A few things about the race
1. It's a local favorite, they typically get over 1500 runners and it's always on the same day as the parade.
2. It's kind of considered the "spring breakout" race around here- typically get a fast showing, and you can kind of see who spent the winter training. Had I not decided to do the Freezeroo series, or been coerced into Lake effect this probably would have been my first race of the year (I'm glad it wasn't though).
3. It's an out and back course, fast and flat for most part.
4. The start is notoriously a royal pain. Bottleneck start, and lots of people who don't normally race and start where they shouldn't. I'll explain more with a picture. This really is the only thing about this race that I don't like.
|Bottleneck race start. The crowds cover both sides of the street but they always only have one timing mat so it creates a cluster at the start, every.single.year. (yes I have only done it twice but I have been told this is reoccurring problem)|
Okay, moving on.
I dilly dallied getting ready at home, this tends to happen when the race is close by. But John and I still got there with plenty of time to spare and time for me to warm up. I knew that I needed to get at least a mile and a half in to give my shin time to loosen up.
I got to the start, saw a bunch of people I knew as expected. Chatted with Carrie & Joe for a few minutes while we waited. Finally it was time, and as per the usual I took my first steps walking across the start line and then immediately darted to the side to get around people. Like that man walking in the gray pants. I look angry but I was really just focused on getting around the crowd.
I spent the first half mile bobbing and weaving before I got into a groove. Mile 1 was roughly 6:18 according to my Garmin, but I was beeping before each mile marker so I know that my splits are off (maybe I should learn tangents?)
Mile 2 I just kind of kicked in autopilot and kept my speed in check because I needed to wait until the turnaround to pick it up. Mile 2 was roughly 6:33. I had been going back and forth with a few people during this time and just tried to hold that place, I knew I could see what place I was in once the leaders started coming back at us.
Once leaders started coming back, I was counting women but then lost count when I was cheering and high fiving some of my speedy friends. Hit the 180 degree turnaround and gave myself the green light. I saw there were quite a few girls within striking distance of me and made it my goal not to let any of them pass me. The way back was fun as I knew it would be, seeing all of my friends and other local runners. I really don't mind out and back races for this reason- the people are awesome, another reason why I really liked Lake effect half a few weeks ago.
Mile 3 & 4 were both roughly 6:25-6:30. Once mile 5 hit the girl who I was behind for the majority of the race started fading a little and I decided to go for it. Mile 5 was my fastest, and ended up passing the girl to seal the deal for 7th female.
This was on the home stretch, not the most flattering picture but, hey it happens.
My chip time was 32:15, which makes it a 43 second PR. I talked to some people at the finish line then John and I walked back a ways to cheer on other runners coming in. I was bad and didn't do a cool down (my calves proceeded to be really mad at me for this later). I threw some warmer clothes on, cheered and then went inside to wait for awards. I knew I was 7th female (John counted) but I wasn't sure about age group awards right away. Very pleased with top 10 females and AG win, especially for this race.
I've learned I really like the 5 mile distance, anyone else?
Do you repeat past races to try and better your time?