Paws for the Cause 5k Recap

This past Saturday I ran the 3rd Annual Medina SPCA Paws for the Cause 5k. This was the first time I had signed up for the race, and I was excited to get another 5k in before the weather turned for the worse. Even better, proceeds go to protect injured, abused and neglected animals that the SPCA takes in.

The race started at 9, so I got there at 8:30, picked up my bib, used the restroom, warmed up a bit and met up with some fell MCRR members. The race course was the same as the Twin Sizzler 5k, and also almost every 5k in Medina, so I was fairly familiar with what to expect.

Because the race was put on by the SPCA, dogs were allowed to participate. I positioned myself up near the front to avoid getting tangled or stuck behind any dogs. I knew I didn’t want to go out too fast, so I aimed to stay at 8:40 for the first mile, and then negative split.

Ready to start!

Ready to start!

We started from the square and headed south towards 57. We started with a nice decline, and then had our forever incline up 57. I waited a bit to check my pace, and found myself going a little too slow. I started to pick it up, but felt like I was never really moving fast. I even got to a point where I was by myself and started to zone out a bit. This was not what I wanted for my first mile, but for some reason, I couldn’t get into the groove. Surprisingly, I hit my first mile under goal.

Mile 1- 8:36

We turned into one of the developments and started the section of turns and rollers. I tried to stay consistent with my pace since I was feeling good, but some of the hills got the best of me. And I was again reminded I need to do more hill work.

This mile went by quickly and shortly after I felt we entered the development, we were on our way out and heading up South Court.

Mile 2- 8:47

I knew If I wanted to do well, I’d need to pick up the pace in the last mile. We continued along Court, and I focused on the ground ahead of me. I knew the uphill finish would be here soon and I wanted to prepare myself.

We turned onto the brick road and surprisingly, I still felt great. I felt like I was flying. I wasn’t, those bricks can be so deceiving. So I picked up the pace and moved to the side for the flattest section.

We ran past the 57 intersection and I knew that dreaded hill was coming. I was started to get into a groove and I felt confident I would be able to crush the hill this time. As myself and another runner approached East Smith I watched as a cop allowed to cars to go through the intersection. He saw us getting closer and stopped traffic so we could cross to get to the finish line. As we entered the intersection, an old, black SUV came speeding through, not even 5 feet to the left of us. We immediately had to stop or else he would have hit us. The cop yelled at him, but he had no clue what was going on.

Mile 3- 8:17

I caught my breath and tried to get back into somewhat of a decent pace as I continued up the hill to the finish. I felt off and just wanted to be done, so I sped up as much as I could to cross the finish line.

Last .1- 7:11 pace

Almost to the finish!

Almost to the finish!

Overall, this was a great event. I will gladly run any race that supports animals, especially local. The course was predictable, which I enjoy because I know when I can push it, and when to save it. I never had any issues running into any dogs, and they all seemed to be pretty well behaved. Participant dogs even got a little bandanna to wear during the race. Can I borrow someone’s dog for next year?

After I finished, I saw Mallory and her dog Walter finish and we walked over to the goodies table. I was a little distraught that I was so close to going under 26, but I’ll take a few extra seconds rather than getting hit. It was a good reminder to be aware of traffic, even during races.

Post race with some speedy MCRR ladies.

Post race with some speedy MCRR ladies.

I’ll certainly be back to race next year, and hopefully I’ll be able to run a course PR!

Clearly upset they couldn't participate

Clearly upset they couldn’t participate

Results:

Time: 26:00

Age Group 20-29: 7/64

Female Overall: 28/316

Overall: 66/465

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