Friday, May 9, 2014

Illinois 5k - Race Recap

It would be easy to skip this race recap.  I don't feel like there isn't much to report.  But a race is a race and I know you're all on pins and needles waiting.  Ok, maybe not.

Something that I didn't really mention in my marathon recap was that I traveled by myself to this race.  In year's past I've always had someone to go with or ride along.  A few years my husband came along.  Other years girlfriends were there & we all shared hotel rooms, etc.  For the first time I had none of that.  I did know of other people running the race(s) that weekend, but had no plans to meet up or anything.

At first, it was kind of nice.  On the ride down I had the van to myself and I sang at the top of my lungs out loud to my heart's content.  I might have even had a conversation or two with myself.....yes, out loud.  I kind of enjoyed it since as a mom of 6 I don't have many moments to do whatever I want.  Eventually though it kinda sucked.  I was lonely.  Going through the expo and having no one to chat with, except a comment here and there to/from a vendor where I purchased things or picked up my race packet.  Now, I have a pretty out going personality I could have made a friend in a heart beat, but that wasn't my real reason for being there and I didn't want to work at having a friend, so I just kept to myself.  I'm not meaning to complain, not my intent at all.  Just noting that I don't like to be alone.  I know that.  I'm a people person.  And I like to talk.  It was nice for awhile, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time.

As I was walking from my car to the start line of the 5k I plugged in my headphones.  I hadn't planned to listen to music during the 5k, but I wanted something to keep me company & get my mojo flowing while I waited.  Music does that to me all the time.  It pumps me up!  I thought I heard my name, but the same thing had happened during the expo and it was just my imagination so I ignored what I thought I heard.  A few minutes later I saw a friend Nicole:

I hollered out to her & she told me I had just ran past her and she called my name.  Ah-ha, so I wasn't hearing things after all.  Sometimes it's nice to know you're not completely loosing it.  (Ok that's still debatable).  After a quick chat we went our separate ways and I moved in to the start corral.

This year they had seeded start corrals.  They didn't verify any times.  It was an honor system when you signed up for the race.  When I registered & saw this new system, I was excited because last year I had so many little kids in front of me.  Those little kids would take off like there is no tomorrow and then after a few hundred yards die off and suddenly slow down or turn around and look for mom/dad.  This frustrated me because there were several kids that I about slammed in to or tripped over.  I know it's just a 5k, but seriously kid...GET OUT OF MY WAY!  And I mostly mean that for their own safety. system. Seeded corral starts.  That should help the problem, assuming everyone is honest with their time and seed themselves appropriately.  I was still a little concerned because the cut off time for putting yourself in the first aka fastest corral was 27 minutes.  There's a pretty big difference in someone running with the goal of a 7 minute pace vs. someone aiming for a 9 minute pace.  And I seriously don't mean any of that to imply that I am faster and I deserve a better, more up close spot.  While I admit I take any of my races a little too seriously, I don't mean to be all holier than thou just because I can run faster than many, even on my slower days.  We're all runners and I love and respect any/all kinds of paces, finish times, reasons for being out there, etc.  Seriously.  But I want to run.  So.  Move.  *siiiiigh*, it's a tough balance!!

Anyway, I did my best to get to the front of the corral.  Although I lined up too soon and kept getting pushed further back into the corral than I wanted.  But, whatev.  Just relax & have fun.  My intent was not going to be go all out and try and PR.  Bigger picture I was running 26.2 the next day and I didn't want to mess that up by killing myself over a 5k.  This race was chipped timed so on the plus side it didn't matter how far back I was pushed, my time didn't start until I crossed the start line & my chip was activated.  And even though it felt like I was waaaay back in the corral, it actually only took me about 10 seconds to cross the start line once the gun went off.

Good news, while I was surrounded by plenty of younger runners (I'm guessing Jr. High, High School age) there were no little kids in front of me and I didn't have to worry about running someone over or muttering means things under my breath.  So the start went pretty smooth, just some congestion as several hundred runners took off at the same time.  Per usual I ran a good strong pace. It wasn't all out, but I wasn't taking it easy either.  I'm horrible at knowing what pace I'm going so I just went with it.  I felt good and strong most of the race.  A few times I felt tired and worried that I was going to fade out quickly.  In reality I probably let up on my pace just a little bit during those tired times.  I know the course well and they have mile marker flags out, so I know about how much is left to go.  If they provide splits I never hear them being yelled out, so my overall time is a guessing game until I see the finish clock.  The last mile or so I set my sights on a few people and vowed to keep up with them, that helped me from slowing too much.  And I kept thinking it's only a 5k or there is only 1 mile left,  you can do this!!

When I come through the tunnel and hit the field I saw the clock was running into the upper 20 minute range.  My PR is 20:41  & I knew even with the gun/actual start variance that I wouldn't beat that, but I wasn't ok with being all lotty dah and finishing whenever.  So I floored it and pushed hard to finish in under 21 minutes.  According to the clock I didn't, but my actual chip finish was 20:58. about cutting it close!!  I was very happy with that run & finish.  Not too shabby for taking it a little easy, but ok with a good steady pace.

Here are my overall stats:
79th out of 6,112 finishers
10th out of 3,919 women (first time to be listed on the leaders board)
1st out of 551 in my age group (35-39)

After I finished I was on my way out of the stadium and ran into Mario, a friend from my hometown of Muscatine, IA.

He didn't race that night, but was there with some Quad City friends and ran the marathon the next day.  So even though I was there kind of as a loner, I met some friends along with way and enjoyed a quick visit with them.

This turned out to be a pretty good 5k leading up to my marathon the next day!!


  1. you are amazing! a speedy 5k the night before a marathon! I have never heard of a 5k with corrals haha, weird! :) hope u had a great marathon!

  2. Great job!! Glad they seeded the corrals this time - much better!!!