Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Illinois 5k Race Recap

The last 3 years I have participated in the Illinois 5k.  It's a nice change of pace to have an evening race.  In previous years the race was at 6 p.m.  This year they changed it to start at 7:30 p.m.  I have mixed feelings on that.  Again, nice to have something different, but it made it hard to balance the evenings activities like eating supper and/or getting back to hotel to relax and re-load for the next day.

For example, it was not ideal to be pigging out carbo loading right before the race, but waiting until after 8 to eat was no better.  I did a little of both.  By supper time my girlfriends were all in town and we headed to Olive Garden for supper at 5 p.m.  I ate, but not too much.  Mostly loaded up on salad & bread sticks.  When my meal came (3 cheese ravioli topped with shrimp)  I took about 4 bites then asked for a to go box.  I went to the race and then when I was done & back at the hotel I finished eating.

Since it was my bright idea to run this race I had to deal with all the scheduling.  It was worth it in many ways.  It's a fun race with close to 6,000 participants.  I know I should take it as a fun, easy warm up run leading up to my marathon.  I can't seem to ever take it easy when it comes to a race.  Something in me flips on and I am in full race mode.  Besides the faster I run, the faster the race is over so there is always motivation to hurry and get it done.

At the beginning of the race they have pace corrals for you to line up according to.  I like this idea, it helps me know where to stand.  Although I know it never fails that people can & will line up in the wrong corral.  I know you can't judge a book by it's cover, but I look at some people (mostly kids) and think "ok, honey, are you REALLY going to run a 6-7 minute pace?"  Sure, people may look at me and think the same thing, but I'm not a kid and to me that makes a difference.  There was literally 2 dozen or so kids, as in appearing to be under the age 13, who crowded the start line.  I take point in this because those kids start out at an all out sprint and then stop or die down real quick which then blocks me or keeps me from keeping pace.  I saw more than one kid take off then come to a very slow jog and turn around, almost as if looking for a parent or something.  I about slammed into more than one of them.  Almost tripped over another.  I'm all for running just to have fun and not taking every race so seriously, but I don't want to be pushing kids or yelling at them.  Simply put, they should not be allowed to run in the front corrals.  I know it happens on all levels.  My friend Charles started well in the back of the pack and told of  several walkers who blocked his path & kept him from running at good pace because they started in a faster coral than they should have.  I know there is no easy answer for this.  Just expressing my thoughts.  Anyway....

I didn't pay any attention to the race course before hand.  This was my 3rd year running this, I thought I had it all figured out.  What I failed to realize is they changed the course.  Aside from a few minor changes in a nutshell the mainly flipped the course & we ran it backwards.  I didn't have that completely figured out until we finished so that threw me for a loop.  They also do not provide mile splits so I had no clue how fast I was/wasn't running.  I didn't see any mile markers either.  I'm really bad at judging distance and pace and since I wasn't running with anyone I knew I had no clue how to gauge how I was doing (Dietrich where are you when I need you?!?!).  So I just had to run at what felt like race pace.  I kept thinking it's only 3 miles, it can't take forever, even if I'm going at a slower pace.

When I hit the field I could see the clock and it showed 20 something.  Sweet!  For the first time ever I'm hitting times under 21 minutes and that is my main goal.  Not wanting to see the clock turn 21 I bumped it up a notch and finished strong and hard.  My chip finish time was 20:54.  Not a PR, but I'm not complaining.  I'm happy & I'll take it!!

Here are my stats for the race:
Placed 91st out of 5,998 finishers
Placed 15th out of 3,805 women
Placed 1st out of 492 women in my age group of 35-39
(I'll be receiving my age group award in the mail in a few weeks)

Here is the picture I took before the race started:
I wore my Muscatine Running Friend t-shirt to race in.  I *never* race in cotton t.  Bleck!  I forgot to pack my singlet (which has the same design) and really wanted to represent MRF so I sucked it up and just wore the t shirt.  It was only for 3 miles.   It wasn't going to kill me.

After I finished:
You can't see them in the picture, but I had these really cute red, white & blue flag knee high socks on.  I received a lot of compliments on them.

Here is the shirt and medal I received:
Ah, yes....I REALLY wanted an Illini orange shirt to add to my collection.  Said no Iowa Hawkeye runner EVER.  Ha-ha.  Ok, I am actually very fond of this race and even the school (just a little), but let's not get all crazy and declare me an Illini fan.  It's a very nice tech shirt that I will turn into a running shirt (meaning I cut the sleeves off).

I'm up in the air if I will run the 5k next year or not.  I tend to stick to races that I like, even if there are some aspects of the race (in this case the late start and kids that crowd the start) that I don't like.  For this year it was another success and I'm glad to have done it!

Stay tuned for my marathon recap tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Definitely my pet peeve when folks don't start in the proper corral. I am slow and it drives me nuts when I have to weave around people at the start of the race because they are walking and start too close to the front line. (haha- and I won't even talk about people that walk in the middle of the course instead of walking on the right hand side) : )