Monday, November 26, 2012

5k PR that almost didn't happen-Springfield Turkey Stuffer

I have been training for the 5k using a combination of workouts and some races as workouts.

My first 5k this year was 20:10 on 3.08 mile course in July. Since then I have raced four 5ks and one 6k trail race.  God has blessed me with some very good races this fall- and some very valuable learning situations.

I actually think I hit my peak around this race, but rested, then tweaked things enough to hang on to most of my fitness for few more weeks.

Pre-race complications, mistakes and mishaps (always more interesting than the actual race

My husband and I had discussed it the day before, and if the weather was dry, he needed to be able to work on our garage roof. I am so grateful he can do that type of thing! I would miss him, but this roof is needed.

I love this hard-working man!!
I called my dad to see if he would be willing to watch our boys during the race, since he already had our race packets (Out of town race and no race day packet pick up). He was happy to. My dad is awesome. 

Race morning I got ready to leave with just enough time that the boys would not have to wander long in the cold.  But, as I got ready to leave I found out the car was on EMPTY and it was Thanksgiving day.

Our town's one gas station was closed, but my husband scrambled around and found the gas can. Thank you, Honey!!

Somehow I made it 20 miles to the next town, got gas and discovered that my three year old had to use the potty - just as I was ready to drive off. Taking young children to races is not always easy. 

We arrived at the race with about 10 minutes until the start.

The parking lot was full, (as I should have expected for one of the largest races in the area), and I drove back and forth searching for a place to park on the road. The Lord gave me some peace, and at this point I realized I very well might not be racing...(but I was reconciled to just have a fun swim play day with the kids at the wave pool)...

I couldn't just park and leave the kids in the car. My dad was supposed to meet us inside the parking lot, which was crowded, and I didn't have a phone to get a hold of him. Somehow he spotted my car in the road, and we quickly changed spots. I grabbed my race shoes from the trunk and the packet from my dad.

I asked the first woman I saw, "Where are the porta-potties?" She just looked at me funny. I later found out that there were some outside restrooms far across the parking lot near the finish line. I had no idea of this, so I headed away from the crowd and looked for a somewhat secluded area with lots of vegetation. 

Here is where I took care of business, stripped off my tights down to my shorts, changed shoes, pinned on my bib and zipped on my tag. I stashed my other shoes and pants under a bush. Then, I jogged quickly to the start line as the RD announced "Two minutes to the start." 

Still not warmed up, I did some jogging and very short sprints in front of the start line. (Normally I do at least a mile - away from crowds- and then some strides). This was one of only a few races I have been to where it was announced that, "If you aren't going to run five minute miles, you should step back from the line". I lined up about the third row back, as there was no start timing mat.

The race
When the gun went off, I still did not feel warm...but it no longer mattered. People much faster than I were flying out of the gates..

I thought my watch was running (it wasn't), and I held the lap button down to start a fresh lap. A few moments later I looked and it read 0:00. Ooops.. I started my watch a little late.  Then I saw a friend of mine and decided to tuck in behind her. My watch was reading just under 6 MM, and I was surprised to see my friend shooting for that pace..surprised, but happy. 
We hit the first mile in 6:02 range.  

I stayed behind her and kept an eye on my pace, but saw it drop into the 6:10's. As we ran mile 2, it was interesting to see so many people ahead and beside me. There were some moves to be made and wiggling to  be done. 

As we got close to the second mile, I passed my friend and said "hi" at the same time. She cheered me on, and I hoped she would come with me. We lost some time in this mile, but wasn't sure how much. 

In the final mile, I knew I wouldn't break 19 minutes, but that I might still PR, so I focused on that: Just going hard and that there was only a mile or so left. 

I passed another female in team racing gear with maybe 1/2 mile to go. As we got back to the parking lot, I started looking for the finish line. 

There were mats, but no clock to read- and I knew my watch was off- (though it did beep for mile 3 a ways before the mats).  I found my anaerobic gear and passed a guy, but then got passed by the girl I passed earlier. :) When I crossed the mat I had no idea what my actual time was.

My boys and dad found me and gave me some big hugs! They were chilly, but it was wonderful to see their smiles. I found out a little later that the first female (Alex Kosinski) won in 15:51,  the first male (Craig Leon) in 14:52. 
                                                       I might discuss this data in a future post. ^

Post race
A soon as got my stashed stuff, the boys and I went into Splash, (a swim park where the race finished). They had a snack and then we got in our swim suits and played for about an hour and a half. The best part about this race is that if you register, you and your family or friends can swim at splash for free. This place is a treat for my kids and it was a fun way to spend a Thanksgiving morning.      

My dad went and checked on the results while we played in the pool, and also picked up an award I didn't know I had earned. I had finished in 19:13- a PR by 7 seconds. I'll take it!

After swimming we were eager to get back home for our family Thanksgiving celebration. I stopped for coffee at a drive through, and then saw a good deal on gas. Ready to turn left, I cut over to the R lane, and narrowly missed clipping a state police car. Somehow a very nice lady officer let me off -- Though maybe she saw my sleeping three-year-old and decided to give us all a Happy Thanksgiving gift. As I see it, that was better than a PR.

Other info
  • This used to be a certified course, but it looks to be expired, and the course start/finish has been shifted a bit
  • 1324 racers- lots of families! 
  • Mile markers were well placed and easy to see 
  • The Turkey Stuffer is probably the best 5k course around in regards to flat and fast. I would love to see someone's garmin map though, from this year, just to see what the distance measured. 
  • Kids can race this 5k for FREE, adults are 15$ without a shirt. 
  • Proceeds from the event help fund Willamalane's free summer playground program
  • Parking is HARD to find unless you get there early


  1. Congrats on a PR. That sounds like a crazy stressful race start. I had a 5 second PR on Thanksgiving Day too. Sounds like it must be a good day to hit a new PR. Of course yours is only like 12 minutes faster than mine!

    Those winning 5K times are insane....totally insane!

  2. NIce job pulling off a PR despite a hectic start to it all.

  3. Great job, and winning momma day too, between keeping your cool about all the pre-race hectic AND the water park. :) Congratulations on the new PR!

  4. What a great morning after all! Glad the stress didn't keep you from a PR!

  5. Exciting! That official time you have been looking for. Congratulations on the race and keeping your cool. I would have been a mess of nerves. Swimming after with your boys sounds fun too.

  6. Wicked!

    I just love reading your posts. Well done and deserved.

  7. Congrats! Blazing fast! We could have trotted together last week ;)

  8. You are so awesome Raina! You inspire me so much to want to train and race for a 5K. Maybe someday I can be as speedy as you! XXXX

  9. I. LOVED. THIS! I don't read many blogs these days..head too full, distracted, finding hard to find time but so so glad this was my blog for the day! Yay for posting on fb. ;) Loved every word...and that's odd for me to read every word these days too. ha! You ROCK! What a story. And a 7 min PR...So awesome Raina! Sounds like everything came together PERFECTLY! I bet that pool time with the kids was so much more enjoyable with that after race PR glow. Love! Oh, and no doubts you've got that sub 19 in you.

  10. Way to go! I love Thanksgiving races. It's such a great way to start the celebrating. That, and PR all in one day sounds pretty awesome. ;)

  11. Congrats on such a strong race, despite the stressful start! I love that you stayed calm and didn't get overfrazzled and let it take away from your racing performance. Yay for a new PR my fast friend!!! And I love the swim park idea. That would be such a fun way to start Thanksgiving.

  12. Loved reading about your race, Raina. It's cool that you did so very well despite the rush and uncertainty leading up to it.

  13. Wow you had a lot of stress and random things to deal with on race day - congrats on the PR! Very close to sub 19!

    As for the Ducks, I bet they will go to the Fiesta Bowl, and will beat whomever they play there (likely Oklahoma).

  14. Oh my! Can you say Murphy's law? I knew you've had troubles that day, but wow! And the end with the police car, I was laughing out loud (sorry, I hope you take this the right way). You ran a super race but that HR of yours is SO HIGH! 199 max in first mile? I think your monitor was stressed out:) Congrats on a super race and I am looking forward to many more PRs from you!

  15. Wow, what a great race story! Kids do make it interesting, don't they? You probably needed a fast race just to get the stress jitters out. Congratulations on the PR! Sub-19 is coming.

  16. Congrats on your PR lady. How did your HR drop almost 7 beats in the last section??? I'd love to read a post from you on your perspective of HR training.

    Love that first photo... looks like you are running so fast you have fire behind you :D

  17. You are so speedy!! Congrats on a PR and running such a great race despite everything conspiring against you to get there on time. Can't believe you made it to the start with TWO minutes to spare and still managed to pull off an amazing time. Woohoo!

  18. Congrats on the PR! You are such a great role model. You are one of the fastest runners I follow, yet you keep such a great attitude and perspective.

  19. Who needs warmup? Way to kill the race and PR anyway!

  20. Awesome job...congrats! Maybe you don't need to warm up after all...ha-ha! Glad you had a great experience and all your hard work was rewarded.

  21. Oh gosh, I was reading this and your mad dash to the start line and flashbacks of the half I did last year in a blizzard came into my mind. Ryan and I had 8 minutes to pick up our packets and get bibs pinned on and get to the potties and to the start line. I think we had 30 seconds :) ... but a great warmup because we were sprinting to everything prior. haha. So I think warmups are over-rated - as obvious with your awesome race!! Congratulations on an great race! You ran strong and steady and getting the PR and AG win was just icing on the cake!! You are amazing!!!

    Hope you had a fantastic turkey day with family after the victory!! :)

    Miss ya!!

  22. Congratulations on your PR! Fabulous!

    Also...was this an indoor or outdoor swimming pool? I'm trying to imagine swimming on Thanksgiving day. Brrrrrr.

  23. yeeeeeeeeee haw! A 5k PR, the stuff dreams are made of! ;) Well done, fantastic race and time!

  24. Amazing race, Raina!! What an awesome way to kick start your Thanksgiving. I managed a little pr in my 5k as well. So glad you had a nice long weekend!

  25. very nice!! So excited about your 5k PR!

    Bringing the kids to the races, even WITH The Husband, can be a struggle. I'm impressed that you juggled all of that chaos and got to the starting line intact.

  26. Just found you via twitter! Congrats on your PR, and I'm excited to follow more of your super speedy adventures.

  27. Hey you! Back to this! I typed my comment last night and then when I went to publish I had to sign into the correct account first and I lost my comment!! Annoying but better late than never!

    I think your blog should be entitled Raina's Race Adventures-ha! As always love reading your whole race story but this one almost sounds like a page out of my life. Well, not so much the smoking PR but the scrambling and changing and the police officer is familiar:)

    Such a super job Raina!!! A 7 second PR in a 5K is like a 7 minute PR in a marathon I think. HUGE accomplishment. Those seconds are TOUGH to take off when you get so fast!! This is truly a fantastic time and you would win every race around here for that! What a wonderful Thanksgiving to take the kids to the splashpark too!

    I hope your 7 days treated you WELL and that Jon was able to finish the roof! I love that picture of you crossing the finish where even at a distance I can see your wickedly muscular but yet lean legs. The one of you and the boys-priceless! Hope you're having a super week and still rewarding yourself for this awesome race:):)

  28. WooHoo! Congrats Raina on an awesome PR! Especially after such a rushed morning. Sounds like a super fun way to start off Thansgiving Day!

  29. Seriously! One of those events in the morning would have messed me up for the race. You are amazing! Keep up the awesome work!

  30. Wow! I am currently sitting in my chair doing the Garth and Wayne "We're Not Worthy!" motion and chant from WAYNE'S WORLD...


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