Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Pumpkin Run 5k Race Recap

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Although I'm far from perfect, I do think I'm making a bit of progress on smart 5k race pacing. Instead of going all-out from the gun, I'm finally feeling comfortable sitting back a bit during the first mile and then picking up the pace during the last 2/3 of the race. 

Earlier last week, Coach Matt gave me a workout to simulate how pacing might work during an ideal race.The workout went really well so I was feeling good about how Sunday's Pumpkin Run 5k might play out. Although I knew it wasn't a goal race, I still wanted to run well to test my training from these past few weeks and also to gain a little confidence before my first fall goal race, the Milwaukee Running Festival 5k.

This is where I admit mistakes were made - two before the race even started. First of all, I forgot my Garmin. I really wanted my mile splits for this race but told myself it would be a good test of running by effort. However, I think seeing numbers on the watch might have motivated me to run a bit faster. Second, I overdressed. It was a cooler morning (38ish degrees) and for some reason I thought it was necessary to wear a long sleeve top with another long sleeve top layered on top. AND it was the race shirt I layered on top (last-minute decision), to make it an even bigger faux pas. Haha! Needless to say, I overheated about halfway through the race. I should have stuck with a singlet and armwarmers.

But at least a mistake was not made by running too fast at the start of the race. I lined up a few rows back to avoid sprinting out and actually did a good job of keeping the pace controlled during the first mile. It was hard letting people pass me but I tried to stay positive and told myself I would be able to catch them later in the race. 

Thanks for the pic, Jeff!

A little past the halfway point, I started pacing off the woman in front of me. I tried surging past a few times but she would just re-catch me then cut in front. So I decided I would draft off her for the last part of the race instead of wasting energy with the cat and mouse game. In hindsight, I'm not sure this was the best decision. It seemed smart at the time, but I kind of wonder if I should have just laid down a faster/longer surge to see what would have happened. Because the thing is, when you pace off someone else, you are running their pace ... and maybe not pushing it as much as you should. In a way, it was lazy racing on my part!

My results:

Time: 21:44
Pace: 7 min/mile
Gender Place: 12/436
AG Place: 6/74

After finishing the race, I ran/walked back on the course to find Mom and run her in. She ran a really good race and ended up finishing 3rd in her age group! 




So a great race for Mom but a so-so race for me. But at least this was only the dress rehearsal and I know what I need to change before the Milwaukee Running Festival 5k. I'll start with remembering my Garmin and not overdressing ;)

My questions for you:
  • What do you race in when the temps are in the 30s?
  • Do you ever wear the race shirt at the actual race?
  • Do you ever pace or draft off people in front of you? Or do you always run your own race?

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

- ST

18 comments:

  1. It was tough to dress for sundays race! I didnt start till 9:30...I had on capris, a short sleeve shirt & arm warmers. After my WU, i ditched the arm warmers & I too overheated in the 10K! Wished I would have worn short & a singlet. No, I never wear the event shirt for the race. For the 10Ks, I usually run my own race for the 1st 1/2 of the race (so I dont go out too fast) and then pick it up for the 2nd 5K & try to pick the women off 1 by 1. Sunday was a tough race for me...but I too definitely learned what I need to do before the next race. Happy there are 5 more races in the series :)

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    1. I think that's one of the best aspects of racing a series - there's opportunity to improve throughout :) I'll have to look for you at the next race - I didn't realize you were racing the 10ks this year!

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  2. I figured it would warm up on Sunday by the start of the 10k so I opted to go with just shorts and short sleeve shirt with a hat and mittens. Mittens are good for holding car keys! I did get a bit warm during the race but it wasn't to bad. I don't wear the race shirt for the day, I stick to what I had planned to wear.

    I try to run my own race. I usually try to not go out to fast at the start. My goals on Sunday were to try to place in the top 10 of my age group and to break 50 minutes on the 10k. I think I ran a good race for myself. I ended up with 6th place in my age group but missed my sub 50 goal by 11 seconds! Akkkk!!!! That was a bit of a bummer because I think the course Sunday is the fastest out of all of the Winter Series courses. I think the Run In The New Year course will probably be the 2nd fastest. Living in Hartford I know the big chill 10k course will have some hills on it.

    All in all it was a good race on Sunday. I think LightHouse did a good job with the event. Good luck in your upcoming 5k! Hopefully you get good weather.

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    1. I also thought Lighthouse Events did a great job with the race! Congrats on your 6th place AG finish - that is fantastic! And you're so close to your sub 50 goal - something to aim for during the rest of the races this series!

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  3. In shorter races, I'll wear shorts, L/S top and gloves. Longer races, going with tights. I don't like to be cold.

    We've always said "No race T-shirts in the event" - My daughter who is a very social runner, a couple 5K/year with friends - had to tell her friends "No, we don't wear the t-shirt in the race - it's a rule" one year when they did a charity run while in college. It's nice to know they were listening to at least something i said.

    Drafting isn't something i consciously think of. If the opportunity presents itself, i will - but i don't like people drafting off me, so i try to race them fair. I'd prefer to run my own pace, don't like running behind people too much in groups. But ... if it is 50 mph headwinds and i might try to get a break for a little bit

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    1. Haha, I agree - race t-shirts should not be worn at the event. I felt super silly wearing the shirt during the race especially when I overheated in the middle and just wanted to take it off and throw it to the side of the road. Alas, my bib was attached to it!

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  4. Awesome job! In a way, that's what races like this are for, to learn from. I am a huge layers dresser for cold, I had what you had happen years ago, and that was the last time I didn't have something that could be peeled off at any point. I think that's why I like the garbage bag so much, I can warm up in it faster and peel it off in seconds when my body is ready.
    I'm not quite the fast runner as you anymore, I haven't had anyone draft off me in years. But I remember high school cross country and everything you said above just brought back memories of it, I used to get told all the time not to relax to others pace, it was a hard mistake back then for me to correct:)

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    1. Thanks Kristy! I've never tried using a garbage bag but after the experience of not being able to shed a layer I may have to consider it at future races!

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  5. Wow, you are a fast runner! Way to go! If it's in the upper 30s I might wear a long sleeve shirt and shorts, or a t shirt with tights and arm warmers.

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    1. Thanks Wendy! I think you're right - a long sleeve shirt with shorts is perfect - although just one ls shirt, not two :)

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  6. This is pretty awesome! I find that just waking up with a positive attitude works.keep a good job.

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    1. Thanks Carl! I agree - a positive attitude can make all the difference on race day!

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  7. Believe it or not I like running in hot weather...hate running in cold weather because I too can never decide what to wear or how much to wear...you did great and just think when you start of fmentally better (don't forget that garmin :) ) you are bound to do even better!

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    1. Thanks Sarah :) I'm the same - summer weather - or warm fall weather - is the best. Shorts and a tank - easy! :)

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  8. Congrats to your mom! That's awesome she got third in her age group!

    I ran a 5k this past weekend and was SO much slower than I was before. I've been using walking/running intervals using the C25K app. which I am now more than half way through. I would really like to work on my speed, since I know I can run a 5k completely. I just need to push myself and pace myself too! Seems you have a great time! Sadly its twice as fast as I ran. Were you always pretty good at running? Any tips you would give a starting out runner?

    Also! I never get super cold cold weather, but I get cold really easily. I was cold at the start of my race and my aunt lent me some of her asics arm sleeve warmers (which I had never seen or heard of before) and I totally want my own pair now!

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    1. Hi Caroline! Thanks for stopping by! I think it's great that you're working on improving your 5k speed - being able to run one completely is the first step!

      I was not always good at running but one thing that has helped me is incorporating hill work into my training. Generally what I do is a warmup followed by hill repeats (depending on the length of your hill, you might want to start with 4-6 and work your way up as your training progresses) finished with a cooldown jog. I like to push the pace and run every other uphill all out. To recover from the uphill segments I usually walk/slow jog down the hill.

      Hill work is great because it will help you build strength but won't strain your body as much as fast track intervals. It also gives you a lot of confidence that you can pass people during the hill segments during races!

      Best of luck with your training - I'm going to hop over to your blog next :)

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  9. I love salmon and I am pinning this! Thank you so very much! :)

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    1. Hope you enjoy the recipe if you end up giving it a try!

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