Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lake Country 5k Race Recap

Lake Country has always been a favorite race of mine. Every year it falls over Labor Day weekend and I view it as the start of the fall racing season. Although this year the weather conditions were more like dog-days-of-summer racing - upper 60s and nearly 100 percent humidity! 

When racing a 5k I can run through tough conditions. Or at least when I get up at 3am to get to the race I tell myself that I'm going to race through anything because I got up so early! 

My main goal for this race was to run a smart first mile. Lately I've been all about a fast start, which has been killing me at the end of races. This race started with a downhill but I made myself hold back and let a bunch of people pass me. I knew there was a big hill ahead where I could start catching people. First mile came in at 6:59 - right in the range Coach Matt told me to run for the first mile!

Although I was running slower than usual, I was already feeling the effort because of the weather. I was so glad I ran a smart first mile since I knew if I had run too fast I would have been in really bad shape. I told myself I just had to maintain this pace - it wasn't a day to PR and anyways I'm not in PR shape yet. 

One thing I really love about out-and-back courses is seeing other runners on the way back. This helped me so much during Mile 2 and was my motivation to keep going. Seeing other people working hard and battling through the race made me want to work hard, too! 

Of course, since it was an out-and-back course, it meant going over the big hill again on the way back to the finish line. As I ran up the hill I thought about some of the tough hill workouts Coach Matt has had me do. If I can do 12 hill repeats during a workout, I can certainly run this hill! When I got to the top, I could see the turn into the last portion of the race in the distance. Almost there! 

Since I ran a really smart race, I had enough left for a kick to the finish. There wasn't anyone near me at the end of the race so I probably didn't kick as hard as I might have had I been racing someone. But it was still fun to do a little sprint to finish things off.

I finally feel like I'm getting back on track for running and racing. There's still work to be done to get back in PR shape but I feel it's possible this fall - maybe late October/early November. It definitely motivates me to continue training and working hard!

To continue this little racing block, I have another 5k this upcoming weekend - and so far the weather looks fantastic! Wish me luck - I'll once again work on a controlled start - and a strong kick into the finish!

My questions for you:
  • What is your ideal start to a race? 
  • What do you think about when working your way up a hill during a race?
  • How do you know you're in PR shape?

- ST


  1. Great job on your race. You are super FAST! Well at least in my book you are!

    Ideally I like to try to keep myself from starting to fast also. I like to have something left in the tank for the end of the race no matter which distance it is.

    Up hill my mind is going "You can do it. Keep pushing. Almost there! Oh crap this hurts!"

    I think I am in PR shape when my "training" runs all feel like they are at the speeds I am targeting and I feel comfortable with my runs. I don't have a structured training schedule like you. I can just get in runs when I can. I look at the course I am going to run and how my body has been feeling prior to the race. Based on that, I think about pushing harder to obtain a PR.

    I don't have any races scheduled for the next 1 1/2 months. Next one on the books is the first 10k of the winter series.

    1. Thanks Bob! That 10k will come soon enough - I can't believe it's already mid-September! I'm looking forward to the start of the Winter Series. The Pumpkin Run is always a good race :)

  2. Congrats on a well-run race! I'm working on eliminating my fast starts too.

    1. Thanks Wendy! It's so tempting to start really fast but I've done it enough times this year that I know it's just not worth it!

  3. Way to go! The past couple of races have been hill heavy and I could def feel the lack of hill training I've had the past couple of months. Which means... add the hills back!

    1. Thanks Jenny! Yes, your race recaps always seem to mention hills. Although the uphills are always tough I usually try to convince myself they are a way to break up the race. Haha ;)

  4. Great job, Sun! You are on a roll! I'm so happy for you :). Haha usually I'll have some off workouts the week of a race, but I usually have enough confidence in my training to know to just brush it maybe that's how I know lol :) I think "short and quick" for my steps going up a hill. Ideal start for me is getting out fast, no more than a couple hundred meters and settling into my goal pace. Congratulations, again well done :)

    1. Thanks Hailey! I think that's a great strategy - get out fast then settle in. Kind of what I ended up doing at this weekend's race and it worked well :)