Monday, July 30, 2012

Racing Sausages 5k Race Recap

After a series of disappointing spring and summer races, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd ever race well again. Falling short during four consecutive races shook my confidence and made me question if I'm really capable of the goal times I set earlier this year. Once enjoyable races turned into anxiety filled events where I wondered if I could finally pull through and get the job done or if I'd fall flat once again. 

Needless to say, I had very low expectations for Saturday's Racing Sausages 5k race. After the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, I had little motivation to run. I even broke one of my race week rules and did heavier strength training in a boot camp class on Thursday. It was a tough class and left me pretty sore. Standing up and sitting down were difficult and running at any pace seemed like it would be a challenge. After a painful warmup jog the morning of the race, I decided I would have to run at a slower pace and - gasp - maybe even walk a bit.

Getting started
So I lined up near the 8-minute mile runners. The start was a bit congested because of the large number of participants and I ended up running around a few people right away. The first mile went by fast even though I ran slower than usual - about 7:30 pace. I felt really good at this point - somehow my leg pain had disappeared and I knew I could run faster. I picked up the pace just a bit, but kept it controlled and relaxed. I wasn't after an AG prize or PR - I just wanted to finish strong and avoid the side stitches that have plagued every single one of my recent races. 

I still felt great after mile 2 and as we entered Miller Park Stadium for a quick turn around the field, I knew it was time to pick things up. I ended up running the third mile in 6:48 and even had some left for a short kick through the finish! 

Crossing the finish line (Photo from WISN)

Here are my results:

Time: 22:18
Average Mile Time: 7:11
Division Place: 10/540
Gender Place:29 /XXX
Overall: 156/2,500
This somehow ended up being a new 5k race PR! It was just what my lagging confidence needed and gives me hope I'll be able to meet this year's 5k goal time of sub-22 minutes. At the finish, I felt like I still had a bit more left in the tank and I know it's just a matter of shaving a few seconds off the first two miles during the next race.

It's all I needed to get back on track. This week, it's back to a normal schedule as I get ready to increase my miles again. Here's the plan:

Monday: 6 miles at easy pace
Tuesday: 8 miles at easy or steady pace
Wednesday: 6 miles at steady pace; 45 minutes strength training
Thursday: 8 miles at easy pace
Friday: 4 miles at easy pace
Saturday: 18 miles at easy pace

Total: 50 miles

Have you ever surprised yourself during a race? Also, what are you currently training for? My next race is Run/Walk to Milwaukee Irish Fest - another chance to hit that 5k goal time!

- ST

6 comments:

  1. NIce job! I wanted to do that race, but I was out of town, so I'll lvie through you :) Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Laurie! I definitely recommend doing the race next year if you're in town :)

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  2. Congrats on PR-ing! So far every race I've run is a PR (I've only done 3 so far), so I hope that tradition continues :)

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    1. Thanks Alysha! I have a good feeling a half marathon PR is in your future ;)

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  3. I love surprising myself during a race - it's always fun to randomly PR when you didn't think you would :) I'm training to get back into running now, hopefully I'll be 5k ready in fall :D

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    1. Best of luck with whatever 5k you end up running this fall :)

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