After months of racing longer distances jumping into a 5k can be a little intimidating. I didn’t know exactly what to expect on Saturday in Russellville but I definitely went into it with a “no pressure” attitude. J was out of town until that evening so it was just me… and all the kids. Any sort of racing strategy was the least of my worries!
The Valentine’s Day 5k is the third race on the Arkansas Grand Prix racing series and the first 5k. My kids run a lot of the shorter Grand Prix races so this was one they wanted to do. I woke them all up around 6:30 Saturday morning and we were driving to the race by 6:45. The race didn’t start until 9 but it took a little longer getting to Russellville than I thought so there wasn’t a whole lot of pre-race prep time. Sure, if I had been by myself 40 minutes would have been fine but not with 4 kids. By the time we picked up our t-shirts, chips (followed by putting chips on everyone’s shoes), took everyone to the restroom, and found my friend who was watching Ashton during the race, I only had a couple minutes to warm-up around the car. Originally, I had planned on a two mile warm-up but reality was it ended up being less than one. Once I got the kids situated where they would start the race I headed to the start for a few strides.
It was a very simple, two loop course through part of the Arkansas Tech campus. I had hoped to stay in the 5:50-6:00 pace range and figured that should be doable. Almost. I was running out of steam in the last mile. Splits ended up being: 5:59, 6:00, 6:08, 0:35 (5:25 pace) for last.11.
Official Finish Time- 18:43. (1st female). Results can be found here.
As soon as I finished I headed back to find the kids. With three of them racing I knew it would be hard to see the first two but have to keep going. I always run back to the youngest (whoever it happens to be that day). For this race my youngest runner was Anna. I cheered for my oldest daughter and oldest son when they past by but I kept heading back to find my Anna. She was doing well and was very glad to see me. We ran her last half mile in together which included one shoe tying stop.
Saturday night I honestly felt like I hadn’t even raced. I guess I just didn’t push myself hard enough and my measly warm-up and cool-down didn’t take that much out of me. I had my last long training run for the Little Rock Marathon planned for Monday (2 days after the 5k) but I messaged my coach and asked about moving it up to Sunday. From a scheduling/ logistics perspective Sunday was much better plus it would give me an extra recovery day for an upcoming half marathon. My coach said it would be fine if I felt up for it.
So Sunday afternoon, about 2 hours after a nice Valentine’s Day lunch, I headed out for a long solo 22 miler. To sum it up- it was brutal. Cold wind and rain. I added in about every hill I could think of which made it even more challenging. The Little Rock Marathon has a pretty good amount of hills so I knew I needed to make this long run count. I did not run a single mile at marathon pace or even sub 7 for that matter. All splits ranged from 7:36 (mile 1) to 7:09 (mile 20). It was definitely one of the toughest long runs I’d ever done but hopefully it’s what I needed before LRM.
At some point in the next two weeks I’ll write up some sort of training recap. To sum up my training this week I’d use the word- slow! Saturday’s 5k, followed by Sunday’s 22 miler left me pretty tired. I had one hard effort workout (Wednesday) and it was hill repeats. Every run this week has been in the 8+ min pace range. I’m planning to run another GP race this weekend but I’m going to use it more as a training run for Little Rock and work in more marathon paced miles. Hopefully this will go well… Looking forward to the taper and fresh legs!
Anyone else racing this weekend? If so, where? If you’re running Run the Line Half Marathon in Texarkana- I’ll see you there!