Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Race Report

I'd been waiting to post this until they got the race results up - and they finally did, but they've put everyone as running 1 mile instead of three.  I'd REALLY have to walk slowly to get a 33 minute mile!
Why yes, I did wear compression socks the
night before!

At any rate, Saturday was a beautiful day for the River to Bay 5k.  I woke up around six and did about thirty minutes of stretching.  My body had been so sore the day before from cleaning the entire house and getting the yard squared away, so I'd done some yoga and stretching before going to bed, and repeated it when I got up.  It was a nice, relaxed way to get ready for the race.

Then, I had my oatmeal and apple for breakfast - and I think this was a mistake (at least the apple was).  Although it was still about ninety minutes before race time, the apple made me feel a bit sluggish.  Next time, I'll just go with a banana, no oatmeal!

I got ready and headed out the door by 7:15, and got to the race around 7:45 - check in started at 7:30, and the one mile "fun run" was going to be at 8:15. This was followed by a one mile health walk at 8:20 and the 5k at 9:00.  I got my bag and race number, did some more stretching and wandered around until it was race time.  My body was feeling really refreshed and relaxed - I was definitely nervous, but not sore.

My number!
Finally, we started to get ready at the start, and this was where it was unfortunate that we don't get chips for this race - those of us who don't start *right* at the start line get messed up on timing.  So I started my own timer when I crossed the start line (though, of course, I managed to forget to stop it until after I'd crossed the finish!).

The gun sounded and we were off! I started off a bit fast, but that was on purpose.  I was feeling really good, so I thought I could set a faster pace.  And I definitely paid for it, but all in all it wasn't a bad run.  As we started, I remembered the course from two years ago, and that helped.  I managed to stay in my own head and run my race - at least for the first mile.

Although sunny days are not always preferable for running
it was beautiful!
I did the first mile in 10:25 - the first year I ran the race, it was 10:47, so not bad!  I felt pretty good for most of it, and reminded myself how tough the first mile usually is.  The second mile was the hardest - I knew the hill was coming up in mile three (or the end of two, I wasn't sure at the time), and I was starting to feel a little fatigued.  Plus, you know you still have another mile and a tenth to go when you're running mile 2, so it definitely feels like the longest!

Mile 2 was completed in 10:49 - also better than the 11:04 I had in 2009.  Not bad for less training time and being sick in the middle of training!  (I think it helped that I've upped my runs to 4-5 per week)  Mile 3 was also a killer, if for no other reason than the huge hill in it.  I had made it my goal to run the whole race and not walk - but that hill really almost did me in.  But I pushed myself and kept going.  It was here that I started to feel a bit disheartened though - it can be a bummer when you're running and still not passing people in front of you who are doing the run/walk combo!

I tried to keep pace with a girl that seemed to be running about my speed, and that helped me keep going through mile 3.  With half a mile left to go (so I'd run 0.6 of a mile), I had done 7:01 minutes (slower than 2009, which was 6:27).  I couldn't wait to see the 3 mile sign!
Getting ready to race

At the three mile sign, I was at 10:37 - pretty good, considering the hill was a big part of this mile.  I pushed myself to keep going on that last tenth of a mile.  As we saw the finish line come into sight, the girl next to me tried to pass me with a burst of speed (according to the results, she's a 28 year old) - but I put on a huge burst of speed that I didn't even know I had left in me, and passed her, and the couple with the running stroller.  My official time came in at 33:03:99, and I know that's high (that would be a 10:38 pace, or five seconds slower per mile than in 2009).  I stopped my timer after I'd started walking past the finish at 32:56:5, and I really wish I'd stopped it at the finish, so I knew what my real time was!  But I think it's not that far off from my race time in 2009 of 32:47.  Let's see if I can beat it next year!

The guy with the flag outfit finishing!
The 32:56 puts my pace at 10:35 per mile, or 3 seconds off my 2009 pace, and since it's definitely off, I'm guessing I was pretty close to my race time in 2009.

So according to the stats, I came in 323rd place and was 158/293 women, and 33/56 in my age group of 30-34.  These stats do beat my 2009 ones, because of the larger entry pool this year - I came in in the top 54% of women, whereas I came in in the top 67% of women in 2009.  And I came in in the top 59% in my age group, whereas I came in in the top 60% of my age group in 2009.  There were 506 finishers this year, in comparison to 260 in 2009, so I came in in the top 64% this year, as opposed to the top 75% in 2009.  I've got to be pretty happy with that!

Plus, I was really pleased that I'd come in faster than the woman who was about eight months pregnant, and the guy wearing an entire flag outfit and carrying a flag. And I came in before quite a few younger women and even some kids! So that makes me happy. Small goals.

Starting to see some lovely muscle in my calves!
Now I've got to work hard at not getting lethargic about running the way I did after my first two 5k's in 2009. I took two recovery days, and in fact, went for a lovely massage yesterday (which actually left me feeling MORE sore than I was after racing!). My plan is to take it easy today and just do about two miles, and then three the rest of the week.  Then, I am thinking about upping my mileage a bit, and Cool Running finally has plans for that, so we'll see how it goes!

PS: I did my two miles today (actually 2.06) and think I should have started with one mile back instead - man were my legs exhausted! However, I did have a 10:26 pace, which is fast for me, so I guess I can't complain! Tomorrow will also be a 2-mile run I think!

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