This past weekend was the inaugural event - the result of years of hard work from Chris and his team - and it was such a success! I really could not have been more impressed by a first-year event.
Normally I would not use a first-year event as a goal race but knowing Chris was in charge, I knew it would be okay. I've always enjoyed his other races - the Indoor Marathon Relay, Race for the Bacon and Town Bank Turkey Trot to name a few. So I felt comfortable telling Coach Matt I wanted to use the Milwaukee Running Festival 5k as a goal race.
And I felt ready for a good race. Workouts leading up to race week indicated I was ready to run fast and I spent the week mentally bracing myself for the pain that comes with a hard effort. On race morning I knew I could do it.
My mantra for this race was "Be brave". I selected this mantra because I know I sometimes don't push as hard as I should during the middle of a race or don't kick as hard as I should at the end of a race because I worry about running out of gas before the end. So I did a lot of visualization for this one, imagining the middle of the race, what it would feel like and how I would react. It all came down to I would have to be brave!
I lined up a few rows back because I didn't want the temptation of running too hard during the first mile. It turned out to be perfect. I got out fast but then settled into a nice Mile 1 effort. I didn't look at my watch a single time during the first mile but when it beeped I saw I was at 6:52. I couldn't have asked for better!
The start of the race!
During Mile 2, I focused on reeling in runners that had either started in front of me or passed me right at the start. I was starting to hurt during this mile but thought since I was doing all the passing that I was still on pace. I didn't look at my watch til it beeped for the mile split and was a bit disappointed to see that I slowed to 7:02 pace. Although I already felt like I was putting in max effort I knew I was going to have to bring it up a notch in the next mile.
Throughout Mile 3, I repeated my mantra to myself again and again. I passed one more woman about halfway through the mile then focused on staying with a guy that was running the same pace as me. It was definitely an advantage to race on a course I run on all the time. I knew the path so well and I knew how much distance I had left to cover which made the effort a tiny bit easier. In hindsight, I should have been a teensy bit braver and started my kick a bit earlier. Maybe I would have shaved a few seconds off my time! ;)
Pace: 6:50 min/mile
Gender Place: 5/345
AG Place: 1/54
Although not a PR, I was happy with my race since it shows I'm getting fitter. Right where I want to be going into the final month before the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio 10k, my ultimate goal race this fall :)
After the race with Mom - she also raced the 5k!
Overall, I thought it was a great weekend of racing. I really liked the 5k course and had fun spectating some of the other events. I would definitely recommend adding the Milwaukee Running Festival to your race calendar next year. It's a fantastic event and I'm sure it will be even bigger and better next year!
My questions for you:
- What is your experience with first-year races? And if you raced the Milwaukee Running Festival, what did you think of the event?
- What is your current race mantra?
- What are you most looking forward to this fall?
Other than a hard few weeks of training leading up to Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio, I'm looking forward to crisp temps, in-season apples and lots of homemade chili!