Race Report: Be The Match 5K

Official Results:
Time: 36:09
Pace: 11:38
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

A: 36:00
B: 36:30

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

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

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.

Minor Adjustments

For Saturday’s 5K, I’m probably not going to significantly change my approach to the race from what I did for the Fitger’s 5K, but I do think I have a few ways to improve.

I still plan on getting up early, but I am not going to run on an empty stomach this time. I’ll have either a bagel or a granola bar, and then have some snacks afterward. Since this race isn’t 2 miles from my house, and I’m not driving myself, I can’t just come and go whenever I want to. (I just asked my mom and she said she wanted to leave by 7:30 and now I’m depressed.) I’m also not going to eat Chipotle the night before, even though that wasn’t a problem. I’m also going to have a water bottle to sip on pre-race and have a few mints or something beforehand.

I don’t really know what to wear. The high for the day is like 79F, but of course it won’t be that warm at the start. Since it has been in the low 50s or 40s all week here, I won’t be accustomed to this heat! (Ha.) I will probably wear a long sleeved shirt and then make my mother hold it while I am running. This is very adult of me, I know.

The biggest change I plan on making is warming up beforehand. I’ll have plenty of time, since we have to get there so early in order to get a parking spot. I know I sort of laughed at people warming up last time, but I don’t plan on doing hill repeats or anything wacky. It took me awhile to connect the dots, but it dawned on me that if the first mile or so of my training runs is always one of the worst, I could prevent that in a race by warming up and getting the crummy mile out of my legs before the race starts. So, I plan on running a warmup mile (or less) at an aerobic pace.

Otherwise, I plan on racing the same way. I’ll line up at the back, try to keep from going out too fast, and save a little kick for the end. I’m feeling great and my legs felt speedy yesterday during my hill workout (the deer were back, but they left me alone this time), so I hope I can get a decent night’s sleep Friday night and tear up the pavement.

Be The Match 5K Goals

It’s Monday, and I have a race on Saturday, so I had better start planning some stuff.

I am running reduced mileage compared to what I was running in April when I did the Fitger’s 5K (I guess you could call it a taper… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHA!), but I am also stronger than I was then, and I think the course will be a little easier. Not that the Fitger’s course was hard, but I did have to plod up a hill twice to get over the freeway. I’m pretty sure since this course is around Lake Harriet it will not have any large hills like that.

So, here are my time goals, bearing in mind my most recent 5K was 37:00 even.

A Standard: 36:00
B Standard: 36:30

These goals are much closer together than they were last time (36:00 A Standard and 40:00 B Standard), since I was just guessing last time. My A Standard is still the same since I didn’t make it last time and it’s only been a month. I think it’s still maybe a little bit out of reach, shaving a whole minute off my time in just a month is a lot to ask. Maybe? I don’t know.

It’s cold and rainy today so I will probably be on the treadmill for today’s run. It depends on if it is actually raining when I get ready to go. I wanted to do hill repeats today after the deer ruined my opportunity on Saturday. I rested Sunday, as it was crappy out and I was lazy.

Here’s the plan for the rest of the week leading up to the race:
Monday: either hills or treadmill torture
Tuesday: easy road run (junk miles, if you are a running snob)
Wednesday: mild speed workout
Thursday: easy road run and then massage
Friday: very short and easy run at some point since I am traveling
Saturday: burn up the pavement

Now I just need to execute the plan, which for me is easier said than done!