I took a little race recap blogging break since my last post. After a few discouraging races and an injury I wasn’t in much of a mood to write about it but I’m ready to move on and look ahead now. For better or worse (probably worse) I’ve been on a bit of a 5k roll the last several weeks but after one more this weekend I promise I’m going to take a break from this distance! Read: I need a break from this distance.
5k #1: September 1, 2018
ARK 5K Classic
North Little Rock, AR
This race is on the Grand Prix racing series schedule and since Anthony is going for Iron Runner it meant he was running it. I guess I could just bring him and not race myself but apparently I don’t have that kind of self restraint. If there’s a race and I’m there I will be racing. Maybe I’ll think more rationally after I’m a Masters runner?
Anna was also running it and on the way to the race we picked up my dad. My sister Tara met us at the race so it was a nice little family affair. I love when we all get to race together. On the way to the race my dad gave me the same pre-race pep talk that he used to do when I was in high school. It was very sweet!
Bib pickup and warm-up routine is always a little hectic with kids. It just is. Arriving an hour early helps but when you’re the mom you can’t turn off mom mode. I got the kids bibs and chips on and took them to the restroom. I was able to warm-up a little over a mile and a half and then it was time to head to the starting line.
My race plan was to run between 5:50-6:00 min pace. I was coming off some strong workouts and I was fairly confident that I could stay in that range. The course is pretty flat but weather was not ideal with temps in the mid 70’s and humid – typical Arkansas summer morning weather.
This race can be summed up in 3 words- crash and burn. The first mile felt great (5:53). Around half way through the second mile I was struggling hard. Mile 2 was 6:04 and I could see the lead female in front of me was slowing down too. If only I’d had some kind of fight left I could have pushed ahead but my body had nothing. Mile 3 was 6:15 and I was just trying to hold on until I crossed the finish line.
The kids made the whole trip worth it. Both Anthony and Anna set big PR’s! My dad had a great race as well.
After the race we got coffee and donuts- this has become our race tradition these days!
I didn’t really feel great about my race and it made me even more nervous about my next one. It was going to be on a much tougher course. I really didn’t want another positive split but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
5k # 2: September 8, 2018
Minuteman Cross Country
Little Rock, AR
I tried to psych myself out that this would be a good race even though I generally hate cross country. I wish I liked it. I love that Abi loves it. She likes it more than road racing and track. Me? Not at all. I’ve never liked it. I even bought new cross country spikes to wear because the weather was supposed to be bad earlier in the week and course was supposed to be wet. I ran one practice run in the grass (the day before the race) but I was feeling good and was hopeful.
I can honestly say this race was a complete disaster from start to finish. Anthony and I arrived about an hour before the race but between bib pick-up and restrooms I didn’t have much time for warming up. My teammates Amanda and Beverly and I decided to run part of the course. Somehow we managed to get turned around and our casual warm-up turned into a desperate sprint to get to the starting line before the race started. With about 2 minutes to spare I made it to my car to get Anthony who was waiting for me to head to the start. I flung open the door and yelled, “We have to go now! The race is about to start! RUN!!” And then we both sprinted down across the field to the start. We arrived with maybe 10 seconds to spare and I was completely out of breath. By far my worst warm-up/ pre-race start ever.
I’d only raced this course once but I remembered how hard it was. My average 2 years ago was 6:15 and I ran consistent 15 second positive splits even though I was in good shape. I planned to go out around my average pace so I would be sure not to start too fast. In retrospect I don’t think anything could have helped after my warm-up. My race was doomed before I started. Usually in mile 1 of a 5k I feel pretty fresh and have to hold back. Not this time. It felt like the halfway point of a bad race from the very beginning and that first mile seemed to last an eternity.
I don’t remember much about the last 2 miles except for a lot of bugs and thick grass. I couldn’t catch the first female and I had a solid lead on the third female so I just tried to hold on. When I saw the finish clock I realized I might have a chance at a sub 20 if I sprinted. Somehow I made it but barely. Official time- 19:59. Splits: 6:13, 6:24, 6:41, 6:07 for last .10.
When I finished I was mostly relieved it was over and also relieved I didn’t get injured. My left foot felt a little off but I thought it was just my shoes. When I got home I gave my new XC spikes to Abi. She was thrilled!
Three days after the race I had a 3 x 2 mile repeat workout and my foot went from feeling slightly off to worse. When I finished my cooldown I knew something was wrong. I had worn more minimal shoes and apparently that aggravated my weak ankle. I hoped 1 or 2 full rest days would help but it still needed more time. I ended up taking 5 days off and then the next week I kept all my runs short (4-7 miles) and easy. I used KT tape to wrap my ankle which helped but it was still weak. At this point I was at least able to run but it was still healing.
5k # 3: September 22, 2018
Fallin’ Bird 5k
My dad found out about a local inaugural race right by his house that had a really fun t-shirt. I had at least 6 elderly members of their church ask me one Sunday night if I was going to run this 5k. Even John said, “How could you not run it now?” I decided if my foot was doing better I would ask my coach if I could work it into my weekend long run.
My ankle was well enough so I picked up my dad and we went to the race. Without any of my kids there the pre-race logistics were a breeze. We registered and then I ran 3 miles. I ran part of the course and asked the race volunteers a couple course questions. I wish I had run the course before the race because I had a feeling I’d probably be in the lead. When I don’t know the course I depend on a lead vehicle, signs, and volunteers.
I planned to run negative LT tempo splits. Once again I positive split another 5k- even one I wasn’t racing!! Ughhhh. Splits: 6:10, 6:13, 6:18, last .10 was slow because of finish line confusion. Towards the end of the first mile I had the lead. There was a police escort but he stopped during a section we ran through the ASU Beebe campus so I just followed signs and hoped I went the right way. In the last quarter mile the escort vehicle stopped so I relied on signs and volunteers. One of the race volunteers told me to turn right when I was supposed to veer left and as a result I went through the finish line from the wrong direction. I still ran the same distance but the way he directed me was through a crowded parking lot. Once I finished I explained the situation to the race director and they let the volunteer know the correct way so he could direct all of the other race participants the right way. Official time- 19:24 (6:14 avg.).
Then I jogged back to finish with my dad.
After the awards I ran a few miles back to my parents house and then a couple around there neighborhood. I wasn’t up for getting in the full mileage on my schedule and all of my miles were pretty choppy. I just chalked it up to the end of my recovery week and would move forward from there.
After I left my parents I spent about two hours at Restore Cryotherapy in Little Rock. I did 30 minutes of leg compression therapy, 30 minutes in the Infrared sauna, and 3 minutes in the Cryotherapy chamber. At some point I will do a post about all the things I’ve tried at Restore Cryotherapy. I always leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
5k # 4: September 29, 2018
The Great 5k Pumpkin Run
I honestly went back and forth about running this race all week. I held off on registering until the online deadline which was two days before the race. I just didn’t want to fail in another 5k. I had almost no racing confidence but I did have another solid week of training under my belt and both my older two planned to race it. I decided I might as well go for it and really focus on running a smart race.
We arrived in Lonoke over an hour before the race. It was very festive with pumpkins and fun atmosphere. My only complaint about the race was that there were only two portapotties and we all know that isn’t going to work for 250-300 runners! After we finally left the restroom line I warmed up a little with a teammate. Pretty soon it was time to head to the start.
My plan was to go out around 6:00-6:10 for the first mile. Then run around 6:00 for the second and 5:50-6:00for the third. In the end I did not negative split BUT I didn’t positive split so that’s some improvement. Splits: 6:07, 6:07, 6:07 with the last .1 around 5:40 pace. Talk about even splits!! Official Time- 18:53. (1st OAF)
After I finished I went back to cheer on the kids. First of all, they were much closer than I thought they would be. Secondly, they were running together and I had no idea who would finish first! It was so fun to watch and I wanted them both to “win.” In the end Abi beat Anthony with 23:11. He set a 40 second PR and finished in 23:12. So proud of them both!
As far as the course it was very flat and I really liked it. I’m looking forward to running it again next year!
After the race we went to North Little Rock to find a dress for Abi to wear on the Homecoming Court. We found a great deal at Dillards and she’s excited to wear it this Friday night. It was a fun way to end the morning!
Half marathon and marathon training is in full swing. My speed isn’t quite there but endurance is coming back and I’m very optimistic about December. Big Goals!!