This past Saturday I ran the Rock ‘n’ Read 5k to benefit the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
I raced the Labor Day Funk Run 5k five days earlier and didn’t have the best experience. My only goal was to run this race smarter than I ran on Monday. Meaning no positive splitting.
Things were a little hectic before the start. My husband and kids came with me, and it took a lot longer than anticipated to pick up our bibs (my son did the kids’ dash), feed my daughter, and find a real bathroom for my newly potty-trained son (I don’t think he’s quite ready for porta potties yet – gag).
I only had time for a mile warm-up when I was planning two miles. But I think this ended up being a blessing in disguise because I didn’t get too hot and sweaty before the race. It was 75 degrees and 98% humidity by 7:30 a.m.
Mile 1: The first mile was mostly downhill. A few of my friends ran this race in 2012 and 2013 and they warned me it was incredibly hilly. I assumed the course must have changed because there were no uphills in sight. I felt strong, I thought a PR was inevitable, and I hoped I could place overall (it was a very small race). I thought there was one woman in front of me, but I honestly wasn't paying too much attention at the start so I wasn't sure. 6:33 pace.
Mile 2: As soon as we passed the first mile marker, I saw the first hill. A long, gradual hill – my favorite kind. I’ll take long, slow climbs over steep rolling hills any day of the week. The hill seemed to go on forever. Then we made a turn and I thought we’d finally get relief, but nope! The hill continued. My friends were right -- this course was not easy at all.
I needed to distract myself so I started counting how many guys I passed. This sounds awful, but I absolutely love chicking guys during races. I got mocked by guys fairly often in high school and college for having "thunder thighs", and I think I have some leftover anger. So, I get a kick out of using my thighs to pass men. I get zero satisfaction if I pass a woman, but if it’s a dude, I feel like superwoman. #girlpower 7:18 pace.
Mile 3: Seeing that 7:18 pace flash on my Garmin made me want to cry. I was blowing up just like I did on Monday. But despite the constant uphill and slowing pace, I felt fairly strong. I was beyond sick of the hill and prayed for flat road, but I didn’t feel like I was doing that badly. At 2.5 miles exactly we made a turn and the hill ended. I was elated, but when I tried to speed up my legs were tired. I just pushed as hard as I could to the finish line. 7:09 pace.
Finish time: 21:35 – first female overall -- 14 guys passed.
I didn’t look at my watch at all during the third mile, and I’m still kicking myself for it now. My PR s 21:33 and had I known I was so close, I definitely would have pushed harder towards the end. Oh well! I have mixed feelings on the race. On one hand, I feel like I should have held back in the first mile and ran smarter. But on the other hand, I'm not sure it would have mattered given the course profile. Negative splitting doesn’t make sense on every course.
I was really shocked to come in first. Yay for small races! I thought there was another female in front of me the whole time, but I was wrong. As as the first overall female, I won $150! I donated the money back to the library, though, since I was given free entry to the race.
Then the real fun began! It was time for Wyatt’s race! The poor guy had been up since 6:00 a.m. asking when he was going to get to race, and he had to wait until 9:00 a.m.
He did great! I love how much he loves running! He was a little distracted by the Chick-fil-a cow during the race, though – he ran over to the cow halfway through his run and asked the cow to pick him up. Thankfully, he regrouped and finished strong.
My poor little guy started crying afterwards saying he didn’t want his race to be over. I know how you feel, bud. Mommy prefers longer distances, too!
First thing is first – IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!
Which may seem like it has no relevance to NYCM training, but it does. Football season = Fall and Fall = when my marathon is, so I’m starting to freak out. I’m halfway through training and I only have five real weeks left before my taper. One of those weeks is a half marathon, meaning I only have four real long runs left. It’s all starting to feel so real now!
Anyway, backing up this this week, it was a cutback week. I had no long run and was supposed to take it easy, but I raced two 5ks instead. Oops. I kept my overall weekly mileage low, though, so I am feeling refreshed. It was really nice to not have to set my alarm at 4:00 a.m. any mornings to squeeze my long run in before someone’s second breakfast of the day. That is one thing I won’t miss about marathon training!
Here’s how this week was supposed to look:
|7mi easy||Spin||7mi easy||Spin||7mi easy||Spin||OFF|
And what really went down:
|2mi warm-up + 5k race in 22:01||7mi progression run||30min spin + 30 min TRX||7mi at 8:55||OFF||1mi warm-up + 5k race in 21:35||60min spin|
- I’m over the heat and humidity. The past two weeks have been the most miserable of the summer – I hear it’s been like this all over the country, too. Yuck, yuck, yuck! Considering the humidity and how hilly both of my 5k courses were – my Fitbit said they were both 17 flights of stairs – I’m proud of my times. (Here’s the recap from the first 5k and the second will come later this week.) Even though 5ks are my least favorite distance, I really want to race a flat one so I can PR. Obviously a PR wouldn’t be a given, but you know what I mean. I’m going to put those dreams on hold though until after NYCM. Next year Jeff is going to get most of the training time (we alternate training for big races), so it’ll be the ideal time for me to focus on 5ks! #sub21orbust
- My progression run on Tuesday felt great. My splits were 10:03/ 9:04/ 8:55/ 8:32/ 8:07/ 7:56/ 7:46. I’m going to try to run more runs like this (but without as drastic of a drop in pace), particularly long runs, to better prep for the feeling on race day.
- I’m still in love with TRX. I’m going to take the combo spin/TRX class for the rest of training since it hurts so good.
Thank you all so much for your fuel recommendations! I totally forgot about Sharkies and Chomps and am going to experiment with them on this week’s 18-miler.
This past Sunday night, my husband, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I were sitting around my inlaws’ table chatting about running. I had 800m repeats on the docket for the next morning and was trying to convince someone to join me at the track at 5:30 a.m.
Somehow we got on the subject of 10ks and I realized I’ve only ever raced two 10ks. Crazy! Then Laura remembered that there was a race in my inlaws’ town the next morning, and she thought there was a 10k option. That sounded so tempting! Racing a 10k would essentially be the same thing as 9x 800m, right?
Except there was no 10k option for the Labor Day Funk Run this year, only a 5k. None of us had any interest in running the 5k until we realized the top male and female would each receive $100 cash. We looked at the participant list and saw there were only 80 runners registered. We may or may not have spent the next half hour Googling a lot of the registered runners’ previous race times. <--- I can’t believe I just admitted that publicly! #stalker
We decided that my brother-in-law and I each had a shot at winning (cheers for small races), and my husband and sister-in-law would probably place, too. The registration fee was steep – $30 each – but if two of us took home $100, it’d be worth it. Right?
Wow, that was the longest intro to a race ever! But that’s the story of how I ended up running a 5k on Labor Day. I literally had no plans of doing so until 12 hours beforehand.
We arrived at registration at 7:00 a.m. -- an hour before the start – and I immediately regretted my decision to race and skip my planned workout. I’m just not used to running when the sun is out! All summer, the heat and humidity haven’t bothered me one bit because I start my runs by 5:30 or 6 a.m.
And then I saw her. The girl who would beat me. At small races, I can always pick out the women who are around my pace or faster than me. (The other two women I was concerned about came in 3rd and 4th.)
Even though I knew I essentially had no shot of winning, I wanted to race well. I did an easy 2 mile warm-up and felt pretty good, despite the heat. I ran part of the course and saw that it’d be hilly, but it was similar to the hills that I was used to at home, so I wasn’t worried.
Finally, it was time to start. The first mile felt great! The speedy girl took off and I never saw her again, but I was in second place from the first half mile on. When my watched beeped 6:43 after the first mile, I felt awesome. My 5k PR pace is 6:57 and I had a feeling I’d PR, which I didn’t expect.
And then I fell apart. There were more hills and less shade in mile 2, and I just couldn’t hold it together. I was so mad at myself for going out so fast and getting my hopes up. Rookie mistake. Mile 2: 7:00.
I made it my goal to run mile 3 faster than mile 2. I tried thinking of every inspiring running mantra I know “you’re stronger than you think”, “you can do anything for a mile”. “it’s your choice to finish strong.” But none of them worked. I completely blew up on the final hill, and decided that 5ks are the worst race distance ever. Mile 3: 7:18.
I crossed the finish line in 22:01 – 29 seconds off a PR. I was pretty proud of my time because my PR is 3 years old. I was not happy with how I ran the race, though, but it was a good learning experience. I have another 5k on Saturday and my only goal is to run the race smart. These days I care more about how I feel during a race than the time on the clock. I feel a lot better about myself when I negative split rather than positive split!
I came in second place overall and while I didn’t receive the $100 cash prize, I did earn a $50 gift card to a running store! Sweet! Plus, I also received free Chick-fil-a lunch and an awesome framed record.
My brother-in-law came in third overall, and my sister-in-law and husband both snagged first place in their age groups!
No one set any speed records, but we each earned a fancy Funk Run record! It was a lot of fun racing with my family. We need to do more races together – preferably with more than 12 hours lead time!