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!!|
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.
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. ^
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.
- 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