Saturday, July 6, 2013
In all the years I've been a runner, I have never run a race on the 4th of July. This was the year! K and I debated between a popular race with baked goods or a smaller race just north of us. The smaller race just north of us won out mostly because it was easier to get to and would be faster to get home. It had a nice small event feel supporting a local YMCA and community groups. I'd get a chance to work on short speed and have some fun.
The YMCA Everett Yankee Doodle Dash was super easy to get to and there was plenty of easy parking. It was a small event though and I'd seen conflicting information about what time the various races started. There was a 10k, a 5k, a 1 mile race and various young kids races. We picked up our bib and asked about race start and were told the 5k would start with the 10k. Turns out that was incorrect and the 5k started 15 minutes later.
I had time for a nice long warm up along totally empty and closed off streets. Later in the day there is a July 4th parade and the streets were already closed in anticipation of that plus there many, many spotlessly clean porto-potties scattered around. I tell you, it was a runner's dream come true! I wasn't too happy though about the mix up with the race start as that was enough time to get cooled off waiting about. So be it. I'd been very stiff and slow warming up and wasn't too sure what to expect.
The 10k started a couple minutes late and we cheered off a friend from my work whom we often see at local small races. He is one fast dude and always entertaining to hear his latest whining and complaining and oh yes, he'd generally either win a race or certainly his age group. And we lined up and were ready to go. This race had an uphill start which i knew would not be fun but i hoped to run about 7:10 overall. I didn't think i'd be at 5k PR pace since i'd not had very many or very sucessful speed workouts lately. I did wear my fast shoes though and debuted my new sparkle skirt as a test for the relay.
And we were off! And evidently the lead runner followed the course of the 10k. Or the volunteers on course directed us wrong. Or K thought there was a lead motorcycle who followed the 10k course. Uh wrong. The 5k had a different start and we were off course. I didn't realize the mistake until i hit the mile 2 marker and saw my watch said 2.4 miles and was confused. So this begs the question that if one were on top of things and followed the course as it should have been, I think that person would have won! K realized this mistake so he obviously lost out on a once in a lifetime opportunity!
The uphill felt pretty awful as expected but then i started settling into pace just a bit slower than i hoped. Mile 1 - 7:14. Mile 2 featured a very gradual downhill and I wanted to use this and get ahead a bit but the legs were perfectly happy maintaining. Mile 2 - 7:15. There was a hairpin turn in this mile too which is never ever fun at 5k pace.
After the crowded first couple of turns, the field had really disappeared. I had a few guys ahead of me but no one was passing nor was I making up much time on anyone except for the occasional doofus who'd obviously gone out way too hard. Mile 3 was gradually uphill and I desperately fought to maintain pace. maybe it would've been better to have a greater depth of field as I was basically running by myself. i was happy to eventually get mile 3 to a hard fought 7:34. It was a bit more of an uphill than I was expecting. But i'd hit that mile 2 at 2.4 and couldn't quite figure out what that meant.
I expected to do the same little extra turns back to the finish but we turned and suddenly were headed downhill to the finish. Go! I got passed by one guy who then managed to stop in front of me right after the line and started heaving. Yeah, that's a great way to race. I'd passed him about half a mile back. And then the race director was coming through to say congrats on the 3.5 mile race.
What? Hahahaha! That's right the extra turns in the beginning had added almost half a mile. I'd managed a 7:19 pace overall for 3.5 miles total and was fairly pleased with that. I'd demonstrated that for me to race a 5k well, i have do do a lot of longer hard intervals (ie a lot of 2 mile races in the months before) so thought this was really perfect as preparation for the upcoming relay.
the extra bonus? it was a small race and the 10k drew the faster people. So I was 9th female overall and took first in my age group in the 5k. Yippee! We stayed around to get my ribbon because really, I'd worked very hard for it and this sort of thing doesn't happen all the time.
and the extra extra bonus? I loved the sparkle skirt. I got two for the upcoming relay and a couple other smaller races. One was the sparkle light and looked really nice and was very comfortable. I got another sparkle tech skirt in a pretty spectacular patter WITH sequins and just love it. Both will look great with the orange tutus for the relay.