Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Old Plank Trail 5k Race Recap

A little while ago I signed up for a local 5k the day before the marathon. I was taking my time while eating my breakfast and took this great photo:

When I showed up to pick up my packet, in downtown Frankfort, most of the people walking around were wearing the race shirts (and quite a few folks had their bib numbers on the back). The area where everyone was congregating was close to nice public bathrooms and a grassy area with plenty of space to stretch (including a decent amount of parking).

Due to the date in proximity of the marathon (and the fact that there was another 5k in the next town over at the same time), I thought I could escape with an age group award. As I haven't had the time to focus on speed work as much, I wasn't aiming for a PR. Instead, I was aiming to start slower and have my last mile be my fastest. This race was gun timed so I settled in close to the start line. (For a start line photo, checkout #22 on this photo stream. Don't want to post due to possible copyright issues.)

Of course, my Garmin went back to the home screen by the time the gun went off, so I started it a few seconds afterwards. The first mile I tried not to go out too quick as people were blazing by. My Garmin beeped at a pace of 7:30 for mile 1. I felt good and thought this was going well.

I tried to pick it up a bit for the second mile and passed some folks ahead of me. I know the trail we were on pretty well (it is the same trail we run on every Thursday) and there is a big bridge/hill along the way. Before reaching the 2 mile marker, the course shifted and I saw were were going to head up and down the big hill. Since this part of the course was "out and back," I was mentally preparing to do it again as soon as it was over. Mile 2 (including the first hill) was a 7:35 pace.

After mile 2, I didn't really pick it up. I knew the hill was ahead so I tried to keep it steady and save my energy. Once reaching the top of the hill, I kicked it into gear on the way down. I read somewhere that most people go uphill too fast and downhill too slow. I tried to reverse that and use the downhill portion to propel me forward finish strong! I saw a teenager ahead of me, I visualized that he was pulling me, and I focused on trying to pass him. I didn't pass him, but I'm happy with my finish as my last mile was 7:23... And I broke 23 for the 2nd time this year with a time of 22:59. (I'll take it.) Considering the 2 hills and my lack of speed work in recent weeks, I'm very happy with this time!

With the out and back course, I could see that there was only 1 female ahead of me... That means that I was the 2nd female to cross the finish line! I hung around for the awards ceremony in hopes of winning an age group award. While I was waiting, I munched on some of the post-race snacks including bananas, donut munchkins, bagels, and coffee. I gotta say that the thing I love most about local 5ks is the coffee they always have post-race! It was delicious and helped keep me warm while I was waiting. I did end up winning first in my age group and I'm very excited about it!
1st Place, Female 20-29

After I received my award and had a local spectator take this photo of me on the Old Plank Trail, I headed home to clean around the house and get ready for a full day of marathon spectating! I really enjoyed this race!

Pros:
Nice long sleeved t-shirt
Cheap entrance fee ($15 if you preregistered)
Beautiful course (out on the trail)
Fantastic support from local police to make sure runners were safe
Well-marked course

Cons:
The course with that hill, twice (I guess it makes for a challenge)
It would be nice if they had awards for 2nd place too instead of just 1st

Would I do this race again? Absolutely! I also highly recommend it to other runners! Although, if they changed the weekend of this race to not be so close to the marathon, I bet they would have a lot more folks enter.

20 comments:

  1. Congrats, speedy! Awesome AG placement! Good thing you did get first, since there was no #2! The shirt is cute! Sounds like a fun course too, minus that hill, like you said :)

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  2. Way to pace yourself. Congrats on the speedy time and congrats on the first place age group award! Also, I like the price of that race: $15? That makes the $30+ 5ks seem way over-priced.

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  3. Thanks so much! I was really happy with how things went and I just know with better training and a flatter course I could totally get my time down even lower! :)

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  4. Thanks! I was amazed by the price. If a great 5k can be put on by only charging $15 if you pre-register (and $20 for day-of registration), you wonder how many 5ks are just making bank off of participants willing to pay $40-$55 for some! YIKES

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  5. $15? Thats my kind of 5k. The after race spread sounds pretty amazing too - i LOVE post race coffee!

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  6. Also, i think i already said congrats on facebook or daily mile, but CONGRATS AGAIN!! :)

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  7. Great job, Kelly!!

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  8. Thanks Amanda! Hope to see you at a race again soon!! :)

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  9. That price was good. I am assuming it wasn't chip timed. I figure chip timing adds about $5 to the cost. Still I have done and scouted some 5Ks and have come to the conclusion that anything over $25 not chipped timed is a rip and anything over $30 that is chipped timed is a rip as well. I also had one that wanted to runners to eat the online sign up fee.

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  10. It was, those donut munchkins brought me back to 5th grade birthdays at school... haha... Post-race coffee is totally a plus in my book! It hits the spot.

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  11. It was gun-timed, not chip-timed. With mostly walkers, it did make sense for this race. I've seen online sign-up fees as high as $8. What are these fees for really? I'd like to know...

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  12. Congratulations Kelly. 2nd place, while not exactly 1st, is incredible. And that's an awesome time. You getting really fast. Keep it up.

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  13. Totally agree on the price, which is why I rarely do 5K's in Chicago. Plus the hassle of getting to a race in Chicago (and paying for parking or waiting around for the Metra) is not worth it when there are a zillion 5K's in the suburbs.

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  14. Congrats! You are super speedy!

    That looks like a really nice trail.

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  15. Irina @ Chocolatea TimeOctober 11, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    What a great race at a great price!! Races in Chicago are highly overpriced and I have yet to see a 5K that costs less than $30. Great job on your great finish!!

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  16. Thanks! I think there are a few more permits (and more expensive permits) needed in the city so I can see the higher price, plus they knew people are going to pay it! If you have a car and can venture out to the suburbs, there really are some great races for a great price!

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  17. Thanks! The trail is beautiful. They took video out on the course so I'll be sure to post it when it becomes available. :)

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  18. Haha, yeah. I don't know if I'll ever be running 20:XX 5ks, but I'm happy with sub 23! Thanks!

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