:19.
Second mile: This is not getting any better, although my side stitch went away around here. The leader runs back by me, and I pass the turnaround. I’ve been pretty much on my own since I passed a couple a half mile in, but now I’m gradually gaining on a girl in front of me who has her name on the back of her shirt and her arm in a purple bandage.
Garmin time for mile 2 – 8:34
Third mile: OK, I tell myself, maybe I’m just running tempo pace today, but surely I can hit the 7’s for the last mile. I’m almost done, right? Push the pace. It starts to feel really hot. I feel like I am trying to breathe shower air, and I fantasize about how nice it would feel to take my calf sleeves off. On the other hand, I’m going to catch purple arm girl.
We pass the final turn and now it’s just a straight run back to the finish. I catch purple arm girl and she says something encouraging as I pass. But I’m only maybe 20 second faster when she comes on with a surge! Maybe she heard my breathing as I went by? It is a good tactic on her part, I can’t match her. Then some guy zooms by both of us from out of nowhere. After the race, I saw that purple arm girl is only 17. So of course she had the legs to get by me!
I can see the finish and try to kick, but there’s nothing left. I am picturing the clock turning over past 26. I get there, and it’s saying 24-something. What? Too tired to think, keep running.
In the chute, I stopped my watch, and only then realized that I hadn’t felt the beep yet for mile 3. My watch is saying 2.94 miles for the course.
Garmin pace for “mile 3”- 8:02
Post race: So now I don’t know if the race was a great success or a total disaster! I know I gave it the best that I had for the day, but I don’t know if I hit that 7: XX pace that I was wanting or not. My husband, who works in the industry, says that the satellite coverage, and their position relative to the horizon, can change day to day, and that cloud coverage can be a factor. Plus the course goes under 5 bridges each way. Also, all of my Garmin times for my runs that day were off- the number on the screen showed as much slower than my perceived effort all day long.
I made the map for this race public, if anybody wants to check it out. It doesn’t look so bad zoomed out, but when you zoom in, it shows me cutting every corner. Is that enough to add up to the .15 mile that I supposedly didn’t cover? I don’t know.
I have a 10K in two weeks on a certified course with mile markers. So I will probably get some answers as far as where I am, fitness-wise, there. And no matter what the finish time was, this was a good practice for getting back into racing for me.
Plus I won stuff! For being 3rd OA woman, I got a pint glass and a free massage appointment! I got a “kiss me I’m Irish” necklace for the AG award, and the goody bag had coconut hazelnuts! Yum! Oh, and did I mention the free beer? Not too bad for a $20 race! Hopefully they made some money for their efforts.
PRs: 5K: 26:03 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02
I'd probably ask around to see what other folks had for mileage. Also, you can search for the route and activity on Garmin Connect. Even though it's a small event, there had to be other Garmins in that race. I checked USTAF's website and it doesn't look like that course was certified.
No matter the distance, your placement is your placement. Nice race, Zelanie! Pretty sweet swag, too. I want those coconut hazelnuts!
Novice Ultra Runner
Uncertified course? Any idea how other courses laid out by the RD or timing company compare? A lot of the 5Ks I run are uncertified, but I know the company that times them also wheel measures all of them so I trust them. Without corroborating evidence I'd assume the course was short. Regardless, finishing 3rd OA shows you've come a long way over the past year.
2013 Goals: Mile - 7:45 (SB 7:53.74); NC24 12-Hr (completed 49.6 miles)
I've actually run this course before, for my first sub-30 5K last year. But now I can't remember whether the starting line was in the same spot or maybe up the block a bit. This company did do another race I ran last year with a short course. So maybe I will keep that in mind in the future.
I did ask around after the race, and the only other person who had a watch on couldn't find satellites. The guy who won (in 20:19) says he's usually closer to 21:00. It was his first win, so he was happy but wondering what race all the fast people must have done instead!
Great job Melenie! You can only run the course in front of you that day, and your field placements show you ran a really strong race.
Not my usual look
Yeah, I'd say accurate information is not something you got that day, but the other swag is pretty sweet, and well-earned. WTG!
You'll get the info you're looking for in that 10K instead.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.
Is it possible for you to run this course again as a training run and see what distance you get then? That's what I would try to do, if feasible.
Like you said it is real practice for racing and you got some cool prizes there, great job!
I wouldn't trust and uncertified course but that does not mean the Garmin is correct either. Use mapmyrun and base it upon the courseas you see it in your garmin (without the cut corners) and see what distance it says.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
Next: Counting time until surgery
Damaris Runs with Asthma
Regardless of the course, you ran a strong race and finished 3rd OA woman, great job! Nice race swag as well. Thanks for sharing the RR and pics.
I would not worry over it too much. Of the dozen events I have run this year, the course lengths, official times, and the Garmin have been all over the place.
My official time from one 10k even had me running a sub-40:00!
If you race enough, you will see just about every variation in course length/official time and most if not all of them will not jive with your watch. But short courses seem to happen more frequently than anything.
As it is you have done great in your progress this year, and should be proud of your performance and your continued improvement despite the setbacks!
"When the gun goes off, everything changes... the world changes... and nothing else really matters!"
I agree with ranking being more important than the exact distance. 3rd overall woman is something to be proud of! Congratulations!
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
Mwah, ha, ha, ha...
Awesome race, Melanie! Congrats on your placements!
PRs: 5K - 27:43, 10K - 57:14, HM - 2:06:18, FM - 5:22:42
~How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were supposed to be?~
Smaller By The Day
Great job either way! I better keep training hard now that you're healthy. You might catch me yet.
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013
St. Jude's Hero Profile
Melanie, awesome run. I think you are just too fast for the regular GPS satellites. Maybe you should upgrade to NASA GPS.
First HM: Covenant Health Knoxville HM 4/2013 2:24
Second HM: North Shore HM, Highland Park, IL 6/2013 2:20
Third HM: Hard Rock HM, Nashville, TN 11/2013 2:20
Next Race: Michelob Ultra Miami HM ???
Trust yourself! Before all the tech people just lined up and raced from here to there.
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