Saturday, April 22, 2017

8th Annual Realtors - Earth Day 5K

8th Annual Realtors -  Earth Day 5K - April 22, 2017

time = 22:19
pace = 7:12 (strava says 7:48)
placed 1 in my age group (40-49) out of 10
placed 2 in women out of 54
placed 9 overall out of 94
(i'm not 100% positive on these numbers as i had to tally them myself while i wait for my request for overall results to be posted.  it is also notable that i won the master's award which is 40 & up in women.)

pre-race stretching - pc: husband
i signed up for this race because i enjoy running races when i travel if it's possible.  the 5K distance is not my favorite, but i appreciate the difficulty of it and know that i can learn a lot as a runner from sprinkling them into my season.  so i begrudgingly do it.

i typically go into this distance remembering that i hate it, but (much like childbirth) i've forgotten how very much it hurts.

this race was no different.  

i took off near the front because there seemed to be no timing mat at the start.  i didn't want to be stuck behind anyone clogging the shoot since my time counted from the moment the RD shouted GO!  so i took off at the front which typically has proven to be a terrible idea for me as i tend to run with the frontrunner pack and not temper my speed.  today was no different.  my first mile was 7:11 pace!  ugh... so i dialed it back since 1/2 mile in i was sweating bullets and having trouble breathing steadily.  it is very very humid here and already at 8am (race start), it was 70ยบ.  i want to note that the race is really tiny, there were zero course markings (not even hand-written signs with arrows... NOTHING!), and the volunteer at the 2nd turn failed at directing the runners.  everyone in front of me went forward and the volunteer told me and those behind me to go right.  i still have no idea which was the correct course!  this would prove to be a theme...

but i digress...

view of saturday past's run
as of today (saturday, april 22nd) i am in florida.  we've been here approximately a week as of friday (yesterday) and i've been having an interesting (to put it nicely) time of running here.  the 23hr car ride last week friday made my subsequent saturday run go south.  dehydration, lack of sleep, and generally just thinking i'm super human caught up to me and 10 miles into my 22mi run (strava data here) my left foot was cramping so badly that i had to walk...  A LOT.  by mile 13 i was calling my husband to come and pick me up as i had to throw in the towel.  my left hip and left foot were in so much pain there was no point to continue the run.  it wasn't fun anymore...  while i am training for a 50K that commences in less than a month i also know when my body needs a break.  last saturday... it needed a break.  in fact, BOTH my feet ended up cramping throughout the day saturday and i could barely walk.  i ended up skipping sunday's run and by tuesday's shortie, i felt much better!  it was slow going as the heat/humidity is not something i'm accustomed to and it proved to be a challenge.  wednesday's run went smashingly and i felt great... by thursday tho'... the short-lived euphoria had disappeared.  8mi was on the schedule for thursday and by mile 4 my left ankle was hurting (in the back along the achilles) so badly that i thought i had pulled something.  i ended up cutting that run short by 3 miles and rounding it out at a little over 5 total.

friday morning my ankle still felt abnormal but no pain.  i was really worried coming into the race that i was going to have some sort of pain issue.  i'm happy to report that no such thing occurred!  my body felt great the whole time... minus the pain of simply running the race that is.

yeah for good running form!
pc: husband
there is now absolutely no doubt that i am a heel striker
pc: husband

pc: husband

so back to the race... by 1/2 mile in i was sweating like a grandpa in a sauna.  it was terrible!  i still felt pretty good tho' and held my pace.  that is until i saw what mile one rounded out at.  i think that is such a mind fuck!  when i see that i'm running too fast i suddenly feel TERRIBLE!  its almost as if not looking at my watch would keep my mind blissfully unaware of what my body is doing and i would have been able to maintain that speed.  so i checked my watch when the mile marker beeped and i saw i was sprinting a 7:11!  so immediately i felt ridiculously fatigued but i puttered on.  the course is totally flat and this race is so tiny & unassuming that there was barely any indication of where the course was.  scratch that... there was zero indication of where the course was!  i was maybe 2/3s of the way through mile 2 when i lost the lead pack.  i had no idea where they turned!  i got to an intersection and stopped in my tracks!  i had no idea where to run!  forward or turn right?!?  i looked around in a panic and saw a little old man in a yellow vest about 2 blocks further straight ahead and yelled to him.  he kept pointing to the right and i couldn't be sure if he meant that i come to him and go right or if i simply go right.  then another volunteer in a yellow vest came out of nowhere from behind me (and across the street) and told me to go right.  so i went right and so did another runner.  so it was just he and i down this unpaved dirt road.  i would have found it beautiful if i hadn't have been so annoyed at the misdirection.  my pace had slowed considerably when i resumed and i was having trouble getting it back to the ridiculous speed i previously finished mile 1 in.  we ran to the end of that road and found another volunteer who told us to turn right.  

we followed that around back to the straight-a-way that i got confused on and a volunteer there blurted out "you ran the old course, huh?!".  i thought to myself ... fantastic. 

at that same moment, we ran right up onto the back of the frontrunner pack!  literally directly behind them!  they were coming from a different direction!  wtf?!?

so we fall into line and run our hearts out.  i might mention that there were no roads closed, and the volunteers seemed to have no idea what the hell was going on.

thankfully this was the last stretch until the left turn to the finish.  i had no idea what group of runners had run the correct course.  with the 2 wrong turns, zero course markings, and lack of volunteer attentiveness it was really confusing.  my garmin came up 3/10 of a mile short!  that's a whole hell of a lot!  

i heard others say that their distance was shorted too, but overall i think the course would have proven accurate had i gone forward and not right at the 2nd questionable turn.  

none the less my performance was awesome and i feel really good about it.  the fact that i held a whole mile at less than an 8min/mile pace is amazing!  glad to know that i can still pull it out when it counts.

the weather was beautiful but challenging and really my only true complaint is the lack of course markings.  that would really solve all of those issues if they just had simple signs with arrows at intersections.  being that i don't live down here i had no idea the course before running the race.  it was frustrating, to say the least, but i still managed to do well in spite of those set backs.  i think my final time (adding in the missing 3/10s of a mile) would have been closer to 23-24 minutes so i still would have come in where i came in on the results.  this just makes me wonder how poorly i'll acclimate to bryce when i run it in june.  i'll only have less than 2 days to grow accustomed to the altitude and dry heat.  good thing my goal for that race is simply to finish and not blow any sort of time out of the water.

today was a pretty good end to a pretty good vacation.  tomorrow we drive home.

my "medal"