Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Scandia Run 5k PR (or is it?)

What more could you ask for in a race than flat, fast and certified? Perhaps some viking gear? A few Danish treats?

The Scandia Run has been one of my favorites for a few years because it is all that and more. I have done the 10k a few times now, but 2012 is the first year this race hosted a 5k distance.

Still just starting into my 5k training experiment cycle, my goal was to improve in my second 5k of the year. On race day I was feeling pretty flat. I had poor sleep the night before and had been agonizing a bit over some personal issues that week. All excuses aside, running has been going well! I am on the uphill part of training where you need to spend some time adjusting to workouts. Sometimes you just have to take "junk" and put it away on a shelf for a bit.

Pre-race
After meeting up with Michelle and her daughter, I registered. Then I went off for a warm up and ran a mile slow, then hit a few short striders and did some drills I have been using lately. A little dynamic stretching and it was off to the start line. The10k racers had left 15 minutes ahead.

The race
When the gun fired, I took off with the pack and let my watch settle into a 5:30 pace, then slow down to about 6:20. I had pace alerts set, and the darn thing kept beeping throughout the race. I don't mind that though; In the 5k, I can't afford to let my mind wander. There is no time to daydream!

We sped past mile 1 in 6:20, and around this point I had a guy pass me. My goal became to chase him and try to keep with him- pass him if possible.

At the water station, I passed by the cones and circled the painted turn around. Junction City is in flat farmland and this year the mint fields were not mowed yet.... They smelled FRESH in the morning air, and sprinklers were watering some of the lawns in front of large farm homes.

Still trying to keep up with my rabbit, we passed mile 2 at 12:50. The road was continuously flat...which can be good, but it also means you can see everything and everyone well before you get to it. I was still listening to lots of beeping. I refused to look at my watch.

Some friendly people walking and running cheered and I smiled (or tried to), as I passed Kellie coming the other direction. I was working hard, but it didn't feel like I had the right rhythm; at one point I felt a flash of nausea, but it went away quickly. I tried to focus on leg turn-over, rather than the gasping that comes from hitting a debt of oxygen. I need to learn how to race through discomfort...this was good practice!

We hit the corner for the final turn and I could see the finish line for what seemed like miles. I tried to remind myself to stay with the guy, but save something for the last 100 yards. As we got closer to the clock I could hear Michelle cheering, and read 19:3? something...Wahoo! PR city! The guy picked up speed at the same time I started my kick. (I WILL work on this.)


Crossing the finish line right after him, in 19:41, I caught my breath and went to congratulate him. I recognized him immediately- it was the man who had inadvertently paced me in the mile last year-- wearing a chicken head! (not wearing it this time though).

             I said, "It's you! Chicken head!"
             He smiled, (recognizing me- I hope) and I asked, "Tom, right?"*

Then we proceeded to talk about the distance of the course...

Post race
We both had our GPS watches read the course as short. (warning: small gripe) What is the deal with short courses? This is an EXCELLENT race course for our area.  It should be plenty fast, even if measured over 3.1 miles/5k, but it is actually USTAF certified as 4.96K.**

Yes. 4.96K.  Shouldn't anyone concerned over certification also want it to be the 5k it is listed as? Maybe I am just especially nutty that way.. I also like my courses not to be too long, either.


Next I visited with Adriane, who was third female, sweet, and fun to talk to. Then I made my way back to catch Michelle's daughter, Kellie, finish her first 5k without walking! It was a great race for us all.

 Stats

Other things you might like to know about this race

Fee: 20$ day of race without shirt
Fuel: oatmeal/banana cookie, coffee with milk, and about 8 oz of a mocha before 7:15 am, 8:15 race
Water stations: one that you can hit just before/after the turn around
Porta potties: Lots of them in the park, but lines get long right before the 10k start
Prizes: sweatshirts, Dari-mart gift certificates, cash prizes for 10k- but not 5k. Raffle for lots of other prizes, like hotels stays at resorts.
Other: located at a FUN Scandinavian festival with lots of crafts and food to see and buy.

Some reflections
This is a really fun, fast race -and hope to do it again next year. It was well organized. I was happy to meet my goal of improving over the 5k distance. On paper this looks like I PR'd, but working out the pace per mile over the short course, I ran a 6:26 pace- NOT the 6:20 pace on my "official" results. My previous PR was on a long (certified 5k) course and the official pace was 6:25.

It was a beautiful day to race, and God is so good to let me RUN like I love to. I am grateful for this body, this LIFE, and not taking a single race for granted. ever.

*Tom, if you are reading, I will NOT let you keep that lead next time!

**late edit- I received an email in March of 2014 from the RD that the course will be re-measured and accurate this year.

40 comments:

  1. You know whats weird... my watch that Kellie was wearing registered 3.1! I dont see anywhere on here how you WON the 5k and was first OVERALL woman!!!! You deserve that glory. I was honored to be there to witness your greatness and even more honored to get to cool down with you :)
    XOXOOXOXOX

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    1. Well, when Kellie started passing people right and left, that makes the course a bit longer.

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    2. hahaha I love you! That must be it!

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  2. I would always rather run a long course than a short one, but many congratulations for being first woman!! It doesn't matter what the distance is when you run that smart and that hard. Well done!!

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    1. Glad to know i am not the only person concerned with the course being long enough!

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  3. Congrats on your speedy race! I'm not sure if I would be able to keep up with you even if I focused on speed work! You did great, even if you just missed catching Mr. Chickenhead! =)

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    1. John- you would probably surprise everybody, including yourself, with focused speed work!

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  4. Yes, short courses, we talked about that! You ran a great race Raina and it was better than last 5K no matter how you look at it. Love your pic, you are rocking those shorts! Excited for the next one:)

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  5. What shorts are those? Yes, you are rocking them alright. Raina, you are running so strong...this is a PR for sure! And it isn't nearly as short as mine was with my 18:25...ha! Congrats on your win girl!

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    1. Your 18:25 leaves me something to drool over :)

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  6. Okay, so I ran my first 5k this weekend and got a time of 19:49. It wasn't chip timed. When I looked at my Garmin stats they were 6:25, 6:23 and 6:11. That would make 18:59 for the first 3 miles. I forgot to stop my Garmin so I don't have the data for the .1 but I'm sure it was faster than 6:11 pace. I don't know whether the course was long or maybe the timing could be that off??? I'm thrilled for the 19:49 but its not adding up for me.
    Anyway, congrats on a great race! I agree, God IS good!!! It's such a blessing to be able to run and to run fast.

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    1. Carissa, that is a fantastic first 5k! Which race? Where were you when you started? Were you on the start line? That can add some time if it's a chip finish but not a chip start. And then gun time is used as the official time...so that would trump the Garmin. In any case, I am excited for you! Did you blog about the race?

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    2. I ran the Crawfish Crawl in Tualatin and I started my Garmin at the gun. I was pretty close to the start. They were collecting a portion of our bibs just past the finish line so I'm not sure how that impacted our process/timing. Anyway, we're just putting the finishing touches on the race recap and it should post soon. :)

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  7. So I tried to reply on my phone and it wasn't working. NICE JOB RAINA!!! First place? That's incredible I'm so excited for you. And your time is amazing. I've never run a 5k, but would be stoked if I broke 7 minute miles. Carissa will get sick of running with me soon, I'm sure. She keeps getting faster and faster... I'm going to try again to sign up for your blog posts. They still aren't showing up in my inbox. Congrats!

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    1. I am pretty sure you could bust out a very fast 5k Jodi. You just haven't gone that direction yet!

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  8. Congrats speedy lady!!! I always complain if a race is too short or too long on my garmin. I think only a couple have been spot on. My biggest complaint was the Houston 1/2. It was way off. I ran 13.3 or something like that. I had a PR too so I really wished that the course would have been accurate because my PR would probably have been more. Oh well.....I will stop complaining now. :-)

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    1. Darn! Maybe you just need a re-do. Sounds like my Boston- 26.7 miles or something like that.

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  9. Think back to the days pre-Garmin and a 5k course was a 5k course - we didn't know any they were long or short, we just went with what it was. So since the race was a 5k, then I say PR! Congratulations....you are on FIRE! :)

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    1. Ha! I suppose that's true- but it also meant that somebody probably rolled the course out with a wheel! It's too bad I stumbled on the internet map of the certified 4.96K :)

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  10. Congrats girl!!! You are so fast and strong. I love your focus and determination. I had the opposite problem in my 5k win a week ago - LONG course. I ran a 6:19 average pace but the course was so long that my official time was 20:18. What can you do? :) You ran a great race and looked awesome doing it. Congrats!! :)

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  11. Holy cow you are smoking fast! What a super race. Way to go!

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  12. Well done Raina! Really great time indeed! Haha, here in SA I don't think any course has ever been exact. I also see people nearly always get different readings from their watches after finishing the same race.

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  13. BUMMER! Well, that just means you are that much closer for next time, right? Stuff like that is aggravating, and unfortunately happens often on. I mean, how hard would it have been for them to get those final few meters?

    Conggrats on a super speedy time!

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  14. Short courses (and long courses) are super annoying, but from what your writing your course wasn't that short. 4.96K = 3.08 miles. 19:41 for 3.08 miles is 6:23 pace. A 6:23 pace for 3.11 miles (5K) is 19:52, so even if the course was exactly 3.11 you would have PR'd. Great job! And you've barely started your 5K experiment! And you do rock those shorts...

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  15. A PR is a PR regardless of the distance; did you claim the 5k PR when the course was long? If so, then so be it as a "short" one.

    I really like your RRs. You have just begun your 5k experiment and look at the times you are turning. I say --WELL DONE!

    Great job and well deserved.

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  16. Fyi, all certified courses will be long, because they have a SCPF (short course prevention factor) built in. so, 5000m is actually 5005m. :) trivia of the day.

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  17. A PR is a PR girl and that is quite close enough as far as I'm concerned! But it is weird they'd actually certify it as short?!?! Congrats either way, you are one speedy girl!

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  18. Great job, Raina!! You'll get him next year :-)

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  19. You are so going to get the chicken guy next year!!! You are so fast!!! Congrats on a great race...oh and a pr is a pr!!

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  20. Congrats on a great race and being the first overall woman! You sure are speedy!

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  21. Take the PR. And congratulations!!! :)

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  22. Way to go on the fabulous PR!! That is amazing! I am a new runner so I am just happy to run the entire 5k. :) Someday I hope to be able to run twice as fast as I do now!! Praise God for the awesome gift of running!!

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  23. Oh Raina! Nobody writes a better race report than you!!

    OK-I don't get the 4.96 certification? I'm slow but why don't they just move the start/finish a little and then get re-certified for 5K. This would irk me. This is totally besides the point as a 19:41 at 5K or 4.96 is really really fantastic for you right now! I hate short 5k's and I hate long 5k's. Really I just hate 5K's-ha!!!

    This is a PR in my book and an improvement!!! You won! You looked great doing it! So glad you're happy and excited about 5K training. Send me some speed vibes!!! Great job Raina!

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  24. That was me:) Wrong account to post from!

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  25. I need to eat cookies before races, too! Wow, I can't imagine running that fast! Congrats!

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  26. I totally almost did that race! Maybe next year I'll have to keep it on my radar so we could have yet another race together.

    Any thoughts for Prefontaine next month? Will you be there to snatch up another pretty trophy?

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  27. Awesome race, Raina! I'm slowly getting caught up on blogs so sorry I'm so late to say so... :) But I'm always inspired by your athletic abilities and you're perspective and gratitude for what God has gifted your body to do. Congrats again!

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  28. Hey Raina, it's me, Tom (a.k.a chicken head man). I've been wracked about the short course thing too. I was using that race as my starting point for some 5K training and am a little over half way through my 8 week program. I want to compare my end time to my start, but it's inaccurate. Grrr. Ah well. We both were still pretty fast. And I love a challenge. Now that I know you're gunning for me I'll be wearing my fast pants. Looking to test out my training sometime in early October if you're up for a race. Always nice to have some competition to push you faster!

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    1. Which race are you going to do in early October?! I love a challenge too. I am trying to hit a few along the way between now and late October. Are you on FB?

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