Race Report: Be The Match 5K 2016

Official Results:
Time: 30:51
Pace: 9:56
Placing:
Overall: 152/286
Gender: 68/151
Division (F30-39): 22/44

Watch Results:
Time: 30:56
Pace: 10:04
Distance: 3.07 mi
Heart Rate: 185

Goals:
A: 31:30
B: 32:00

Food:
What I ate the night before: Crackers and a banana chocolate chip muffin
What I ate on race morning: 3/4 of a plain bagel
What I carried with me: nothing

Gear:
What I wore: t-shirt, hoodie, buff as headband, shorts
Gadgets: GPS watch, heart rate monitor, fitness tracker

Discussion:
I exceeded my goals, which is outstanding. The race could have gone better for me, which is not outstanding.

I didn’t feel 100% well on Friday. I was… ok, but feeling a little off, at least where my GI system was concerned. I didn’t want to eat anything that would throw off my system more than it already was, so I didn’t have a very good dinner. We were also driving down to the Twin Cities during dinner time, so my food options were limited. I woke up in the morning feeling hungry but also nauseated, a poor combination. And of course slept poorly. First two “keys to success” nailed. Not.

We arrived to the race later than planned, of course. It was COLD. Maybe 36-37F. I left all my stuff in my mom’s car, including my Body Glide, so I was fairly certain I was going to have no skin left on my thighs at the end of the race, but there was nothing to be done. We met up with the rest of my family and were going to hand out bib numbers and shirts for the team, but it turned out they had checked in again, and due to a miscommunication, had received new bibs. It wasn’t a big deal since the only people running with timing chips were my husband, my sister-in-law, and me.

I didn’t miss the tot trot (key to success: check!), but my nephew was cranky and didn’t want to run. It was cold, so I get it. My sister in law carried him so he “completed” the race. I failed to do a proper warm-up (ANOTHER key to success missed), but I did get in a few minutes of running, which was… slow. And disheartening. I had no pep in my step. The call for 5K runners to line up was right after the tot trot ended, so I went to the back to get in position. There were signed for different paces, ending with 10:00, but there was hardly any space between 10:00 milers and walkers/strollers. Annoying. I saw my brother, sister-in-law, and husband lined up in the 9 minute group and moved up.

We started off slow, dodging walkers and slower runners as we moved up. I started off probably too fast and just figured screw it, go for it, don’t back off. I separated from the rest of my family and then my husband ran up alongside me and then passed me. This is his first race ever, I think (and his first in 20+ years, for sure), and he beat me by a minute or so. Pretty bada$$, but now the competition is on for the Midnight Sun Midnight Run  next month! Mile 1 split: 10:08. There was a slight GPS error here, and the map of my run shows me cutting through the lake, which most certainly didn’t happen.

I remembered my mistake from last year, not getting any water at the water stop halfway through. This time, I did, and I felt yucky after drinking it. I’m used to drinking water at a slow pace, not a fast (for me) pace. I kept checking my watch and reminding myself to push the pace. Mile 2 split: 9:49.

In the third mile, I slowed quite a bit, conserving energy (ha, more like being lazy) for a final push at the end. I didn’t quite have as much pep as I’d have liked, but I don’t usually go out so hard. It didn’t smell like dead fish at the end, which was good. Mile 3 split: 10:19. 0.07 extra: 9:09 pace. The weird glitch in the first mile must have thrown off the distance, as the course was USATF-certified and my GPS usually measures long.

My husband destroyed himself to get under 30 minutes (not realizing that he had a nice cushion, since he was running without a watch and had no idea what his start time was relative to gun time), as I discovered him sitting on the ground near the chute. He got up and walked around and felt better, and then we caught up with the other runners in the family and got our free food. Then we froze our butts off waiting for the walkers to finish, which wasn’t that pleasant. I was glad not to be sweltering during the race itself, but we were outside for an hour after completing the race.

I’m pleased with my time, and I feel like a sub-30 5K is within reach this year, maybe even next month. That’s a tall order, but with adequate sleep and nutrition, I know I’ve got more in the tank.

I also had a personal best in fundraising; I raised $551.66, and my team raised $1286.66 in total. Both family members who were bone marrow transplant recipients participated in the walk; we have been fortunate! I’m so proud to support Be the Match and to help others find life-saving donors.

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Race Report: Be The Match 5K

Official Results:
Time: 36:09
Pace: 11:38
Placing:
Overall: 309/487
Division (F 30-39): 51/85
Gender: 156/278

Watch Results:
Time: 36:09 (! I am a master watch starter-stopper!)
Pace: 11:29
Distance: 3.14 mi
Heart Rate: 167

Goals:
A: 36:00
B: 36:30

Food:
What I ate the night before: Chex Mix and pretzels
What I ate on race morning: 3/4 of a granola bar
What I carried with me: nothing

Gear:
What I wore: Tech t-shirt, running capris, baseball cap
Gadgets: GPS watch, heart rate monitor

Discussion:
I drove down to the Twin Cities on Friday evening, and I wasn’t feeling so hot. I had had a taco salad for lunch that had made me feel overall kind of crummy, so I didn’t feel like eating much for dinner due to heartburn. I ate Chex Mix in the car on the way down, and some pretzels once I was at my friend’s house, but my stomach just felt like it was gnawing on itself.

I woke up at about 6:30 on Saturday morning and still felt crappy, probably because I hadn’t eaten enough the night before. It didn’t bode well for the race, but I got up and dressed and ready so I could head to my mother’s house, since we were car-pooling. We ended up getting going rather late, and I missed my nephew running in the tot trot. He came in like 2nd to last (he is 2.5 so it was somewhat of a mystery to him). That’s my boy! I did run from the car to the Lake Harriet bandshell to warm up (and also to tell the rest of the fam that my mom was coming with the race bibs), and I did eat a little bit before I ran, but I also left my water bottle in the car, so I didn’t fully integrate the changes I’d been planning.

I lined up with my mother’s cousin and her husband. I told them my plan was to line up toward the back so I didn’t get passed by a bunch of people, so we lined up between the 10:00 pacer and the walker signs. Unfortunately we lined up too soon, and WAY MORE PEOPLE lined up behind us, so my plan was foiled. My cousin’s husband ditched us right away because he is a speedy guy (he was 39th overall and 9th in his age group! Although he was disappointed in his time because he was a whole 7 seconds off his goal time), but my cousin was looking to run a similar pace to me. I think she is a little faster but was happy to hang back and chat with me. She was a great running companion as we gave each other little pep talks along the way, but then were also ok with silence at other times.

It was really humid out on Saturday, and much warmer than I was used to, and I still had a gaggy feeling in my throat (but my stomach wasn’t actually upset), so I was concerned about how the race would go. I was pushing a bit because my cousin was a little faster than me, and also because I wanted to get a good time. There were a couple small hills in the first mile or so, nothing I couldn’t handle. We hit the first mile in 11:15. I hung with my cousin for the first two miles (we hit the second in 11:41), and through the third I was kind of lagging a step or two behind, and then I told her to go on ahead of me. She checked back behind her once to see if I was OK, and I yelled at her “Go go go!” I kept her in my sights and tried to keep her from getting too far away. The final half mile or so was kind of sucky, as the race wasn’t an exact loop around Lake Harriet, there was a slight diversion around the parkway past the bird sanctuary to complete the distance, and that had a bit of a hill. The race did end on a downhill, which was nice, but for some reason I had no desire to kick it into high gear and race it in. I was passed by several people at the end, and only passed maybe one or two people, which made me mad at myself. I saw the clock at the finish from about the three mile mark (11:50 pace), and at first I thought it said 38:XX, which made me furious with myself. I had crossed the timing mat about 1:10 after the start, so if the clock had a 38 on it, it meant I hadn’t made my goals or even beat my time from April. As I got closer I realized the clock said 36:XX, which meant I had a chance to come in under my A Standard, and if I had been tougher, I would have used that as motivation to turn on the jets and run it on in. Of course, if I had been tougher, I would have hung on with my cousin, since she finished only 26 seconds ahead of me.

I missed my A Standard by 9 seconds. My legs and my lungs had 9 seconds in them, I know that. I need to really get smarter about my meals leading up to a race. Didn’t I just say I should avoid having Chipotle? Apparently I thought it would be safe to have a similar meal as long as it was for lunch, rather than dinner. Ugh.

I also should have taken a cup of water at the water station halfway through. Many 5Ks do not have water stations, so I shouldn’t have needed to, but it would have been nice to just cool me down a little and maybe calm my esophagus a little. I was too worried about it going down the wrong pipe while drinking on the run, and I didn’t want to slow down enough to drink it properly.

I am still pleased with the race result! I came in just shy of my A Standard goal, but I have no doubt that I will be able to beat that soon. My body felt fine after the race, and I met up with the cousins and grabbed some water and food. I ate a bit of a bagel and drank some water as we headed back in the opposite direction of the race to meet up with the rest of our family, as they were walking and had started after us. We probably tacked on another 0.5-0.7 miles walking. I walked with my mom and my great aunt and we chatted about how the race had gone for me, and about the course, and about how Lake Superior didn’t have a horrid dead fish smell every so often (I nearly gagged when I was nearing the end of the race and caught a whiff of dead fish.) I peeled off before the finish line since I’d already gone through, and then we took a family pic and headed home for some post-race brats and peanut butter bars.

Overall I had a great time with my family, set a new PR, raced through some nausea, and adapted decently to the heat despite my cooler training conditions. And I raised $276.66 for charity! I hope to smash THAT PR next May.

The Race Calendar

Well, I guess I have a race calendar, because I signed up for another race: the Be The Match Walk+Run, May 16th, in Minneapolis. (The link is to my fundraising site, for anyone compelled and able to donate. I am extremely uncomfortable asking for money, even when it isn’t for myself.)

My mom asked me to do this race awhile ago and I said no, because it is the day after finals end. Now I have to be down in the Twin Cities anyway for a rocketry competition the following week (I am cool), so I decided why the heck not. My sister-in-law used to work for the Be The Match Foundation, two members of my family have had successful bone marrow transplants, and I have lost a family member and friend to blood cancer. One might say that the Be The Match Foundation is close to my heart.

I am getting closer to pulling the trigger on the Grandma’s Marathon entry. Right now most marathon predictors say I would run just under 6 hours, which is a good sign, but that’s based on one 5K, so I’m not going to trust it. I’m going to go off my next few long runs. I will probably sign up for the Park Point 5 Miler in July, too, but I don’t want to pay for it yet.

I got an ad in my race packet for a 5K at the end of May. It’s called the Insane Inflatable 5K, and is some kind of obstacle course, but without mud, and involves lots of slides and climbing and things. Look, I am an adult. I do not need to run a race through a glorified ball pit, or through mud, or through blasts of colored powder. I can just run a race. It’s fine. The race is also obscenely expensive. It was $49 for early registration and goes all the way up to $75 on race day. So it’s $50-$75 to climb a bunch of blow-up obstacles covered in the sweat, spit, and snot (or worse) of fellow overgrown children? No, thank you.

I know that’s mean, and there are plenty of people out there who enjoy the novelty races, but I don’t see the point. Are these races motivating a significant number of people to exercise? If so, bring ’em on! I would hope my impression that novelty runs encourage undertrained people to go out and hurt themselves or get in my way is an erroneous impression.

It’s pretty easy to see how signing up for races can be addicting, and expensive. I am able to keep my excitement at bay simply by looking at some of the previous race results to see I’m not fast enough to run smaller races yet, and also by reminding myself I’m a student who works part time.