Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Airport 5k 2015

After Boston the urge to race wasn't overly strong. I did the 5k a few days after because I needed to feel something- and did another a few weeks later because it was a tradition. Maybe it was because I paced at Buffalo 2 weeks prior, and was still soaking in the positive energy from that- but I finally wanted to race. Coach agreed and said we would use it as a time trial of sorts. There were a TON of options of a race this past weekend in Rochester- too many actually. We decided on a 5k, and I picked one I knew normally has a fast field and has a good chance of being a PR course. I was going back to the Airport 5k, my third time running this event.

Both of the times I have ran this one before, it was very hot and sunny- for some odd reason airport runways have no trees or shade, who knew? I was excited this year when I saw the temps were going to be cooler, I side eyed the projected wind but still felt confident in a good race- after all last time I ran it, the conditions were hot sunny AND windy and still had a good race.

This quickly turned into a goal race. I was dreaming of a PR. My 5k PR is 2 years old, and I know I am a much better runner now than I was then. I may not train specifically for 5ks anymore, but I do train. I run workouts, I run more miles, and I hit the track- nailing a PR shouldn't be something that is too far fetched in my mind. 

Race day came, and it logistically doesn't get much easier. I was pre registered and already picked up my stuff. The airport is 5 minutes from my apartment, and really didn't have to stress about getting there super early. I did my warm-up, chatted with friends who came to cheer with their kids, and felt confident. The flags outside were whipping around, but I didn't let it really distract me too much. The course is a double out and back (up and down one runway, up and down another) so you never have a super long stretch into any wind direction- it's "only" a 5k after all.

I got ready and made my way to the start with what I thought was a few minutes to spare. I was confused where the start line was marked (it used to start in a different place, but the finish line was in same spot), and was about to do my strides when the race director said it was time to go. Basically 30 seconds later we were off- 4 minutes early, no strides, no moment to compose myself- just go.

I was around some people for a little while but by the end of the first mile was almost completely solo. Apparently the excess of races that day really had runners spread out leaving no one race with deep fields. I got to high five the kiddos part way though, and then set out for the second out and back runway.

Basically how the race unfolded:
First out- Tailwind, weeeeeee.
First back- headwind, but saw my friends which helped
Second out- Tailwind but slight incline. Someone was close behind me but I managed to pull away.
Second back/Finish- Holy effing headwind. Joe was next person in front of me and wasn't within striking distance. My will to push at the end just really wasn't there- something I need to get back.

I finished in 19:35, third female and top 10 overall- while it wasn't the time I wanted, it was still a solid race and I can use it as fuel to get faster and back to my PR. I walked away with a $75 gift card for a little over 19 minutes of work- can't complain about $200+/hr pay rate.

The race itself disappointed me a bit this year. As I said, I have run this two other times prior and both were far more organized and prepared for race day. While they couldn't control the wind- the early start and the misplaced start line(led to long course) WERE controllable factors. The race was moved up a few weeks this year, which landed it on the same weekend as a few other big well known races. Previous years the race saw over 200 more participants, and my top 10 OA time this year would have barely placed me top 40. Local runners were spread out thin among all of the races- leaving each one less competitive than the next. Rochester has an amazing running community, but at this point it's almost too saturated with races.

My last 3 fastest 5k times since my PR: Airport 2015 19:35, Scarecrow October 2014 19:36, and lastly my PR from August of 2013 19:09 at Bergen--That PR is definitely going down this year, the question is just when. I am running another 5k next Saturday(20th), and then not again until Bergen in August as I will be focusing on marathon training. I'm doing the necessary work and have the drive so I don't question IF I can PR right now, more about WHEN. Marathon PR's have taken over my focus the last few years but that doesn't mean I need to give up my speed at shorter stuff to get there.

Who knows, maybe in 2 weeks after my next one I will have a PR recap- fingers crossed.


  1. Nice! I ran the Runway Run here at Toronto's Pearson airport a few times. Fun race, also is usually hot and sunny. The runway, being dead straight and completely flat, makes it seam like you're not getting anywhere. Then you turn around, and can see the finish line 3km away.

  2. It's always frustrating when races are poorly organized for reasons that they can control. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I know with your training, you are going to crush your 5k Pr while marathon training. It's just a matter of time.

  3. Ugghhh... starting line in the wrong place. That blows!
    Great job on the run though, can't wait to hear about you shooting for that PR!


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