A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Race That's Good for Life 5K Race Report

These are my ladies. These are some of the ones in the running club who make me smile, who make me laugh, who make me strive to be the best runner I can be. They're some of the ones who encourage me and who tell me when I'm being too hard on myself. They're some of the ones that make running and racing with our club fun even when I don't run a perfect race.

Really, my main goal for this race was to run even splits. Preferably 8:00 minute miles. I didn't want to go out too fast and struggle at the end like I usually do during a 5K.

Note our new club tops. They have the logo on the back between the shoulder blades instead of on the front.

We did a 2.1 mile warm-up just to get the blood flowing. The temperature was much warmer than predicted and the rain they forecasted was nowhere to be found. I totally could have worn shorts and, as you can see, I ended up ditching my arm warmers before the race even started. I was a little worried, though, because the warm-up felt rough and when I tried to speed up it felt even rougher.

I am NOT a morning person. But I try.

When the gun went off I tried not to sprint out of the gate. I tried to find my happy 8:00 minute pace but it was eluding me. I managed to tough it out and finish the first mile in 8:03. Okay, pretty close. Not as easy as I would have liked, though.

The second mile went by in a blur as I struggled to hold onto my pace. When my Garmin beeped and said another 8:03 I thought "Yes!"

But I couldn't keep it there. I felt myself fading and when I glanced at my watch I saw paces between 8:15 and 8:30. I knew I had to pick it up. I swear I tried, but I just couldn't do it. It didn't help that on the straightaway to the finish the wind was blowing right into our faces and for the last quarter mile I felt like I was going to vomit.

I wasn't planning on sprinting to the finish. I wanted to just run steady. But when I saw the clock close in on 24:50 I wanted so badly to at least tie my 5K PR from February. So I tried to remember "fast feet" and picked up the pace.

I crossed what I thought was the finish line and hit "Stop" on my watch only to hear Helen yell, "NO! Keep running!" Turns out I'd crossed the preliminary mat designed to record our names, not the finish line mat designed to record our times. I hit "Start" and punched out the last few feet. Did I manage another PR?

Sadly, it was not to be. I finished in 25:01. Seven seconds slower than my PR. And while my first two miles were 8:03 even, my third was 8:12. So close but yet so far. When Jason found me panting at the finish line I'm not ashamed to admit I shed some tears into his coat. But then Coach Holly found me and told me I was allowed to be bummed for one hour and then I had to focus on the positives.

And there were some positives:

1. I didn't go out too fast.
2. I ran the first two miles at a dead even split meaning I have some ability to pace myself.
3. I set a personal course record by 22 seconds(last year's time was 25:23).
4. I learned that I need to be more disciplined and consistent in my running if I want to increase my endurance.

Some races leave you feeling exhilarated. Some leave you with lessons learned. This one was one of the latter. However, I also left with a few other things:

All female 5K finishers get a rose. I also won a free 1-hour massage and a tube of BioFreeze in the Volunteer Raffle

Official time: 25:01.8
Official average pace: 8:04
Overall place: 109/456
Age Group place: 20/76

Race That's Good For Life by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details