It’s been a while since I pulled a double header so I guess I was due. I’ve had a few 10k/ 5k or 5k/5k combos but I’ve never had a 5k/ 10 Miler. One thing both races had in common was warm weather!
Race #1- Mary Jane Moix 5k
Location: Conway, AR
Time: 8:00 AM
This was my first time to run the Moix 5k. A friend from Conway mentioned it to me and thought I might be interested since there was some prize money involved. Absolutely! Racing isn’t cheap and these days I usually register myself and a couple of kids so all race winnings go back into this fund. At least that’s how I justify it to John!
I arrived in Conway just a little after 7:00 Saturday morning to pick up my packet and warm-up. The volunteers were all very friendly and everything was organized. I didn’t know much about the race but I learned the race was named after Mary Jane Moix, a woman who died of pancreatic cancer. In fact, all race proceeds benefit Pancan to help fight against pancreatic cancer. There were several family members of the late Mrs. Moix at the race and they really appreciated everyone coming out for the race.
This race was 12 days after the Boston Marathon and not having run any speed work I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was also 78 degrees at the start so it was definitely not ideal. I warmed up about 2 miles and did some strides. There was a high school cross country team there which was great because I knew I wouldn’t be leading the way. Always hard to lead a small race when you are unsure of the race. I started more conservative than I usually start a 5k but I quickly learned it was not easy enough… From the beginning I was first female but there were 5 or 6 guys in front of me. I slowly worked my way up and two finished ahead of me. Big positive splits and finished feeling like death.
Mile 1- 6:02 (too fast)
Mile 2- 6:07 (just right)
Mile 3- 6:23 (too slow. way too slow.)
Mile 3.1- 5:17 avg pace.
Official Time: 18:52 (1st Female)
Conway has an awesome running community and over the past few years I’ve been able to get to know many of the runners through the Arkansas Grand Prix series.
After the race I stopped by TJ Maxx and then my parents house. I spent the next few hours helping my sister working as an “extra” in a video she was making for a big project for school. (She’s getting a Masters in Visual Arts.)
I knew there was a 10 Mile race in Little Rock at 5 but wasn’t sure what John or my coach would think. I had a few friends running it and it was tempting since I could use it as a long run. Fortunately they were cool with it so a little after 3 I headed to Little Rock to Murray Park.
Race #2- Arkansas 10 Mile Classic
Location: Little Rock, AR
Time: 5:00 PM
I arrived around 4:15 completely unprepared and disorganized but I wasn’t stressed. I kept reminding myself that this was just a workout which completely removed all pressure. I registered and then Amy and I warmed up a little on the way to a restroom. I didn’t plan on warming up much since it was over 80 degrees and DP was 73. I was also planning on starting easy 7+ pace and not anywhere near tempo (6:20’s).
This was honestly one of my better executed races in a long time. I went into it with no time pressure or pace goal other than to start easy. The course itself was very flat and very easy to break into sections. It’s 2 loops so I focused on each direction of each loop.
I felt strong and in control of every single mile. I love this feeling in a race and wish I ran like this more. So often I start a race around my goal pace and the race starts controlling me. This time I made a game of trying to just slightly negative split each mile. I grabbed water / Gatorade at least 4 times since it was so hot. I also poured water over my head twice! I told myself on the last 1-2 miles I would let myself go and I did. I caught one of the guys in front of me in Mile 8 and I was catching up to another. (His lead went from a minute to 10 sec.) It felt so good to finish feeling that strong and in control of my race. It was a great race experience and lesson on pacing right.
Splits: 7:06, 7:05, 7:01, 6:59, 6:57, 6:55, 6:53, 6:51, 6:43, 6:34.
Official Time: 1:09:09 (1st Female)
After the race I quickly drank a bottle of water and called John. A huge storm was moving in and he was anxious for me to get home. I was able to see my friends finish and the race director let me get my award early since I needed to leave. At this point there was lightning and they were picking up runners out on the course to bring them back. It started pouring!! Very thankful I made it home safely!
With temps in 80’s and 18 mph winds the Arkansas 10 Mile Classic could have easily turned into a race pacing disaster (like most hot races I run). I hope I can use this experience to run smarter in the future. Just because temps are high I don’t have to suffer miserably the entire race. Who knew I could actually have fun and enjoy it?! 🔥😜