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Arkansas Race for the Cure 2012- Race Report

Arkansas Race for the Cure 2012- Race Report
Arkansas Race for the Cure 2012- Race Report

Yesterday was my 9th year in a row to run in the Arkansas Race for the Cure.  I love this race and have had many different race experiences there.  The first time I ran it was in 2004 and my little Abi was just 3 months old.  Race for the Cure and I go way back! However, this was my very first time to run it when I was not pregnant or nursing!

RFTC 2010- Pregnant with Ashton- I walked it with my MIL and Abi.

In the years I wasn’t hugely pregnant I did try to run as fast but I’ve never run under 20 minutes there.  Last year I placed 6th overall but did not run very a smart race.  Knowing the course helps and this race has a fast first mile (mostly downhill), followed by a brutal long uphill in the second mile.  I had a hard time knowing how fast is too fast to go out in this 5K since.  I wanted to have a little time in the bank on this one for the second two miles but I knew that climb up the bridge in mile 2 would take its toll.  I am a wimp when it comes to hills- especially in 5K’s.  It’s just hard to make up lost time in a 5K.  I have been running more of them now that my patellar tendonitis is gone but I know I need to add hill sprints into my workout routine at least once a week. 

Pre-race:
I parked about a mile from the start. I was by myself and I am not very familiar with downtown Little Rock so I just parked in a lot that I saw other runners.  I quickly realized I was at the intersection of the Mile 1 marker so that helped me remember where to find my car after the race.  I jogged to the start and around the starting area to get in a 2 mile warm-up. 

I saw one elite runner at the start but no one else I recognized. I knew if I raced well I had a shot at placing in the top 5.  Around 40,000 people participate in Arkansas Race for the Cure but only 550+ run in the competitive race.  The competitive race started earlier at 7:30.

The Race:
Mile 1- 5:53.  I knew this would be my fastest mile and I wanted to go sub 6.  This mile is mostly downhill and fast! If only I can learn to maintain this pace a little better… By the end of this mile I was in 2nd place.  My main goal at this point was to maintain my position and try to run low 6’s for the remaining two miles.  Hopefully that would mean breaking 19 minutes. (Breaking 19 minutes was an ambitious goal for me on this course but a girls gotta try!)

Mile 2- 6:13.  This is one tough mile.  The entire first half is a long slow incline up a bridge and there is not really a downhill to recover- it just levels out onto the street.  I was still in second place and I hoped I had enough in me to pick it up in the last mile. 

Mile 3- 6:20.  What? Not exactly the time I wanted to see when my watch beeped.  This mile is not as challenging as mile 2 but I guess I was still wiped out from that long uphill section in mile 2 because I was losing it…

Mile 3.14- 0:48. (5:29 avg.).  Apparently I had a bit of a kick left when I saw that finish line! Last year I was out kicked in the last 10 seconds and I was not about to let that happen this year. 

Total time: 19:15 (6:08 Garmin avg.)/ 2nd place overall. (Winner finished in 17:55- yeah, she’s good!)

Cool-down: 3 miles around 9 minute pace.

Post race thoughts:
I was very happy to finish in 2nd place.  I was also a little disappointed that I didn’t break 19 minutes.  I knew going into this race that it would be very hard to do that on this course but it still would have been nice… At least now I have a goal for next year- RFTC #10!

Once again I made a little comparison chart for myself to see how I raced this race last year versus this year.  Same course, same weather- just one year later.

RFTC 2011
RFTC 2012
Mile 1
6:06
5:53
Mile 2
6:42
6:13
Mile 3
6:52
6:20
Mile 3.1
1:30
0:48 (5:29)
Time/ Avg.
20:33 (6:36)
19:15 (6:08)

Besides seeing some major positive splitting similarities, I can also see a lot of improvement.  I’ll work on the positive splits later.  (For some reason I only do this in 5K’s!) I know a sub 19 minute 5K on this course will happen for me. Patience.  I just need to keep working hard and setting goals. I’m excited to see where I’ll be at next year at this time!

With my little 2 after the race when I got home. 

Have you ever participated in a Race for the Cure? 

Have you run a 5K lately?  I have another in 6 days! Yikes! I mean- YAY!! 😉

18 Comments

  1. Huge gain over last year, good job! I ran a 5K a few weeks ago and bombed it. In San Diego, it is still hot, and I think it was in mid 70s by race time at 8:25 a.m. Like you, I had a good first mile and then tanked 2 and 3 but had a great kick when I saw the finish line. Amazing how the finish line can motivate. I blame the weather! 🙂 Kristen

    1. Kristen- I understand! Heat and humidity can really affect racing times. Not fun. Maybe the weather cool down for your next one. 5k’s in the cooler months are so much better!

  2. Personally I believe that all 5k races should be dead flat. When you’re running close to red line it’s just cruel and unusual to have to deal with a hill!
    Congratulations, though on a really good race. The improvements you’ve made in the last year have been spectacular.

  3. You are a 5K machine! Your times are so amazing and inspiring! Congrats on a great race on a tough course! What is your goal for the next 5K so close to NYC?

    1. It’s weird- I’m not getting as nervous before them now that I’ve been running so many.

      My next one is actually on a very flat course too (part of it covers the Micah Rine course I did 2 weeks ago when I broke 19 minutes). My goal is to pace at or faster than my Micah Rine 5K pace. (6:02). It will count as my last speed workout. 5k’s are good because the recovery time is so fast. I usually feel normal the next day. It just doesn’t take as much out of me as other distances.

  4. Great job today! I read your 5K entries with much interest. You inspire me to focus on improving my times too. I finally got a time well under 20 minutes (19:40) yesterday. I hovered around the 20 minute mark for a very long time. I definitely feel like I just raised the bar for myself. I am aiming to see if I can get a time in the 19:30’s or even 19:20’s next weekend. Unlike you, I am sore the day after a 5K, so I still dread doing them. But I know this is my chance to go for it! Good luck going sub-19. I think you can do it!

  5. Way to go, Tia!!! What a difference between last year and this one! Congrats on that finish! I haven’t ran a Race for the Cure yet, but I’d like to do one sometime. I’m really trying to stick to the training plan for the next few weeks to meet my goal in mid Nov. Do you stick to a running plan through the winter or do you switch things up a bit?

    1. Thanks Tayarra! I try to take it one training cycle at a time but I usually throw in plenty of races. I have the Little Rock Marathon in March and Boston in April so this winter will most likely be gearing up for those. I’d love to do another half in January or February but there are none within 1-2 hours of my house those months (that I know of) and I really can’t spend any more $$ on racing with Boston in April.

  6. Nice race! I haven’t run a 5K lately, but I’m looking forward to running one in 3-4 weeks and hoping I can break 19 too! I’d love to break 18, but I don’t know if my legs have that in me just yet. Good luck with your next one!

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