Harvest 5k Recap

Last Saturday, while most everyone was running Akron, I ran a local 5k. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the half marathon where I wanted to be, so I opted out and decided to focus on a shorter distance. Luckily, Brunswick was hosting the Harvest 5k for the Kidney Foundation.

The race was held at Mapleside Farms, and had a relatively small field. Most of the groups of people were there to attend the walk and had done fundraising for the Kidney Foundation, some traveling as far as two hours away for the event.

I met up with Mallory and we got ready for the race with last minute instructions and indoor bathroom stops. We lined up a few feet from the start line, waiting for the faster runners to show up. But they were no where to be found. The race started and it was clear that we would be leading the pack.

I wanted to keep the same race strategy as the previous week, start out slower and negative split each mile. I tried to keep myself toward 8:40, but my legs kept wanting to go faster. And the slight downhill in the beginning didn’t help to slow me either.

From Mapleside Farms, we crossed the street and ran around the development. I wasn’t familiar with the area, but the roads were horrendous. There were pot holes and cracks everywhere, causing me to stare down almost the entire time.

Mile 1- 8:26

I knew my first mile was too quick, but hoped I could stay with it. I could see the first couple of runners and counted back, I was in the top 10 and was either first or second in my age group.

I was feeling ok, but I was still a little worried that I had gone out too quick. A group of three young girls (high school, maybe?) came up from behind and I stayed with them until the water stop at 1.5 miles. I kept going, but started to feel as though I was working harder.

Little did I know that the first half of the course was all slightly downhill, which meant coming back in, we were running slightly up hill.

Mile 2- 8:46

I told myself I could hold on for one more mile, but my legs just weren’t moving. It was during this mile that another woman (mid 20’s?) came up behind me. I used her as motivation to keep going, but I just couldn’t catch her.

Shortly after she passed me, the three young girls came up behind me. We continued our way along the route, and started to approach the hill we had flown down earlier in the race. I put my head down and focused on each step to the top.

The girls continued to run and I could feel myself slow down even more. This certainly wasn’t the pace or strategy I wanted, but I couldn’t give up now.

Mile 3- 9:06

The ground leveled out and I thought we’d have to cross the street to get to the finish. Luckily the route turned us onto a dirt path to the finish, cross country style.

Last .1 – 8:01 pace

The race didn’t go as I hoped, but I tried not to let it get me down. I didn’t properly execute the plan I wanted, and it left me feeling a bit miserable towards the end. I also know I am far away from good 5k racing shape, but it’s always good to get a few more under my belt.

I ended up taking third in my age group and 11th overall. Mallory ended up with first female overall!

Mallory...Female overall winner!

Mallory…Female overall winner!

Results:

Time: 27:13

Age Group 20-29: 3/12

Female: 8/49

Overall: 11/64

Along with running the race, you received free entry to Pumpkin Village, so we spent some time exploring after the race. It was both our first times to Mapleside Farms, so it was nice to check it out before it got too busy.

Post race visit to Pumpkin Village

Post race visit to Pumpkin Village

Pumpkin Village would be a great place to take your kids. They had a few slides, some mazes, train rides and from the looks of it, a lot more that we just didn’t check out. Even though the 5k didn’t go as planned, it was still a good way to kick off fall!

Mapleside Farms, ready for fall

Mapleside Farms, ready for fall

Advertisements

Twin Sizzler 5k Recap

Last Saturday, July 4th, I ran my third Twin Sizzler 5k. This year I decided to run just the 5k and skip the 10k. The weather was surprisingly cooler for race day, with 65 degrees at the start and some slight wind a few times on the course.

The race started at 7:45, but I got down to the square by 7:15 to pick up my bib and shirt and hit the restroom before the start. I got a little under a mile in for my warm up and was ready to run. I didn’t have a certain time I was focused on, I just knew I didn’t want to go out too quick, and I didn’t want to have a meltdown on the uphill finish. Surprising, I was actually pretty relaxed. That is until a minute before the race started and my stomach was a mess.

The race started and I realized I was a little too far back in the pack. Instead of going out too fast, I was going out too slow, somewhere around a 9:07 pace. I started to weave in and out of the group to find a better spot, and finally settled on an 8:45 pace. My stomach was still hurting and I was too afraid to push myself any faster at that point.

The course starts on the square with a nice downhill onto Rt. 57 out of town. Eventually the road begins an incline and I was happy I didn’t have to do the 10k after this, with it’s continual incline into Montville Township. Just before our first turn we came across the first mile marker and a water stop. I skipped the water and was starting to feel a little better.

Mile 1- 8:45

Starting the second mile, it was refreshing that for once I didn’t feel like death, clinging onto a time that I wouldn’t be able to hold. I was feeling better with every step I took and wanted to base this next mile off of feel, not time.

During the second mile we went through some developments and had some rolling hills along the way. They didn’t feel as bad as they typically do and I was able to pass people as I made my way along the course. I continued along, quietly bringing my pace down, and keeping my eyes off my Garmin.

Mile 2- 8:33

With the last mile ahead of me I knew I wanted to pick up the pace. I also knew the finish would be difficult, and I was still unsure of what my stomach had planned. I told myself I’d be ok with an 8:20 pace, but again wanted to go by feel, rather than time.

Somewhere in the beginning of the last mile, I noticed a gentleman was near me and would stay around my pace. He’d push when I pushed, and back off when I backed off. It was nice to have a little company, even though we didn’t say anything.

As we made the turn down South Court, I tried to get myself in the zone. I took advantage of the short downhill and mentally prepared myself for the finish. We turned right on South Street, and then left on South Broadway. We were met again with my favorite part, the brick road. I started to pick up my pace a bit, but was careful not to trip on any loose bricks. I could feel the energy that had been saved up and hoped it would stay throughout the rest of the race.

We passed the intersection of 57 and memories of my Medina Half finish crossed my mind. Even though I had started with a sour stomach, it was no where to be seen and my legs wanted to take control.

We passed the railroad tracks, and then started our long incline past East Smith. As I took each step up hill, I knew I would have a much better finish than before. I kept picking up the pace, trying to go faster.

Mile 3- 8:14

With just a small section left I gave it everything I had and sprinted up the rest of the hill and into the finish. I turned around just in time to see the silent gentleman finish and congratulated him on the race.

Last .1- 7:04 pace

FullSizeRender

For the first time, quite possibly ever, I ran negative splits on my 5k. And I felt great after I finished. I didn’t run a PR, but I ran a smart race and I ran based on how I felt rather than checking my watch everything 30 seconds.

While I’m not sure I’ll ever PR on the Twin Sizzler course, I was able to run my fastest Twin Sizzler to date. And now I know where I stand time-wise on the 5k and I have an idea of where I can be if I really push myself. There is no doubt that I can drop under 25 minutes for the 5k again, but unfortunately a sub 23 is probably something that I left in college.

Not your flat 5k.

Not your flat 5k.

It was a great race, great weather and I’m glad I’ve been able to run the Twin Sizzler every year. It’s something that I plan on doing every year while living in Medina. And maybe one day I’ll sign up for the 10k again…

Tech tee and trouble

Tech tee and trouble

Results:

Official Chip Time: 25:51

AG 25-29: 4/23

Female: 65/295

Overall: 223/608

SF Aloha Run 5k Recap

While we were on vacation, I had hopes of running some sort of race. Luckily I found a 5k in San Francisco and I jumped at the chance to run somewhere new. I didn’t have a goal for this race, I really just wanted to get some miles in and enjoy the new scenery.

Saturday morning, I woke up extra early due to the time chance. We got ready, packed up the car, and headed to the other side of the city. We got there about 45 minutes early, picked up my packet, and relaxed until the race started.

Saturday morning, just hanging out at the bridge.

Saturday morning, just hanging out at the bridge.

Pre race was well run, and I really appreciated that they had pace groups, those 10:00 and under, 11:00-13:00, followed by those with dogs and strollers. I lined up where I estimated the 8:30 pace would be. I didn’t want to go out too quick, so I figured I’d play it by ear.

Ready to race!

Ready to race!

We were off and I was excited to run. The map showed a loop around Chrissy Park and a second half lap to the finish. We started on a sand/gravel path and it felt wonderful on the legs. I settled into a nice pace of 8:30, making sure I didn’t go out too quick. The loop took us towards the Golden Gate Bridge and I couldn’t help but get distracted by the views.

We continued along and made our first turn down the side of the park. About a half mile in, my stomach started to grumble and I realized I was suddenly starving. I also noticed that even though the weather was cool, the fog brought a moist feeling with the air.

Miles 1-8:32

We came up to the first mile and I was feeling pretty confident in my pace. A short while later I passed Darren, who I’m sure was thrilled he got dragged to another race of mine.

Working hard after mile 1

Working hard after mile 1

We continued along with what felt like the longest stretch of pavement. I started to wear down, and my pace slowed a bit, but stayed around 8:45-8:50. The hunger feeling and humidity/moist air was really playing minds games on me, and I struggled to stay focused.

Mile 2-8:47

We made the turn heading to mile 2 and I knew I could handle another 9 minutes of running. This part of the course we ran along the beach, so we dodged sections of sand and gravel. We also passed the water stop, but no one stopped, which actually surprised me.

We approached the turn off for the final half mile, and everyone noticed a giant banner that had “finish” written across it. We were only at 2.7 so I was slightly concerned until we got closer and realized it was for another event. This threw a bunch of people off, most of them had given their final kick and had nothing left for the real finish.

Mile 3-8:50

We made another hairpin turn and I started picking people off, mostly those who had just pushed it at the fake finish. My pace started to pick up and I finally felt like I was running like I should. I made the final turn into the finish and gave a decent kick to cross the line of my first California 5k.

Last .14-8:49 pace

Final kick

Final kick

Overall I thought this was a fun race. I didn’t really have a plan, and knew that since I was on vacation, I wouldn’t be taking it too seriously. I didn’t have my best performance, but with traveling and enjoying vacation, it didn’t really bother me. I also checked my Garmin data after the race, and noticed that it was a gradual uphill the entire way, which is why I probably didn’t run as well as I thought I could.

After the race there were vendors, a kids run and a few more local events. I picked up my shirt, bag and medal post race and took a few more pictures before packing up and heading on our day trip to Muir Woods.

IMG_8347

My favorite part of the race, and really the reason I signed up was the race swag. Not only did we get shirts with the Golden Gate Bridge printed on them, but we got matching bags and medals. A great race, a great location, and a fun way to enjoy vacation!

Golden Gate gear!

Golden Gate gear!

Official Results:

Time: 27:21

Female: 23/232

Overall: 71/384

T1 Diabetes Awareness 5k Recap

A few weeks ago, a post was brought up on the MCRR page about a local 5k that would be happening in town. An eagle scout had planned his big project as a 5k for Type 1 Diabetes awareness, in honor of his sister who was diagnosed when she was 7 years old. If you remember, I’ve done fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association, so this 5k was something that I couldn’t miss.

With an 8am start, my normal Saturday morning was completely thrown off, but I did enjoy sleeping past 5am for once. I got up, got ready and was out the door by 7:15 to get to the race early for registration and a warm up. Once I got out the door, I was greeted by a thick cloud of fog and some pretty heavy humidity.

Living in the clouds

Living in the clouds

Beforehand I didn’t know much about the race or course, as it was all race day registration and no course map was available online. There was no charge for the race, but donations were appreciated. In return you received a blue wrist band from JDRF. I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout, probably around 50 people showed up to help this young man out.

After about a mile+ warm up, we met on the track at the middle school and got instructions on the race as well as information about Type 1 Diabetes. I couldn’t help but almost tear up after seeing how much had been put into this race. With final instructions done, we lined up on the track and were ready to go. Unfortunately, I don’t have my splits since my Garmin had a total meltdown and I wasn’t able to upload it in time.

We started off with a lap on the track, and I tried to find a comfortable pace knowing that it was a little hotter than what I was used to. I was hovering between 7:58-8:01 pace and was feeling great. Once we finished our lap, we made our way onto a path and back near the elementary school. From this point on we were on all grass, and the race quickly turned into a cross country course. Not expecting this, I tried to slow myself down because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up the quick pace on the grass.

During the first mile I could feel myself slowing down, but I was still feeling ok. I tried to watch my footing, because the last thing I need is an injury from a 5k. We were in and out of the shade as we made a large loop in the grass. It wasn’t until about the first mile mark that I noticed how many people had dropped back. I was currently sitting in 4th female and probably 8th/9th overall.

I grabbed some water at the water stop and was thankful for the fluids. It was also around this point that I had a young boy right next to me that I just couldn’t shake. We made our way around the giant loop again, and just before the second mile marker, I was able to pull ahead, leaving the young kid behind.

With a mile left to go, I was starting to feel worn down. My legs felt tired from the uneven ground, and I was sweating more than I think I ever have. We came up around the front of the middle school and along the sidewalk next to the road. I was finally able to get some speed and noticed that Liz, the 3rd place female had disappeared.

I continued on my way, making it through the last section of grass before we made a final lap on the track. That lap felt like the longest lap ever, but it was nice I was able to see who was in front of me. About 200 meters in front of me, was the 1st and 2nd place female, and about two other men were finishing up on the track. I had my final kick in the last 150 meters and finished up 3rd place female with a time of 28:06.

This definitely wasn’t your normal 5k, but the meaning behind it was the most important thing to me. There was no official timing or places/awards so I can only go off the time that was yelled out as I crossed the finish line. My time was much slower than what I anticipated, but based on the fact the course was about 90-95% grass, I’m not really surprised. I’m so glad I made the time to come out for this 5k, and I’m proud of the eagle scout for accomplishing his goals with this race.

Running for a cause

Running for a cause

Run.4.Fun 5k Recap

Last Friday instead of relaxing and going to bed early, I ran a local 5k the night before my long run. I was satisfied with my 5k time from the previous week, but I really wondered what I could do with fresh legs. The Run.4.Fun is an annual 5k put on by the Medina City Schools Foundation. And even though I don’t live within Medina City School limits, I was happy to run a race where money would be going to a good cause.

I spent all Friday watching what I ate, over hydrating, and making sure I was mentally ready to run. Knowing that I’d only have an hour until the race started once I got home from work, I rushed to get everything ready and made it to the high school by 7:00. I ran into a few MCRR members and asked them about the course. The said it had some gradual inclines, including the last half mile. Hearing this I immediately threw the thought of a PR out the window, and just hoped to have a strong race.

Right before 7:30, everyone lined up, and I felt ready to go. Instead of focusing on my watch, I wanted to listen to my legs and see what they were truly capable of. The first mile was very similar to the Frosty 5k course and  I was thankful I didn’t have to be cautious of the ice. We headed out of the high school and around one of the developments that is part of the Medina Half course. I was feeling pretty good, but noticed I was hanging around a 7:56 pace.

I wasn’t sure how long I could hang on, but continued to keep a steady pace until the end of the first mile. I knew if I wanted to survive, I’d have to slow it down. We passed the first water stop and I made my way to the outside to avoid the hustle just in time to see that mile 1 was in the books.

Mile 1- 8:08

The second mile has always been the hardest for me. Usually because I’m regretting how quickly I went out on the first mile. I knew I wanted to keep this mile a little slower, but not as slow as last week’s second mile. I was still feeling comfortable enough that I wasn’t sucking wind, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to push it during my last mile. We covered a few neighborhoods with some slight inclines, but they weren’t too awful.

Mile 2- 8:34

I’m not sure why or how, but in the beginning of the third mile, seconds began to fall off my pace instantly. I started to pick people off, one by one and could feel myself getting quicker. We rounded out towards more neighborhoods and made our way back towards the high school.

And then I saw the last half mile. We had a gradual incline that pretty much lasted the entire last half of the third mile. I tried to be strong, but couldn’t help but slow down some. I made my way around a few people, and was so glad when I finally saw the mile 3 marker. At this point, all I needed to do was round the last turn up to the track and finish that long 100 meter stretch.

Mile 3- 8:08

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t constantly checking my Garmin the last part of the race. I hadn’t done much math, but I knew I’d be cutting it close, especially after the long incline. I gave it all I had and crossed the finish with a new post college PR!

Last .1 – 7:00 pace

I was ecstatic after I finished, and very close to losing everything in my stomach. I made my way to the inside of the track and spoke with a few MCRR members who all seemed to have a great day out there too.

This 5k was a great race, not only because of my time, but it was also well organized. Since February I’ve dropped almost 3 minutes off my 5k time, and I couldn’t be more excited. I still have about 3 minutes to drop to beat my all time PR, but I’m getting closer. I’d like to see if I can get under 25 this year, but for now I’m content with my 5k time.

I didn’t stay for awards, but I ended up with third in my age group and won a medal and a gift card to Active Runner. Completely unexpected, but very grateful.

photo

 

Results:

Time: 25:26

AG 25-59: 3/14

Gender: 38/225

Overall: 119/458

Love A Stray 5k Recap

Sunday morning, 12 hours after Yeti Set Go! 10k, I made my way up towards the lake and ran a 5k for some pretty adorable pups. I ran this race last year and loved it, but what made it such a great race was that proceeds were going to a local animal shelter, one that I volunteered at throughout high school. Love a Stray is a local non-kill pet shelter that takes in dogs and cats. In high school I adopted my favorite cat Carter from there, who sadly passed away last year. A few years ago I adopted the adorable and mischievous Ralphie, who makes many cameos on my Instagram feed. If you can adopt, do it! All of these animals need loving homes.

Who wouldn't want to adopt this fun little creature

Who wouldn’t want to adopt this fun little creature, aka house destroyer

The course was a little different this year, starting at the high school instead of The Landings, but it still went through the same wooded park. The weather was chilly and was perfect for another trial of my Flying Pig race day outfit. Yes I did wear the same outfit for two back to back races, not ashamed. It was also sprinkling a little bit, but held off until after the race was over. I was feeling pretty good and my legs weren’t too tight. The starting line was full of 400+ runners, and their dogs, so it was a little crowded, but not too bad. Just as soon as we lined up, we were off.

I wasn’t looking for a time with this race, I just wanted to run and give back to the shelter. I settled into a comfortable pace at about 8:30. We headed into the woods and it was still a bit crowded, but the further we got, the more it thinned out. The path was paved and relatively smooth. I hit my first mile right around the 8:30 mark. I decided to slow down a bit, knowing that I didn’t have it in me to PR. My legs were a little sore, so I just wanted to loosen them up. I fell into the groove and made my way through the course.

The course was pretty much the same the entire way, black top through the woods. There was one water stop in between parks at the corner of a housing development, but I didn’t stop. It was a little boring, but if I was running with a dog it would have been a great course. It was well protected and didn’t interfere with traffic or any neighborhoods. I hit mile 2 at 8:54 and mile 3 at 8:49. I finished at 26:46, no PR but a solid, well paced run just 12 hours after some crazy trail running.

After the results were posted online I felt better about my run. I didn’t place in my age group, but I did well overall. If you’re looking for a race to run with your dog, I definitely recommend this one.

Also, the shirts are designed by local kids, which is great. I pre-registered, but they only had large left. My shirt, along with my Yeti Set Go shirt will both be arriving in the mail in two weeks. I’ll be sure to add those to each recap.

*Updated Picture

Mile 2-3

Official Results

Time: 26:46

Overall: 125/433

Female: 54/287

Age Group 25-29: 8/39

Miles for Madison 5k Recap

The longer I live away from the big city, the more I love running in the country. There’s just something special about running with the rollings hills of road in front of  you and not another person around. Add 600 or so other runners and the fresh smell of cows and you’ve got the setting for Saturday’s 5k. Miles for Madison 5k was in Creston, a small town in the middle of no where Ohio. I picked up my packet on Friday night, which had my shirt and free candle donated by Root Candles. I had also won free train tickets to Lodi Station, so I was able to give these back for a family with children who would really appreciate the ride.

I scoped out some of the course and noticed it was really flat, but had a bit of wind. Seemed to be a pretty easy course to run on the next day. I was really excited for the race, not only would I be hitting these country roads with speed, but this entire race was for one little girl. Madison was diagnosed with SJS last year. She’s in recovery, but it was a great way for others to learn about this rare skin disease and help raise money to a great fund. The event was put on by Medina County Road Runners and the family expected maybe 200 people to show up. They were blown away when 600+ people were there on race day. Even more awesome, many of Madison’s classmates came out to run as well. Cue the tears.

Saturday morning came and I was ready to go. I was feeling pretty good and was hoping to get close to my PR. It was a little windy, but I didn’t think it would be a big issue. After a warm up, I made it to the start line and took my place between the 8-9 mile markers. We started the race and I tried to find a pace I was comfortable with. I knew to ignore Garmin for a while so I could focus on what my legs wanted. A half mile in and I was pushing 7:50. I had no business being anywhere near that number so I quickly tried to slow myself down. I felt like I was moving in slow motion, but I hit the first mile in 8:15.

Shortly before the mile marker we turned a corner and were heading straight into the wind. I’m not sure what happened, but I slowed way down, almost to a point that I felt I was running backwards. I had a sudden change of heart, I didn’t want to run any longer, and I wanted to just sit down and stop. My legs felt heavy and it was as though I had already run 10 miles, not one. With so many 5ks under my belt, I knew that sometimes you get good races, and sometimes you get bad races. I kept going, knowing that since the race was flat, it shouldn’t be a total struggle to make it to the finish. I hit mile two somewhere around 17:xx.

With one mile to go, I focused on finishing. We rounded another turn and I could see a few rolling hills up in the distance. I didn’t expect these and wasn’t sure I’d have the energy to muster up the final half mile. All I could think about was how does someone plan to have hills in the last half mile? Obviously I still don’t love hills. I could hear my college coaches voice in my head, charge the hill, charge that hill in front of you. I told myself this over and over as I passed people and made it to the top. Half mile to go and I was at 22:xx.

There was a slight downhill that lead us to the school and around the back to the track. I started to pick up my speed and gave it all I had left in me. I crossed the line at 26:14.

I think this look explains it all

I think this look explains it all

It wasn’t my best race, but I’ve done a lot worse. I was surprised with how close my time was to last week. Ok, 45 seconds may not be close, but I was pretty sure I’d finish between 27-28 minutes. It was a mentally rough day, between the brutal wind and my legs and the last few hills near the finish, but I completed the race.

Afterword I stood in line for my 5 minute massage and had my hamstrings stretched out. The woman working on me proceeded to tell me that my back was a mess and so were my hips. Thank you for reassuring me with something I already know. She gave me a few stretches and hopefully I can work these out in the future. Maybe this is what’s holding me back from running a quicker pace.

By 10:30 the awards started, I didn’t expect to win anything, but wanted to stick around and find out the fastest times. Little Madison was also handing out the awards, so I felt it was only right to stay for a while. When they got to the 20-24 age group, they called my name in third place. Completely shocked I went up to grab my award, a brick from one of the old local schools. How awesome.

3rd Place Female 20-24

3rd Place Female 20-24

I didn’t realize until I was on my way home, but it would be the last time I ran a 5k in the 20-24 age group. A bittersweet moment that will allow me to jump up to 25-29 and probably never place. But hopefully, it will push me to be a faster runner.

The race was such a great event that was put on in honor of one little girl. MCRR did such a fantastic job, and I hope that this race continues each year. I was impressed with the goodies from our grab bag too. They included a shirt, water bottle, a candle and some coupons for ice cream. Along with the grab bag, the treats after the race were all donated by local companies. They had quite the spread of chocolate milk, cookies, subway sandwiches and I think some ice cream. Seriously a community effort on this event.

Lots of goodies!

Lots of goodies!

Official Results

Time: 26:14

Overall Place: 131/616

Female Overall: 39/382

AG 20-24: 3/20

Follow on Bloglovin

Sole to Soul 5k Recap

This race couldn’t have come at a better time. I was fresh off the let down of a bad 5k and I needed some kind of redemption race. I also had one of the busiest and craziest weeks in a while, and I couldn’t wait to leave it all behind me and zone out for three quick miles. The 5k was in my hometown so I knew it would be flat, and hopefully fast. I spent the previous night at my parent’s house so I wouldn’t have to drive 45 minutes in the morning. A 5 minute drive on the morning of race day seemed much more enjoyable. The race didn’t start until 9:00, but I was wide awake at 6:30 and I was able to catch this beautiful sunrise. I’ve seen it hundreds of times, but it never gets old.

photo

I was a little concerned because my legs were pretty tight still from Yoga, so I made sure to do some extra stretches. After a random granola bar and some water, I was ready to go. I got to the park and wondered if I’d see anyone I knew. The first person I saw was one of my high school coaches. She didn’t recognize me or acknowledge me, but it wasn’t too surprising. If you weren’t number one on the team, you just didn’t matter.

That aside, I picked up my bib and shirt, ate a few Sport Beans, ran a bit of a warm up and was ready to go. We lined up, got ready and suddenly we were off. A lot of people sprinted, and I was passed by a ton of runners. I kept reminding myself not to go out too quick, I didn’t want another race like last weeks. 7:50, 8:05, 8:15, I was forcing myself to slow down but at some point, I just couldn’t get past 8:20. A half mile in I decided to forget about my watch and just let my legs lead me. I wasn’t running a half marathon, if I forced myself to go at a 9:00 pace, I’d never get any faster. And I certainly wouldn’t be happy about my time. So through the wooded street and into a familiar development, I hit my first mile at 8:16.

I was feeling good, picking people off, one by one. I could tell who went out too quickly and hoped I wouldn’t be joining in their pain. We ran through a newer housing development, and I could remember doing mile repeats and pre-race shenanigan filled runs. I was excited to be on my home turf, and more excited to show my once high school coach that I could still run. I was able to stick with a pretty decent pace and kept my attention on a women ahead of me. We headed to the turn around point and as I passed the half way mark I was at 12:47. I started to run the numbers and forced the thought quickly from my mind. I wanted to use time as a check point, not let it control my race.

The second half of the course would be what we just ran, easy, flat, and hopefully no issues. I was still feeling good, no pain at all, but could tell my breathing was a little loud. My legs were a little tight, but I figured it was because they weren’t used to going this fast. I made it out of the development, and knew I’d have a short distance on a side street, following the main road before turning into the park for the finish. Unfortunately I became a little distracted when a much older gentleman decided to drive down the middle of the street behind the runners, tailing each one. It was clear he was too close to everyone for their safety. I got out of the way and kept my eye on him until he turned off. This slowed me down a bit, but the last thing you need on the course is an accident.

I turned on the main road and knew I had less than a half mile to go. I could see the three mile mark up ahead as my legs started to extend. My pace opened up and I could taste the finish. 24:48 at the three mile mark. I wouldn’t break 25:00, but I knew I could definitely break 26:00. I rounded into the park and pushed it as I crossed the line. 25:37 for a new adult PR. A whole 2:05 off of last week’s horrible 5k. I was thrilled! Even with my less than perfect training all week, I was able to zone out on everything and really focus on my running.

I did a short jog back and forth to the car to keep my legs loose. Once all of the runners were in, they announced the winners of the race. I was shocked to hear my name called under 2nd place in my age group. I didn’t expect it, and was grateful that I had done better than I thought.

Fun shirt and medal

Fun shirt and medal

I truly enjoyed this race. Hermes always does such a great job managing races that it makes for a fun time running. I hope that I’ll be able to run this race again to improve on my time and hopefully see the race grow. If you need a flat, fast 5k in March, definitely keep this one on your radar for next year.

Loving this medal

Loving this medal

Official Results:

Garmin Time: 25:37

Age Group 20-29: 2/12

Female Overall: 15/61

Overall: 50/130

Follow on Bloglovin

Irish Jig & Jog 5k Recap

Being about the only person who didn’t run St. Malachi, I opted for a flat 5k on Sunday morning. Over the past couple weeks I had thrown the idea around for a St. Patrick’s Day race, either the Lakewood Irish Jig & Jog 5k or the Shamrock 5k in Woodridge. Knowing that the Shamrock 5k would be all hills and I haven’t had a chance to tackle some in a while, I decided to keep it easy. Lucky for me, I spent the weekend up in Avon, so I wouldn’t need to drive far on race morning. The race was put on by Peace Racing, and it was the second year they’ve held the event. I had never run a race by them, but I was excited to see how it would go.

My pre race ritual wasn’t my along my normal plan. I spent Saturday night at a concert with my sister, had sloppy joes for dinner, and managed about 6 hours of sleep when I woke up Sunday morning. To follow that up, I had a gross protein bar the morning of, and still hadn’t decided if I was fully committed to running, or crawling back in bed. But knowing I had miles to get in, I figured it’d be easier with a couple hundred other people than just myself braving the cold.

Because I was on the fence all week about racing, I registered day of. This meant I wouldn’t be getting the long sleeve shirts, and unfortunately, the woman working my line didn’t let us know we needed timing chips. I found this out at the start of the race, with less than a minute to go an announcement was made to make sure your timing chip was on your shoe. I looked around, and luckily I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t told, about a third of the runners around me didn’t have a chip. I also learned that some day of registrants got shirts. I was obviously in the wrong sign up line.

We started the race and like always I went out way too quick. I was right around 8:15 pace and tried to slow myself down, but people kept passing me. For the next half mile I battled with slowing down and being pulled ahead with everyone else. I finally got my pace down and completed my first mile in 8:43, still too fast. The course was really flat, and a little boring. It started at Madison Park and went into two neighborhoods on either side. My office is right down the street, so I knew the area wouldn’t have any hills, and hopefully this meant I could go fast the entire time. The first mile was a loop around one neighborhood and then we passed Madison Park again to an out and back.

As we started the out and back, the first couple of runners were coming by and they were quick! I normally hate running an out and back, but it helped to boost my spirit and I started to pick up my pace. I hit the hairpin turn at the halfway point and I was  around 13:xx, knew I was on pace to an awesome finish. On the way back I noticed that the cold and slight wind were starting to catch up with me, my breathing was getting heavier and at some points my legs felt like they were moving backwards. I kept with it, and hit the two mile mark at 17:xx.

Curious to where the last mile would lead, I began the loop that we ran for the first mile. By this time my body was slowing down and questioning why I went out so quick in the first mile. My pace dropped drastically and I struggled some to finish the last half mile. I also started getting a cramp right near my heart and I began to panic. This instantly made me slow down and I became over cautious as I was finishing the race. I did see Bill from Second Sole cheering me on at the finish, so I tried to sprint as much as I could to the line. It was nice to have one familiar face in the crowd. I crossed the line at 27:42 on a course that was at 3.02.

I had a mix of feelings after finishing the race. I was upset that I went out way too quick and ruined my pace for the rest of the race. I was also upset that the course was short by so much! I was glad I was done, but I didn’t feel that I got everything out of it that I paid for. However, I couldn’t be that upset with myself, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the race and my Saturday night didn’t help either. I was glad I got the miles in, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite race.

Frosty 5k Recap

Sunday morning I had the pleasure of running my first race in my new city! The rec center held it’s annual Frosty 5k and I figured this would be the perfect way to kick off a new year of running. I took a lot of time off after 3M and had just started getting into a normal routine within the past week. I wasn’t expecting much and just wanted to use this race as a way to get some miles in. Plus, a race in Medina only happens once a month, if that, so any race that I don’t have to drive at least 30 minutes to get to is a big bonus these days.

I started the morning with my regular Clif bar and arrived at the rec center around 8:30. I picked up my bib, did some stretches and waited inside until we were ready to start. They should have changed the name to Freezing 5k, because it was down right cold, right around 20 degrees. The race was hosted by the rec center, so it was only open to rec members, bringing the field to about 70 people. Not bad for a cold Sunday in February.

Once we all lined up, the race directer yelled the old fashioned, On  your mark, get set, Go! And just like that about 30 people sprinted ahead and I found myself being pulled with them. I checked the Garmin and we were at a 7:40 pace. There was no way I’d be able to keep this up for the whole race, or even the first half mile. I slowly started to ease myself into a better pace and settled right around 9:00. I was feeling good and had already passed one person. Then again around a mile in, I passed my second person.

The course was set throughout housing developments, so it was pretty much the same scene over and over. Lucky for me, these neighborhoods were new to me, so I kept checking out the houses and daydreaming of my own dream home. Then I suddenly realized that this was the longest mile ever. Where was the mile marker? I checked my watch and we were already at 1.25 miles. No mile markers, but not to worry, I’ll just go with it. (Apparently there were kilometer markers, but I missed those completely)  The next 2 miles were pretty much the same, nice neighborhoods, a decent pace and just a few spots of black ice. The only difference was the hidden gradual inclines. They weren’t really that bad, probably the “flattest” area in all of Medina. Remember this for future runs.

The last half mile was fun. I really hadn’t checked my time at all during the race, instead just focused on  my pace. I was feeling good and was able to pass my third person. I never pass people, so this was exciting. And then I had my biggest challenge…an 11 year old boy. I think I surprised him when I starting running next to him, so he quickly sped up. But the finish is uphill, so he couldn’t really get away from me. We went back and forth and I couldn’t help but smile, I was fighting a child for the finish. My final surge of energy came when a little 4 year old held out his hand right before the finish. I gave him a high 5 and crossed the line. As for the boy I was racing, we tied.

Overall I thought it was a great race. Besides being completely freezing half of the time, we had great weather even with a little bit of black ice to watch out for. I never felt like I was over pushing myself and I kept a pretty decent pace most of the time. It’s also great running without pain, something I hope to keep going for a long time this year.

After the race, everyone hung out inside waiting for the results to be posted. Because I signed up after January 31st, I didn’t get a shirt, but no problem, I managed to score one when I got second place in my age group! Complete shock, but awesome because I got a long sleeve shirt, a $5 certificate to go towards a class of my choice and two free guest passes to the rec center. Road trip to Medina anyone?

This was a great way to kick off the new year and the last of my “off season”.  This week I’ll be starting a 12 week training cycle for the Flying Pig Half Marathon, which will include a new way of training. I look forward to sharing more of this with you all!

Course Elevation:

Screenshot_2_10_13_1_03_PM

This is “flat” Medina

Garmin Time: 27:51

Age Group 20-29: 2/11

Gender Place: 7/39

Overall Place: 27/72

20130210-154134.jpg

Second Place Winnings

 

Did you race this weekend? Have you ever raced a kid to the finish line?