Thursday, September 17, 2015

Women of Wonder 5k

At the start.
Well for once I did this one right. I've done the 10k at this event for the past couple years. It's a fun event but the 10k is challenging for a lot of reasons. Its a big event and for the 10k, on the second loop of the course you hit a lot of walking traffic. If you are aiming for a good time, it's very hard to hit that while weaving through walkers and yelling "on your left!" the last mile of a 10k. And it tends to be fairly warm as the race starts late. I actually like that part though as it's nice to have a leisurely morning!

I was supposed to be racing the Ragnar Trail Cascades this weekend. But forest fires in the area cancelled the race 10 days ago. This was good as I was worried about smoke and race impact on a small community hard hit by the largest fire in Washington state history. We've had rain and moderating temperatures but the fire is not completely contained. So i needed another race. I didn't really want a longer one though as I am aiming for a half marathon in mid October. I needed a short race to get a better idea of where I am and to practice a hard race pace.

The 10k again at this race? Ugh. Mentally I just wasn't prepared so I signed up for the 5k thinking at least it would be over with quickly.

I wanted to go out aggressively but at a pace where I thought I could hit realistically. I didn't taper for this race at all and did get in my long run Thursday. I had speed work as usual on Tuesday too. I think i'm in about 7:15-7:20 5k shape and decided to go out at 7:15. I hit 7:17 for the first mile and just concentrated on dodging the few walkers who are typically on the inside path of Green Lake. It's not a closed course!

Of course this is a women's only race. I hadn't really thought about this as I've always been at a slower pace for the 10k which starts at the same time. There were so few other racers about and I had been expecting more competition. I was working very hard though and that was a goal. I battled and kept battling!

It's just Green lake and I run around Green Lake at least 2 to 3 times a week so as I tick along each landmark, it does help me stay focused. The course does go on the streets outside the lake and you can get a surprising amount of tangent running in. I'm always surprised when I don't see other runners doing this. Believe me i want to be done sooner rather than later and I figure every step counts!

I passed a gal with about a mile to go. At 3/4, i got passed by another woman. But then I couldn't make any headway on staying with her or with another gal within site. I do think i was slowing here but I kept battling.

My main hope was that I'd be under 23:30. As I hopped up the curb to the last grassy finish, i could see that I was going to make that! Hooray 23:20! I came though the finish and got a medal (for a 5k!) and heard the announcer say that was the top 10 finishers.

WHAT?! I was 7th overall. That was a surprise and no wonder there was no one else around! I did end up 1st in my AG. My friend and running partner was 2nd overall (and technically 1st in my AG).

the best part of this race was that it started pouring not too long after we finished running. Perfect timing. I haven't run too many 5ks lately and it was nice to get such a solid one in, feel good and work very hard. I have a couple weeks of peak training ahead of me and I'm feeling ready!

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