Monday, December 5, 2011

Providence Downtown Jingle 5K RR

Race Week:
The week of the race wasn't ideal. Nick had to travel, the kids were sick, there wasn't much sleep to be had...blah blah blah. I even had trouble with a few of my easy runs. I run with a few people at work, and generally we run around 8:30 pace. Yes, I struggled running 8:30 pace for seven miles, which seemed like a bad omen, but I chose not to think about it...too much.

Race Morning:
Because Nick was traveling, my parents invited me and the little ladies to stay with them Saturday night, which is really the only reason I was able to run the 5K (thank you mom and dad). I did my typical race morning routine. Coffee and toast with peanut butter and banana, but the race start was at 11:15. I prefer earlier races. The earlier the race, the less time I have to become overly nervous. And I was nervous. Partly because I didn't feel that great, and partly because I had told myself this was the last 5K for a while.

Around 10:00, my dad drove me down to Providence. We parked a mile away from the start and ran in. Even with running to the start, we were still 45 minutes early. If I hadn't been nervous, it would have been a lot of fun watching people. Tons of people were dressed up in all kinds of Christmas decor. Christmas music was playing. The atmosphere was cool. I did feel out of place though. I was in my typical race attire, while everyone else was in long sleeve shirts and running tights. I stuck out and received a few weird looks.

Race Start:
This race was awesome! They had a countdown clock, music, and a great announcer. I loved how everything was organized. Anyway, I lined up right at the front, which always makes me feel self conscious. The worst part of racing for me is waiting at the start. I feel so much better once the gun goes off.

Mile 1:
According to the clock at the mile marker, I ran a 6:02. My Garmin didn't agree with the mile markers. I wonder if the Garmin was inaccurate due to being in the middle of the city? Either that or the mile markers weren't in the correct place. In any case, I had to believe the race mile marker. I was a little disappointed. I wanted to run 5:55 - 6:00 for that first mile. There were three women ahead of me, but not too far ahead.

Mile 2:
I didn't feel any worse for mile 2, but the clock read 12:12, making that second mile 6:10. Now I was really irritated. I knew that I was going to need to run the third mile faster than the second mile to break 19 minutes, but I have never been able to do that.

Mile 3:
I'm guessing you probably read Mary: Iron Matron, who recently wrote a post entitled "How bad do you want it." I'm not nearly as contemplative about such things, but I must have wanted it pretty bad because the clock at the three mile marker read 18:15, which means I ran a 6:03 third mile. I passed the third place female, and really fought with the second place female. She passed me in the final 100 meters. Not because I was slowing mind you. I was hauling, she was just faster.

I was the third place female, and my official time was 18:52. The other two women were only a few seconds ahead of me, which really made the race more exciting. I felt like I was running in college again. When we crossed the finish the race director grabbed us and gave us our loot right away! I was so excited. He said he didn't want us to have to wait around for an hour, which was great because I never wait around. We each received a $50 gift certificate to a local running store.

My goal going into the race was 18:40. Actually, let me rephrase that...going into the race I believed that if I had a good day I could run 18:30-18:40. I'm sure that sounds ridiculous, given that it has only been the last few weeks that I've run in the mid 19 range. I feel weird even writing it. But I've been getting faster. And how exactly am I getting faster? Eh, I don't know. I suspect it might partially be a mental thing. Last year I read another great post over at Mary: Iron Matron entitled "Kicking Some Ass." Again, I rarely contemplate why I run. I find it satisfying, so I keep doing it. But why? I don't know. And how am I suddenly dropping minutes off my time? Beats me, but maybe Mary is onto something...

Anyway, I'll post my training notes next time, but I'm such an odd runner I'm not sure how useful they'll be to anyone else.


Karen said...

It's funny how random spurts of improvement happen. I'm always scratching my head, they come at such odd times. :) Congrats again on such a fast time!

Michelle said...

Excellent!! i can not even fathom actually winning a race!! (except our neighborhood 4th of July run. I rule that thing! Of course there isn't much competition!) proud of you!!

I do my first 20 miler this Sat. If I survive it without breaking I may actually post about it!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Loved this Katie. It really made me think about my own race Saturday. Very clear to me that I did not believe or want it that much. I remember we had a conversation about this on a run over the summer:)

Great job here. You've improved so much every week! You did run low to mid 18, it is just the course was long. Even though the Garmin is not official, I like to compare progress based on it. Huge progress for you anyway, but really impressive based on Garmin. You went from 6:06 average to 5:53. SO thrilled for you and excited for what's to come this winter:)I am going to try to latch onto you when we run those half marathons:)

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Hey, are you off daily mile? Just joined and loved it. Jenn from Running Sane is there too. Come back to it:)

lindsay said...

incredible! what an amazing time. way to fight for it!

Amanda@runninghood said...

This is great Katie! So much of what you say here resonates with me ...I feel myself getting faster too (although far from your 5k)...just finding myself almost breaking 20 minutes for the first time and it feeling relatively easy makes me think that I'm mentally ready to chase down some big goals that I wasn't ready for before kids. I'm ready now. and hungry for it. :) Congrats to you...excited to see you keep getting faster!

Raina said...

Personally, I think the 8:30 pace rocks for training. And if you can get a sub 19 off of it, well....I am THRILLED. :D

Kinda curious about what your warm up was like, since you had so much time.

Raina said...

Forgot to say..FANTASTIC race!

robinbb said...

Hey, I found your blog from Jenn from Running Sane. Wow, you are an amazing runner, so excited to have found your blog. I did the Thanks4Giving race as well, but the 10k instead. Congrats on an awesome race!

Laura said...

That's an awesome run! I love that you're still getting faster... I'm hoping to start focusing more on speed, and it's nice to know there's still room for improvement as we get older. :)