Saturday, October 27, 2012

Race Report - Pumpkins in the Park 5k

I ran another 5k this morning.  Yet another attempt in my 2012 quest to run one in under 30 minutes.  I had been unsuccessful all year:
  • Flying Pig 5k - 32:51
  • CDR 5k - 31:29
  • Pumpkin Run 5k - 32:02
  • Spooktacular Scott Teays 5k - 31:06
I was beginning to think it was never going to happen; that I had given up speed in exchange for distance.  They say that long slow distance makes long slow runners.  Don't know about the long part (although I'm fairly tall, I think I'd be that way anyway, running or no ;-) ), but the slow part is pretty accurate.  I know, I know, speed and slowness are relative to the runner.  My slow is another runner's fast; my fast is another runner's slow. But however you look at it, as I've spent 2012 training for 2 half marathons (one in April, one in 2 weeks) and for the 60 mile Komen walk, my pace has slowed down and my 5k time went from 29:17 (my PR) in Dec 2011 to 32:51 in May 2012 (actually not my PW - that would be 36:something in Sept 2009). 

At the beginning of the year, fresh off the 29:17 PR, I set a goal for 2012 to get under 27 minutes before the end of the year.  I thought it would be easy. But as the year progressed, and reality set in, I've revised that goal - it now stands at finishing in under 29 minutes before the end of the year IF I could meet the goal of once again being under 30.  One minute at a time, right?

So I set out this morning for another attempt.  It was a cool, damp, grey and kind of dismal morning.  But I did my best to cheer it up by wearing my super fun green sparkle skirt and some rather awesome black and white striped tights.  I was wearing fun clothes, therefore the race was going to be fun.  Who can have a bad day while wearing awesome striped tights?  Not this girl!

I was totally relaxed and had no real expectations for the race, other than to finish (finishing under 30 would just be icing on the cake; after so many "failed" attempts, I'd given up on pressuring myself).  The race itself was also fairly relaxed; it was a popsicle stick race so there were  no numbers and no chips - you just run and grab a stick as you cross the finish line. 

I found a good position for the start and started well, with a good, but maybe slightly fast, pace.  I took a peak at the Garmin and was kind of surprised at how easy the pace it said i was running felt.  But since i was only a half mile in, I slowed it down a tad.  Easy at mile 0.5 is not always so easy at mile 2.5.  But I kept it pretty steady, and felt really good most of the way - mile 1 was awesome (9:31mpm);  mile 2 was ok (9:41); I picked it back up in mile 3.  I was well on track for a finish in under 30, and maybe, just maybe, in under 29:30...

heading for the finish line
But with about a quarter mile to go, potential disaster struck - my shoe came untied.  Obviously, I had 2 choices - stop and tie it or let it go and hope i didn't trip.  Might not have been the wisest choice, but I chose the second.  I was so close to the finish and so close to my goal that I was just going to go for it with laces flapping.  But for safety's sake because of the flapping laces, I decided against the all-out sprint for the finish I had been saving up energy for and just ran to the finish at the same pace.  Didn't see the official time on the clock as I grabbed my stick, but I stopped the Garmin at 29:37!!

Happy finisher on the Capitol steps
Success!! Finally got my under 30 finish!  Without the untied shoe, I could probably have gotten under that even more elusive under 29:30.  But you can add up the if's all day (if I'd trained harder; if my shoe hadn't come untied, etc...) but they don't change the facts.  I ran the race i ran....

And it was awesome!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Race Report - Spooktacular (and slightly sparkly) Scott Teays 5k

For the last 8 or so weeks, I've been training for my next half marathon.  It's been a pretty great 8 weeks, with some really awesome runs.  I've felt great the whole time.  Until this week.  This week I felt a little burned out and just wasn't feeling much like running.  I skipped one day all together and shortened the other days by as much as half.  It wasn't pretty.  But tomorrow is a new day and a new week, and a new opportunity to run some good miles.   Now on to my race report:

I'd been looking forward to this little 5k, put on by one of the local elementary schools, for a couple of weeks.  Not because I was excited to run it.  Nope.  Because it was my first opportunity to wear my nifty green sparkly skirt.

I knew it was supposed to be chilly on Saturday morning, so on Friday night as I was planning the rest of my outfit, I decided I'd wear a long sleeve winter running shirt that just happened to be the same shade of green as the sparkly skirt. And I just happen to have a pair of grey running capris with green accents (same shade as the shirt.)  I was going to be sparkly and very very green.  After sending a pic to my far-away running buddies to confirm that no, you cannot have too much green, my outfit was set. 

Saturday morning was chilly but sunny - a beautiful day for a run.  I arrived at the race and got signed in and went thru all my pre-race rituals and headed to the start line.  Since the race was for a school to bring awareness on the need to fight childhood obesity and how to raise healthy kids, there was a 1k race for the kids as well as the 5k.  The kids raced first.  It's always so much fun to watch kids run.  They do it with such joy and excitement.

318 - Dad's birthday!

The kids' excitement rubbed off on me, and by the time the 5k started I was super happy and looking forward to the run.   I had a goal in mind, but wasn't taking the race too seriously - taking a lesson from the kids, I was out there just to have fun.  And I did.  I was wearing a super fun sparkly green skirt, it was a beautiful fall morning, my bib number was my dad's birthday (love it when I get numbers that have personal meaning) how could I not?

I kept a fairly consistent pace and was feeling good for the first 2.75 miles.  Towards the end of mile 3, I started feeling overheated (my nifty green shirt is way too warm for 50 degrees) and had to walk after one of the short uphill sections - my heart rate was higher than i was comfortable with (on this particular day being hot + hill, even a small one, wasn't a good combination for me).   It didn't take long for it to come down to a manageable, comfortable rate and I was running again, just a bit slower than before.

Greeted by Bree when I got home

I crossed the finish line to the cheers and encouragement of the kids.  It was so much fun to hear them cheering not only for me (who they didn't know) but for their parents, their friends' parents, or their teachers.  I heard a lot of "here comes so-and-so's Mom....  Go Mom!!)  and "look it's my Dad....  Go daddy!!" and "there's Mrs. whoever - go go go!!"  as I was cooling down and watching some of the people finishing after me.  There should be a kid cheering section at the end of every race !

This was the first race in a while where I was actually having a good time (the other 2 5ks I've run lately were both mostly miserable).  This race reminded why I do it.  It reminded me that running and racing can actually be fun.  I didn't meet my time goal, but I did run my fastest 5k of the fall season. And I had fun.  It was just the race I needed.

Race Stats: Spooktacular Scott Teays 5k
October 20, 2012

Finish time:
31:06 (garmin); 31:08 (official)

Mile 1 - 9:48
Mile 2 - 9:50
Mile 3 - 10:29
Mile 0.1 - 8:35

40th overall, 15th woman