To keep up with my 1 race per month goal, I decided (kind of last minute) that my January race would be the Midwinter Cruise 5k put on by the Park Forest Running Club Pancake Club. It is a local running club and I have heard rave reviews from the previous races. I love small local races with a chance of winning an age group award (winning!) so I had a feeling this would be a good race. I haven't been doing much speed work lately, but I was still aiming for that 22:xx goal!
First off, the SWAG. I showed up race day to register (still only $25-yowzas!) There were some shirts available but only L or XL. In the theme of a "cruise," they passed out leis upon entering the gym and some runners even had Hawaiian shirts over their fleeces. Parking was close to the gym so I was able to drop my stuff off.
I headed out for a pre-race warm up with Maggie, Amanda (TTF), and Aurelia. We ran 1 mile at 10 minute pace to get our bodies warmed up and ready to go. We went to the start line and felt the brisk wind at our backs. It was much colder than I originally thought but I felt I layered properly and would be fine once the race started. (I'm always amazed at the folks that start off a race in shorts even when it is freezing cold. I mean, I'm sure you're going to get warm, but THAT warm?) I started off with Maggie as that worked out well for us at the Dash Into the New Year 5k. We are about the same pace at this point and in the same age group (for the next 8 months anyways).
First mile: 7:26 I was feeling good and thought "If I keep this up, I can meet my goal!" At the first mile marker, someone was there yelling out times (there was no clock). What great race volunteers that will go out there in the freezing cold just to shout out times as runners go by?
Mile 2: 7:37. Well, my goal will not be met unless I totally knock it out of the park for the last mile. Based on how I was feeling, I knew that my 22:xx goal was slipping through my fingers. I hadn't done much speedwork lately, so I had no one to blame but myself. However, Maggie was still ahead/with me so I kept on pushing.
Mile 3: 7:37... It would have been worse had I not pushed super hard the last 1/4 mile. Coming around the last turn, I heard some huffing and puffing behind me and knew someone was approaching. She moved to the small gap between me and Maggie, and I started to panic. "This girl looks like she could be in my age group!" was my first thought. The competitor inside me had to push through and try to catch up to Maggie!
|Photo credit: Maggie's husband|
Finishing time was 23:33, officially. It was a close one but I ended up coming in 2nd after all, just a few seconds behind Maggie... and 1 or 2 seconds in front of the mystery runner (who ended up being in our age group after all)! It was a great race with some tough competition!
Maggie and I both placed for our age group, her 1st and me 2nd.
Is it too much to compare ourselves to Shalane and Kara?
Now it is time to focus on cross training, weights, core strengthening, and speed work! 400 repeats, I'm looking at you!