Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beat the Heat 5k Race Recap

5k race in 16:59 (5:27/mile pace)

~3 miles warmup
5k in 17:03 (5:23, 5:40, 5:26, :32)
$590 earnings ($500 USATF, $90 Age Graded)
~3.5 miles cool down

You may tell me that I'm crazy to walk away disappointed from a race where I won $590 and competed well against some of the best competition that NC has to offer, but I did.

So call me crazy.

Really, I'm confused about what emotions I should be feeling.  Excited that I competed out there and executed a race strategy that suited my strengths?  Or - disappointed that I was unable to be as strong on the 2nd mile as I was last year in this exact same race?  Last year my splits were 5:26, 5:31, 530.  This year I dropped a 5:40 in that second mile.  I can't really explain what the difference was this year in that second mile, but I'm definitely not pleased with it.

The woman who won from Raleigh was only a mere ten seconds ahead of me and it's frustrating because I truly believe that I'm fit enough to have run a 16:52.  In my dreams, Meagan and I would have been battling with her at the line for the win in 16:50 fashion, but we didn't.   Instead, this is how it all unfolded:

In the first mile, the four of us women - Heather, Emily, Meagan and I - were all together and then we began to separate as we neared the halfway mark.  Soon I couldn't hear the breathing of the other women, but I could still sense they were close.  I ran through the 2-mile mark in 10:59 and knew that it was going to be a tough one to break 17:00 because I need to come through about four seconds faster.  In the distance, the Kenyan woman was slowly coming back to me and I set my sights on her for the next mile.  

As I charged through the downhill last 800m, I continued making ground on the first place woman but I knew that the 5k distance wouldn't be enough for me to pass her.  My face contorted into strained expressions as I watch the clock tick off the seconds...16:56...16:57...16:58...16:59, until it finally ticked over 17:00 and I still had a couple of steps to go.  I crossed the finish line feeling defeated and watched as Heather and Meagan followed close behind. 
The group at 800m (Photo courtesy of Thomas Eggar)

Around 1.75 Miles
Of course, there are plenty of positive things that happened during and after the race that bring a smile to my face.  All of the women - Heather Magill, Meagan Nedlo, Emily Potter and I all stood next to each other on the starting line.  While we are all competing against one another, we are all also friends running a race together.  We chatted and joked on the line and then stuck together in a pack for the first mile, pushing the other to run a fast and honest pace.  As the race unfolded and we all began to separate, we were competing but helping each other at the same time.   I love that feeling!  I also snagged some good cash that is going to my long-distance-relationship-fund.  I also got to catch up with all the other usual suspects at the NC USATF Championship races like Devin and Ryan, as well as some familiar Wake Forest teammates.  Finally, I got to race at Wake Forest, which always will hold a special place in my heart.

The rest of the night was filled with fun as a large group of us gathered at Foothills Brewery to enjoy brews and food.  I bought three of my friends a shot, enjoyed a mini-cousin-renunion with Garrett's sister and cousin, caught up with Eric Mack, and bar hopped with the Charlotte crew of Matt, John and Thomas.  The night ended on a good note as I was surrounded by so many great people who share the same passion for running and food that I do.

Some of the CLT crew. Meagan and I have not showered


mrn said...

i appreciate you glossing over the reality of how severely you kicked my ass, but regardless you should not be disappointed! as you said, the course was more difficult this year, plain and simple. you ran tough and are in excellent shape! nice work!

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