Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Biggest Loser 5k Race Recap

I'll start this post by admitting ... I've never actually watched an episode of The Biggest Loser ;) But Mom loves the show so when she asked if I wanted to sign up for the race of course I said yes. Mom does so many races that I insist we do that it was my turn to do a race for her.

My sister joined Mom and I for this one for a true girls race outing!

It turned out it was an ideal day for racing. Mid-50s, low humidity, low wind. It couldn't get better than that. I planned on continuing my streak of getting faster at each 5k race this fall. But as I stood behind the start line, waiting for the signal to go, I looked around me and realized the race field did not look very competitive. Although experience has taught me that the fastest runners don't always look fast, I still decided to change up the plan a bit and go for a win instead of solely focusing on time. It would be fun to work on my racing tactics a bit. 

My plan was to run a conservative first mile. I started pretty fast but quickly settled in to a 'comfortable' pace behind two females. I told myself I had the entire race to catch people and at that moment I needed to focus on not burning out my legs within the first mile of the race.

I ended up catching one of the two women in front of me within the first half mile, which included a hill. After moving into 2nd place, I made it my mission to reel in the one remaining female in front of me. We were running slower than I normally run during a 5k but I decided to save energy by tucking in about 10 feet behind her. But around the mile 1 marker I decided I was done following and swung around and began picking up the pace. 

During mile 2, I encountered more hills - two downhills and another long uphill. But I actually didn't mind the hills too much. Since Coach Matt has me work on hills on a regular basis I'm used to going up and down and actually took advantage of one of the hills to pass the 3rd place male. Haha!

The only thing is by mile 3 I wasn't sure I was going the right way. The course wasn't marked very well and I followed the half marathoners past the finish line area. I couldn't see the two men in front of me or the lead bike and ended up slowing down a bit during this portion of the race. I wasn't feeling too confident that I was on track and wanted to be prepared to quickly turnaround if necessary. 

But it turns out I was going the right way! There was one more hill to tackle before a downhill into the finish line area. At this point I knew I was pretty far ahead of the 2nd place woman which was a relief but also kind of killed my competitive spirit. Without a reason to kick to the finish I picked up the pace a bit but wasn't all out. After a high five from the finish line announcer and a small fist pump I crossed the line!

This was actually a really slow time for me for a 5k but overall a good race. I know how I lost time during this one: Staying behind the ladies in front of me during the first mile and also slowing down during the third mile since I didn't know where I was going. So I don't feel the time is a reflection of my current fitness. But I think it is a reflection of using smarter racing tactics :)

Winner plaque!

Although winning the race was exciting, the best part of the day was seeing all the happy and excited faces around me. There are always first-timers at races but since this was part of The Biggest Loser race series there were more than usual at this event (there was also a half marathon race). It was wonderful to see so many people proud of their accomplishment! 

The next race on my calendar is The Pumpkin Run 5k in mid-October but I will likely add a 5k race the last weekend in September. I'm on a roll with racing right now and want to see where this fall season takes me. A new PR? Another win? The sky's the limit at this point :)

My questions for you:
  • Have you ever won a race? If so, what was your experience?
  • Have you ever run the wrong way during a race? 
  • What is your fall running or racing goal?

- ST


  1. I have never won a race. Although, in my book every completion is a win and a much better win when I am doing it under difficult circumstances. My greatest wins this year were the completion of the Green Bay marathon and completing my 50k ultra trail. It felt so good to cross the line at the end of the 50k.

    At Ragnar Great River this year I was running my first leg and I hit a point were I couldn't see any runners in front of me and I didn't see any course markings for a while and I thought I was off course. That feeling really sucks.

    Racing goal this fall is getting faster in my Winter series 10k races. I want place in the top 10 in at least 2 races. Step one of that goal completion is already done. I got older which put me in a new age group. :) Now I just need to get these old legs to move faster!

    1. I agree, Bob - every completion is a win! Just a few weeks til the Winter Series begins. I'm sure you will hit your goal of placing in the top 10 in at least two races! Fun to have a new AG :)

  2. WOOT WOOT that is awesome congrats on your 1st place finish, and 3rd overall, AMAZING!!!
    Sorry the course wasn't marked great, but thankfully you figured it out before you turned around or anything:)
    I was running a marathon once and there was a fork in the road, straight went up a crazy hill, and to the right went flat, there was a girl on the corner (voluneer) and I waved at her and motioned going straight, she nodded. So I started up the hill. but something felt wrong, and I glanced at the runners who were about 100 meters behind me and they went right. So I turned around and I say to the volunteer, which way is it up or right, and she's like. Oh sorry I didn't realize you were in the race, you go right... I looked down at my big, right on the front of my shirt and just shook my head, it wasn't worth getting mad about, but it was annoying!
    I've taken first in age group a few times in street races, and I took first many times in Jr. High and High school in both track and cross country. But I've never taken first overall in a street race as an adult. I imagine it's an awesome feeling! So happy for you, all that training pays off for you! Great job!!!

    1. Thanks Kristy! That is annoying the volunteer told you to go the wrong way! I had that happen once at a 10k that I paced my mom. The volunteer told everyone to go the wrong way and they had to start the race again. So terrible!

      I hope you're able to start running again soon!

  3. i had a similar experience earlier this year with a new 5K in oak creek. it wasn't well marked and i think that most of the people running were not very competitive at all. i ended up 2nd overall and 1st woman. that NEVER happens lol! sounds like you had a great time tho' and really that's all that matters. :)

    1. I agree! It was a super fun time with my mom and sister and that was more important at this race than time or place. :)

  4. Wow, that is totally awesome!! Sounds like a tough course with the hills, but apparently training on hills pays off :) I just did hill repeats this week and I definitely love to hate them! Congrats!

    1. Thanks Sue! Training on hills is tough but it really does pay off on race day, no matter what type of course you end up racing on. Great for building strength and mental toughness!

  5. Congrats on the first place finish! I loved that you and your sister joined your mom for the 5K. I really enjoy participating in races in which several of the participants are new runners - it is so nice to see the joy in their face finishing the race. I ran the wrong way before....b/c everyone else in front of me did as well (Charleston and Annapolis Half). The first b/c the pacer took the lead runner the wrong route and the second b/c there was no volunteer at the turnaround so the lead runner ran extra and everyone followed suit.

    1. Thanks Jenny! It's so wonderful seeing new runners have a great experience at a race. Sometimes that all it takes to get hooked on the sport :)