Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lake Country 5k Recap

As the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I planned on using last weekend's Lake Country Half Marathon as a tune-up race - a bit of practice with the distance before letting it rip at November's Milwaukee Running Festival Half Marathon. But that plan went out the window after coming down with a terrible migraine in the 24 hours leading up to the race. I've had very few migraines in my life and can say without a doubt they are absolutely awful. I sprawled on my bed, unable to move and every time I closed my eyes, the room felt like it was spinning.

On race day, my alarm went off at 3am. But I was already awake since Eddie decided 2:30am was a perfect time to play and pounce around my bed trying to bite any exposed flesh. I sat up in bed, half expecting the room to spin again, but it didn't so I got up, showered and got dressed for the race. As I drove over to my parents' house (Mom and I usually drive to races together), I still thought I would attempt the half marathon. But after talking it over with my parents, I decided to switch down to the 5k distance. I was exhausted from the migraine and was feeling a bit off. It would be a very long walk to the finish line if I had to drop from the half marathon race at the halfway point. I honestly didn't even know if I could race a 5k - I was that exhausted!

As disappointed as I was to have to switch down to the 5k, I decided to make the best of it. I told myself the weather was ideal for racing a 5k and this race was a bonus opportunity to run faster. Since I haven't been training for the 5k distance, I knew my speed wouldn't be up to par, but I do love a good 5k and hoped that the adrenaline from the race would carry me through.

I started the race a few rows back and going up the bigger hill in the race, I was in the 6th female spot. Over the next mile, I chased down a few ladies and was the 3rd female by the turnaround. Unfortunately, I ended up losing a spot in the last mile when I took a walk break. I know - who takes a walk break during a 5k???? Apparently I do when racing on a not-quite-full tank. Getting passed was the kick in the shorts I needed, and I was able to start running again. I thought I might be able to catch the woman who passed me but I ran out of distance and was too gassed to muster up a decent kick.


I finished 4th female and 1st AG with a time of 21:28. At first, I was really disappointed with this result since I took 4th, got passed during the last mile and had to take a walk break. Also, I didn't get to race the distance I wanted. But after thinking about it a bit more, I decided it wasn't that bad. Sure, I could have done better - but I also know I WILL do better when I race feeling closer to 100 percent. Also, the 5k is not my focus this fall - so I can instead re-frame this as a good workout effort in the middle of a half marathon training block. Coach Matt said all things considered it was a total victory. So that's how I'm going to think of it as well! I'll take my lemonade extra chilled with a spoonful of sugar and a sprig of mint ;)

As always, I ran back on the course to find Mom and run her into the finish line. She is a total inspiration. She won her age group AND was the oldest woman to finish the 5k distance. So amazing - I hope I'm still running and winning trophies when I'm in my 60s!


So what's next? Well, since I didn't get to do my tune-up half marathon, I'd love to find another race of that distance sometime within the next few weeks. If I can't find a half marathon, a 10k or 15k would also work. If anyone knows of any races, let me know! 

My questions for you:
  • Before a goal race, do you run a tune-up race? How far out do you race your tune-up?
  • Have you ever had to switch down in distance at a race?
  • When a race doesn't go your way, how do you move on?

- ST

10 comments:

  1. Great job! I ran the Green Lake 1/2 marathon last Sunday. Was a great (very hilly) course that was good practice for Ragnar Trail Northwoods and Ragnar Hawaii!

    I did drop down to a 5k for the Luck of the Irish a couple years back because I was still recovering from a torn calf muscle.

    Well, with most things in life if something doesn't go my way I just try to shake it off, put it in the past and move on. No sense on dwelling on the past since every second in life is a new second with unknown possibilities.

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    1. Thanks Bob! Hope your race went well - a hilly course sounds great!

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  2. Great job! That is still a great time regardless! You're kind of making me want to make a 5k my goal race for the first time actually!

    I usually do a tune up race before a goal race. I'm not doing one before NY for the first time mostly because I couldn't find a convenient race that fit in my schedule but also because the sleep I lose on race day is just too precious these days (and Siena sleeps through the night!).

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    1. It's sometimes really difficult to find a race that fits into a schedule - I've found I probably cannot find another tune-up after all - a combo of limited 10k/half marathons in the area + not many free weekends. Best of luck in NY - I'm really excited for you and that will be such a fun race!

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  3. I would say this is a total victory indeed! You did awesome for not feeling your best!

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    1. Thank you so much! Hopefully on a better day I can run faster :)

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  4. Summer races tend to be hot ones so I prefer racing at any other time of the year! Congrats to you and your mom for being first in your age groups!

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    1. Thanks so much! I don't mind summer races but it's definitely important to adjust expectations. Faster times happen in the spring and fall.

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  5. I think you did awesome, as you usually do:)
    It may not have been the race distance you wanted, but even a 5k when training for a half could be considered a speed work day.
    I used to, when I was marathon training run a few shorter races at race pace then when I got done with the race I'd keep on running to finish the distance I wanted for the day.
    Hope you can find a race you want!
    But for now, congrats again on an awesome finish!!!

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    1. Thanks Kristy! That was my thinking as well. Using a race as speedwork is way more fun than logging repeats on a track alone so a nice change of pace!

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