Sunday I ran the Medina Race with Grace 5k. It was my first race since the Twin Sizzler back on the 4th of July, and after just two weeks of running again, I had a much better day than expected. With just a few runs under my belt, I had no idea what to expect. I’m still a bit out of shape, Medina is forever hilly in all directions, and speed work is something I haven’t done in months. But after seeing so many group members sign up, and spending the previous day volunteering at NorthCoast 24, I figured I’d give it a shot, and run it for fun.
Woke up Sunday morning, got ready and arrived at the start line with a half hour to go. I wasn’t really nervous, but I was excited to get out there and run, especially with so many MCRR members on the course. Ideally, I wanted to finish under 27. I felt with little running and no speed work, I should be able to pull it off.
We started at the hospital, which was a nice change to all the other 5ks in town that start on the square. We went from the back parking lot, up around the hospital and right onto Route 18. We had a nice little downhill before going back uphill again. I worked on finding my pace and was concerned about going out too fast. Somewhere I settled around 8:50-8:45 and decided to hang onto the pace until the first mile.
From Rt.18 we turned right onto Foot and back into a development. The neighborhood was relatively flat and it was a good way to settle into a decent pace. Sarah came up behind me and I thought of sticking with her, but decided to run my own pace and focus on my own race.
Mile 1 – 8:53
We finished up in the neighborhood and turned right onto Smith. I still felt pretty good and so I sped up a bit. I bounced between 8:30-8:40, cautious not to let myself speed up too much.
Next we turned into another development, which again was pretty flat compared to most, but it did have some small rollers. I’ve run both developments many times so I was fairly familiar with the route. I zoned out some during this mile, but still aware of my pace and the runners around me. We had more turns in this mile, and it felt like it went on forever.
Mile 2 – 8:39
With a mile left, I was still feeling really good. I started to pick up the pace, but careful not to go too fast too early and have nothing left in the tank at the end.
We made our way out on Guilford, and then right on Washington. We had a nice little downhill, which definitely helped to get my legs excited for the finish. But every downhill, must be met with an uphill, and we had our biggest hill at about 2.6 miles. I powered up, knowing we were close, also knowing we’d have another downhill ahead of us.
Turning into the entrance of the hospital, I tried to pick it up a bit. I took advantage of the downhill and tried to pick off a few runners on my way in. I followed the course to the back of the parking lot, and saw one final turn.
Mile 3 – 8:20
I turned and there was the finish, a lot closer than I expected. So like any runner, I booked it. And watched the clock, pleasantly surprised with how much time I had until the clock would hit 27 minutes.
Last .1 – 7:20 pace
I finished up with 26:25. Not a PR by any means, not even close, but I was happy with my finish. For the second 5k this year, I had negative split on the course and finished feeling great, rather than doubled over losing my breakfast. I enjoyed the race and honestly, that’s all I wanted.
Medina County Road Runners finished 2nd place as a team out of over 20+. And I ended up 3rd in my age group out of 22. We had a lot of runners place in their age groups, so it was a good day all around for MCRR.
Thoughts? This was a great race and we had perfect weather. Any race that begins with weather in the low/mid 50’s is alright with me. The course was great. I was extremely familiar with all the streets we ran on, mostly from living on that side of town a few years ago. It has some hills, but it’s the flattest course I’ve run in Medina. If I was in shape, there’s no doubt I would have gone under 26, maybe even under 25. And I definitely see myself running this again next year.
Age Group 25-29: 3/22