This race is one of my favorites - it was one of my first races when I started running, the course weaves around the Milwaukee County Zoo and it's just a great atmosphere with lots of excited runners and spectators. This year was extra special because my company put together a 5k team to participate in the event. Team Zizzo had great participation and we all had a blast at the event. It was fun seeing so many friendly faces before and after the race!
Team Zizzo (photo from ZG)
I felt pretty as I lined up for the race. My hamstrings and stomach felt fine and my only concern were the hills scattered throughout the course. Last time I raced at the zoo, I ended up taking the downhills a bit too aggressively and ended up with a nasty side stitch. I hoped to avoid that situation with this race.
Since it was a gun start instead of a chip start, I lined up within the first few rows of people and before I knew it, we were off! Before the race, I decided my goal time for the race was 22:30 - Slower than my PR by about 40 seconds, but fast enough that it would feel like a race and take effort and concentration to maintain pace. I wanted to avoid racing all out since I need to save my legs and mental strength for my first 10k race this upcoming weekend!
I also decided to again race without a watch - just to see how close I could come to my goal time while running by feel and effort.
Someday, I'm going to do something awesome with all my race bibs :)
Mentally, I broke this race into four segments - mile 1, mile 2, mile 3 and the final 0.1. Mile 1 went by pretty fast and I felt pretty decent at the end of the mile, at least as far as 5k races go! Mile 2 is always a struggle for me and I had to push to keep my pace even. What helped during this race was picking out a woman who was ahead of me and telling myself I was going to pass her by the end of the mile. It definitely helped to have specific challenge to focus my attention on and sure enough, before the end of the mile, I managed to run past her!
The rest of the race I ended up running with a few guys and we were all working hard. When we saw the mile 3 marker, they all took off and outkicked me up the hill to the finish line! I tried to keep up, but my legs weren't turning over fast enough and I'm sure they were all extra motivated to not get "chicked" at the end of the race :)
Here are my race results:
Average Pace: 7:15
Age Group Place: 2/90
Overall Place: 37/794
I'm happy with these results and feel like I accomplished my goal of running a controlled race. Also, I ran within one second of my goal time - without a watch - so I feel that was pretty good pacing by feel!
Now it's time to look forward and start preparing for my goal spring race - the Madison Twilight 10k. The race is less than a week away and I'm already feeling a bit nervous with anticipation. This is one that matters and you better believe I'm giving it all I've got :)
A few questions:
- Has your company ever put together a team for a run/walk event?
- Did you race last weekend? If so, did the weather affect your race?
- Are you racing Madison this weekend? If so, I'd love to meet!
Hope you're all having a great start to the week!