Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Race Report: St. Patty's Day 5 Mile

I went to pick up my race packet on Thursday after I got an email from the race director saying that the first 400 to register would get shirts at pickup, and any early birds would get first dibs if they weren't in the first 400 to register.  I registered late so I scrambled to the pick up within an hour or two of opening.  The packet pickup left something to be desired....for sure.  I left with a heaping bag of swag.  My shirt is on backorder so I'll be getting it in 2-4 weeks, along with seemingly everyone else that was in line in front of me (???)  I realized that when I got home that the one swag item promised (a drink ticket to an Irish bar downtown) wasn't even there.  Jeri = mad.

Race Goals
*written race eve*

I've been toying around with a time goal for the last week and haven't been able to land on a number.  Having never done a 5 mile race, I didn't really know where to start.  Based on my genius logic my golas are as follows:

Goal A+:  Sub 40 min.  8 minute mile pace would be super sweet.  I don't know how likely this is as my 5k PR pace is 7:45 and that was after a round of speed training.  I really couldn't tell you what marathon training has done to my speed.  I guess we'll find out, huh?

Goal A:  40:25.  This would be a pace of 8:05 which I think is doable if I bust my booty.

Goal B:  Sub 41 min. Pace of 8:12.

It's interesting that I landed on these times after thinking about them all week.  At one point I was certain I was shooting for Sub 40.  The next I was going to shoot for my pace from last year's 5k (8:20).  Then it struck me how much my running has changed in one year.  One year ago my new PR was an 8:20 pace, and this year I'm trying to run a mile and a half at a faster pace.  Crazy. :)
[Editted to add:  When I got to work on Monday, I noticed 2 times on a sticky note based on the McMillan Calculator and using my most recent 5k PR and HM PR.  I had 39:50 (7:58 pace) and 40:34 (8:10 pace).

Race Report
I could not sleep the night before the race.  Holy buckets.  I kept having nightmares about my upcoming marathon (yes nightmares 2 full months out, I'm in for a lot of sleepless nights, I'm afraid).  Showing up late for the race, missing the race, all the dreams sucked and kept me tossing and turning all night.

When I finally got up and checked the weather I was a little bummed, 35* 10 mph winds, wind chill in the mid 20s.  Not as warm as previous planned.  Oh well.  I got to the race site early, per usual to get a little job and stretch-a-roo in. 

As the race was getting closer to starting, the runners started crowding into the streets, where we typically start the race. Until a cop came yelling and screaming at us that the road was not closed for the event. Yes, that meant all of us runners were starting the race on a bike trail that would accommodate three runners running abreast. I’ve never heard runners grumble and complain so much about a race being disorganized. :s
At the start I tried to get out fast so that I could settle into my groove asap. The race started on a slight downhill, so it worked out pretty perfectly. Contrary to the race elevation map, the route was actually hillier than I thought. Defnitely one of the hilliest parts of the bike trail in town. Within the first ½ mile we were charging up a monster hill. My pace for most of the first mile was in the 7:30’s-7:45’s so I imagine that hill slowed me down quite a bit.

Mile 1: 8:01

The second mile things started to get a bit hairy. There were areas of the trail that were completely flooded. We’re talking completely deviating from the trail on to thick mud 3” deep to avoid the foot or so of standing water from the river. Not ideal racing conditions, for sure. Of course, there were still some areas under bridges that were solid sheets of ice, which required some ice skating instead of running. There was a very short but steep hill during this mile.

Mile 2: 8:13

I could tell my pace was slipping in the third mile because a few people had passed me. When a girl roughly my age passed me, I felt my competitive edge kick in and vowed to keep her in my sights and beat her in the end. At the turn around, I noticed my time was 19:xx. Uh…what?? I definitely wasn’t on pace to get a sub-40, yet here it was. Oh wait. 2.38 miles. Yup, that might have something to do with it.
I totally had an extra burst of energy here knowing that I only had 2.38 miles to go instead of 2.5. Lame, I know. Plus I always do my best work in the last half of races. I’m never one to go out too fast, and like to save a lot in the tank for my kick at the end.

Mile 3: 8:21

Of course mile 3 and 4 were again dealing with the horribly muddy/flooded/ice conditions, so we’ll blame a little bit of my slower time on that, right? :)

Mile 4: 8:11

During the last “mile” I really tried to go all out. I wanted my pace to be below 8 minutes oh so bad. Unfortunately, I had totally forgotten about the gradual downhill at the start of the race that equates to a gradual uphill at the end. Um…uff da! Luckily Jeri the competitor wanted to pick off the people that had passed her during slow Mile #3 and started kicking it in to gear. The girl who passed me? Yes, buh bye. I saw my TEAM GREEN yelling for me right before the finish and I sped across the mat.

Mile 5: 6:03 (actually .76 miles for a pace of 7:57) Max pace: 6:27.

Final time: 38:51 (8:10 pace based on 4.76 miles, 7:47 pace for the full 5 miles)

So I guess technically I made my A+ goal, but not in a legit way. I was still pretty impressed with an 8:10 pace based on the fact that I am:
• In marathon training, hence not a lot of straight speed work
• Horrible conditions on the trail

I still think it’s interesting to compare last year with this year. Last year I ran the 5k as my big comeback race with an 8:20 pace. I was ecstatic and had broken my 5k PR that had stood for at least 2 years. This year, I was able to knock out 5* at a 10 second per mile faster pace. Heck ya! Also, based on the McMillan calculator for my HM time, I was at the exact pace expected.

And I managed to put a check mark next to a New Year’s Resolution: run a new race distance.
Special shout out to my big bro who completed his first sprint triathlon this Sunday and is signing up for #2 for 6 weeks from now. Sounds like someone else has gotten bit by the racing bug. :)

Race Stats:
Official time:  38:51 (pace 7:47)
Age group (20-29):  10 out of 50
Gender:  24 out of 123
Overall:  78 out of 210


Jen Feeny said...

Great job girly! I haven't run a 5 mile race in almost 2 years and I would love to do it again! You really kicked it up at the end there!

John said...

Nice job, Jeri - you ripped it up! And under adverse conditions, too. You should feel proud about how far you've come as a runner.

Anonymous said...

Found you through Lacey :)

That is super fast! I love 5 mile runs; I usually do one or two a year.

Pining for Pinterest said...

Great job on your run!!!! Love the competitive edge in you :-)

Anonymous said...

woo hoo! congrats!!! i love the 5m race distance. you did awesome. looks pretty icky out there. way to kill that last mile!!!!!!!!! (.76 or whatever heh). A+!

Anonymous said...

you did awesome!! Can't believe the trail/course conditions were such crap - that's injury prone!! NOT GOOD! Glad you mad it out without any falls :) The 5-mile race distance is fun, too - you don't see enough of them!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

I only saw green on the cap, and what looks like post race warm ups. Where is all the green? Jeri and green is one and the same to me.:) Sounds like a fun event, and cute pix, but the the friend in red did not look too happy. Must of been pretty cold for them little kiddos. BTW - you are looking really thin. I think you needed a good Irish meal of soda bread, potato and corn beef brisket after the race. Of course wee pint of whatever you like. I usually go for the milk.

Aron said...

awesome job girl!!!! you did great out there :)

Trying To Heal said...

damn woman! look at you go! and such a great run through your head for the run! so much fun

I miss you!

Heather said...

Nice job on the race! I have a 5 mile race the end of this month - it's a fun distance. Doesn't make me want to blow my brains out like a 10k does. :)

Steel Springs said...

Awesome job! Super last mile!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your race!! Really exciting and glad I found your blog!

Jules said...

Great job lady! Your running is coming along so nicely, love to watch your progress!

Dana said...

hopefully they'll be handing out drinks at the end of the race instead haha, fingers crossed..... and hope you got your shoes cleaned up. the first time they get dirty is a disappointment for me too ha

Marathon Maritza said...

Holy moley you KILLED your A+ goal!!!! Great job, you speedster, especially gutting it out on that last mile.

I love picking people to pass, it totally pushes me too. :)

Awesome job!

Jamie said...

Awesome job! You kicked butt!

Glenn Jones said...

Way to go Jer! It's tough racing in those conditions - that's for sure! The mud is one thing. But ice? Isn't is spring?

X-Country2 said...

Great job!! It's wonderful that you always have such support. Team Green rules.