|Signing up for "fun" ...or is it pain?|
Photo -Todd Bosworth/OTC
The road 10k time trial (39:57 from a week earlier) put me at 19:10 so that seemed reasonable to shoot for. Being optimistic, I figured I might break it - if I was training better for a 5k than a 10k.
I left the boys with my Mom and Dad who are huge blessings to me and often watch the boys for my races. They kept them busy with kindling splitting and other chores they like. I owe my parents a BIG thanks for helping me so much. (My husband did not come. He has been spending every day with his grandma at the hospital. It just does not work for me to be there with the boys all day long :( ).
Warm-up/pre-raceAfter about a mile warm up in the 8:30-8:40 range, I did a few drills and then a few short accelerations.
We lined up and I found a spot- not in the very front, but close enough. I saw three younger ladies who looked pretty fast. When the gun went off, I fell in behind the male leaders. I watched as my watch went from 17:00/mile to 5 something and back down to the 6's.
We're off!I have ran in this area before, but this was a new course for me to race. The map was confusing, and honestly, I am usually glad to have someone ahead of me just so I don't get lost. (That is my biggest race fear!) . There were lots of corners- but it was all flat.
The first mile was paved bike path. We hit a corner - even went through a parking lot- and turned very sharply. A little later I hit the first mile at 6:03. Things still were feeling pretty good here, aerobically and with my legs.
In a few more step we entered apart of the course I had been aware of- the bark path mile. Instantly, the race got harder. I pushed my legs to turn over more, but even at a higher effort, I slowed and my lungs were starting to feel a bit O2 deprived. It was dry and dust was flying as well.
One mile loop of Rexius trail (wooded area below)
|I am sure this map will help someone next year.|
I glanced at my watch and saw it dipping to 6:20 and thought "This will not do! You must pick up your feet faster, or what's the point?" Here, I also noticed the advantage of staying in the center of the path, where it was firmer. (Towards the outside, all the bark/sawdust was rather loose and impossible to get a fast spring-off.).
I nearly twisted an ankle in this mile. We rounded a corner on the bark/sawdust, and I did everything I could to keep from going into the 6:20's. Just before the end of the bark section, I hit mile 2 at 6:19- very evenly paced with a male runner- vying for the best spots of bark.
At this point I figured it would be hard (if not impossible) to make 19:10 (My running math is not always so good), but shifted my goal to BEST possible outcome/PR. The course led us back onto the paved path and towards the park again- not exactly as we came.
There isn't a lot of time to make up for a bad mile in the 5k, but I was trying my best. I kept thinking... "There is only a mile left. Make it hurt." But I was worn out from trying to do a 6:00 effort on bark. The best I could do for mile 3 was 6:16.
There were no awards, as this was part of a series of official timed runs (results here)- also called "races". I am thrilled to finally race on a 5k course that is 5k and not 2.9 or 3.3 miles - and will count this as a PR.
- It was in the 60's and a night race, so I wore my compression shorts, my favorite "Run Eugene" shirt (Olympic Trials freebie), my hat, and my Brooks PureConnects. This has become my default racing outfit. I just feel good in it!
- I left my fuel belt behind and had had enough snacks all day not to worry about a gel. Maybe next time.
- Running on bark is nice for an easy run, but I am not sure how I feel about racing on it.
- Cheap races are nice! I love the price (free for OTC members, 5$ for non-members). Special thanks to the Oregon Track Club volunteers for hosting a well-organized and accurate race!
- I didn't meet my time goal for this race, but I left feeling great- knowing I ran a solid PR.
- Without trying to sound over-confident, I am looking forward to shaving a few miles off the next few weeks of training, and giving this distance another shot.
- I am very blessed to be running well- to be running at ALL, and am feeling gooooooooood about the 5k!