I started my 4th of July weekend by running the Twin Sizzler and this year I decided on the 5k and 10k. Because I was going to be adding additional miles in between races, I had a different approach than a normal race day.
I started with a half mile warm up and made my way to the start line for the 5k. Knowing I’d be doing a ton of miles that day, I didn’t want to go all out. I also knew the course wasn’t flat, so running a PR wasn’t on my radar.
We started on the square and headed South on 57. The first mile begins with a downhill, but then has a continual uphill that really makes you work for it. I felt pretty comfortable with my pace, but the humidity was a bit deceiving so I felt warmer than I had expected. I grabbed a cup of water, took a sip and kept going.
After we hit the first mile marker, the field started to spread out. I could concentrate on my breathing and making sure I was staying at a decent pace. My second mile is usually my slowest, so I did everything I could to keep my pace quicker than the first mile. The course was relatively flat, and I still felt pretty good.
The last mile started on an incline, but quickly flattened out once we got onto South Court. We were shaded by the tree lined street, so I was able to pick up my pace and not feel like I was wasting too much energy. We made our way onto South Broadway and were met with the brick road. I always love running this street because it reminds me of Muskingum, but it’s not always the easiest to run on. Knowing we’d be finishing uphill, I tried to work on my speed here before I got to the finish.
I picked up my pace, focused on the finish and crossed the line with negative splits!
Last .06-8:10 pace
Official Time: 26:45
Age Group 25-29: 11/34
I followed up the 10k with a mile and a half with Mo, an MCRR member. We took it easy, and tried to figure out how one races a 10k, and what pace you should be at. I still didn’t know how to race a 10k, but figured I’d take it around my half marathon pace and keep it easy for the additional miles I’d still have to run once I was finished.
We lined up for the 10k, and we were off. I tried to keep a conservative pace, but couldn’t help but speed up a bit by everyone else that was running by. The first mile was the same as the 5k’s, and this time I had my water so I didn’t stop for a drink.
I knew we continued on 57 for a bit, but when I saw the sign for Montville Township, I knew we were in for some major hills! We started going up, and I did everything I could from walking, luckily I saw Renee at the top of the hill and that helped to push me through.
We kept going past the second mile marker and turned onto Lexington. I knew there was another hill, but wasn’t sure how big. At this point we had been running uphill for about a mile, and my legs were starting to crumble. We continued through the development, winding on the roads and continued to go uphill. Once we hit the third mile marker, we finally had a downhill.
By this point my legs were toast, so I stopped to stretch them. I slowed by pace down, but they were still in pain. I took a sport bean around this time, hoping I’d get some energy, but really looked at keeping a decent pace.
I was more focused on how many miles I had run for the day, rather than what mile I was running for the race. I was sitting between 8-9 miles and with all the hills, it felt like I had run about 11-12 by this point.
I made it to mile 4 and I think it was around this point that I saw Christy. Seeing her helped to motivate me, but my legs were hurting worse now. We had smaller rolling hills, but by this point, my knee and arch started to ache a bit. I stopped to stretch some more and slowed my pace.
By now I was counting down the miles until I was done, my legs were in a ton of pain, and I just wanted to sit down and stretch for about 10 minutes. But I kept going, slow and steady, knowing that the last mile would be the same as the 5k.
We made our way onto South Court and I could feel my legs getting lighter. I finally had some flat ground and I could pick up my pace. We got to the brick road, and I did what I could to keep my pace from slowing down. I braced myself for the final hill and made my way to the finish.
Last .25-10:29 pace
Official Time: 1:03:13
Age Group 25-29: 18/24
I finished up the day with an additional two miles around town and the final mile in my development. I managed to get 14 for the day, but my legs were incredibly beat up.
Overall, I’m glad I ran both the 5k and the 10k. After the 10k, the 5k felt easy, and although I didn’t push myself too hard in the 5k, I was able to negative split and focus on my pacing.
As for the 10k, it was hard, and a lot hillier than I had expected. When you have an elevation chart like this, it’s not hard to see why my legs were so sore.
The Twin Sizzler has become one of my new favorite traditions in town, and I plan to run it every year I can. Except next year, I think I’ll stick with just the 5k.