Mind over matter...Never give up

Friday, April 22, 2011

Second Empire 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, Raleigh, April 17, 2011

Second Empire 5K Course

This is the 3rd year that I have run in the Second Empire race, sponsored by Second Empire Restaurant in Raleigh.  In 2008 it was my very first race since moving to North Carolina.  My first race in over 5 years, since before Owen was born.  I didn't do too bad that first year, sub 24 minutes, given my primary training was on weekends pushing one of the kids in the jogging stroller.  That same year the kids both did the 50 yard dash.  In 2009 they didn't have the race since they moved it from the fall to the spring.  In 2010, I ran the 1 mile race with Owen and the 50 yard dash with Grace.  I skipped the 5K since it was soon after Boston and I wanted to focus on running for fun, just with the kids.  Good thing too because it was really hot and humid that day.  This year I wanted to use the race as one of my 5K's leading up to what I hope will result in a sub 20 5K before the end of this year.  I wasn't feeling confident that this was the race for that since I hadn't been really training, but I was hoping for a decent time and to have a fun day.  I was registered for the 5K and Owen and Grace decided that morning that they'd both do the 1 mile instead of the 100 yard dash.  I was very proud of them when they even said they didn't care if they got a medal or not, but just wanted to do the 1 mile.

O & G practicing their starting line pose

While I was proud of the kids, in looking back at the 5K race, I am both proud and a bit disappointed in my performance.  I really haven't had much time to run or train so I should be pretty pleased with my overall time considering this (20:49 gun, 20:47 chip).  It wasn't a PR (PR is 20:34), but it wasn't too shabby.  I accepted fairly early in the race that a PR wasn't in the cards, I just wasn't into it that day (late day race start, tired, sniffles, little running in the past few weeks, etc).  And at the halfway point I was well beyond 10 minutes so it was highly unlikely I would catch up and reach a sub 20.  Since those were really my 5K time goals (PR or sub 20), at that point I decided I was comfortable with just maintaining my place and not focusing much on time other than still wanting a sub 21.  

I figured that I would be second masters female overall since I knew the woman directly in front of me was in the master's category and I was sure the other women I had seen ahead were younger.  I felt just too tired and not motivated enough really to try to catch her.  However, the flaw in that plan was that I was completely wrong in thinking I was second masters female.  I was actually second OVERALL female.  How that occurred I have no idea!  I mean I know one contributing factor was that many of the super fast (i.e. sub 20) local women clearly had other plans that day.  We had tornados the day before which is highly unusual so that perhaps kept some away.  But how did I not know I was second overall?  I guess I just wasn't expecting it since it never happens and I swear I saw several women in front of me.  But when I finished Keith told me I was second.  I didn't believe him until I saw the results posted.  Had I known this I may have tried harder to close that 5 second gap between first and second.  It's really all mind over matter and I let matter win this time.  I always say I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking (well at least running-wise) and not giving up in a race.  I think if I had been motivated more and wanted it more things may have been different.  Oh well, a lesson re-learned I suppose!

O & G practicing for their big finish

Waiting for the race to start
Waiting to cheer mommy on
Before the race we had a quick bite at the Flying Saucer, our official parking lot for the Second Empire race since we discovered how close it was to the start last year.  It's also a wonderful alternative to waiting in the port-a-potty line (you know I couldn't go an entire blog post without mentioning the port-a-potty!).  The race itself started off as any other.  I saw some running friends including Pauline at the start.  The race began and several men and a few women were ahead of me.  Pretty typical.  The race heads east on  Hillsborough towards the capitol, goes around it and heads back towards and past the starting line, west  Hillsborough, and back to the start again.  I recall in the beginning having issues with my Garmin.  It was reading sub 6 but I am sure I wasn't going that fast so was pretty focused on what was going on there.  However I swear I saw several younger women in front of me as we rounded the square at the capitol.  And I also swear that I did not pass any women along the way.  So how, you may wonder, did I get to be second overall then?  Well that is just what I'd like to know!  I can only assume that the few women I saw in front of me were just running the start of the race for fun or something and then dropped out.  Keith later confirmed at the 1 mile mark he also had seen other women in front, so guess they did drop.  Curses!

I ran the first mile in 6:29, so fairly on target for the sub 20 but clearly too fast for how I was feeling.  I was feeling slow and sluggish at the start of mile 2.  Yep falling back into that old routine of crash and burn in mile 2.  I don't know if allergies played a part or the warmer weather or the later start time or just that it was hillier in mile 2, but I just couldn't motivate myself enough to care more.  It showed in my split time, with a mile 2 split of 6:53.  I tried to refocus in mile 3 and to muster up some more energy to speed up.  I was somewhat successful and finished mile 3 in 6:35 and the last 0.1 or so in just over 6 minutes.  I really didn't feel too guilty for giving up on trying for a PR, afterall they can't all be PRs.  I also sort of felt I needed a break from chasing the PR.  Still the second place finish is both awesome and a bit disappointing because I keep thinking just maybe it could have been a first place one (well just maybe, but in reality the woman in front of me was looking pretty strong so maybe I couldn't have caught up anyway, but still....) and how often will that opportunity come up again.

The struggle to the finish, nice face!
Nearly done
After the 5K, they had the 100 yard dash but Owen and Grace decided they were doing the mile instead so we just watched that.  They felt like real big kids, watching the little kids run.  Results were posted for the 5K pretty fast so I knew I placed second overall before the kids races.  Keith had come to the 5K but needed to leave before the 1 mile to catch a flight to Germany.  So I hung out with the kids until the 1 mile race start.  Owen was excited since I told him he could take off and run on his own as long as he waited for us at the end.  Grace however started a meltdown before we even began to run.  "Carry me!" was her request, or rather demand.  No way, for a 50 yd dash yes, but not for a 1 mile little girl!  So she ran a bit but then got tired and was complaining and crying.  We walked a lot and I carried her a little.  In fact the only negative about the entire day was the female police officer bringing up the rear of the race actually made us move over onto the sidewalk instead of letting us run the race like the other kids in the street.  Yes we were last, but would it really have killed her to ride behind us, as she is supposed to do, and let us finish like the other kids?!  Really, what was the time difference, like 5 minutes?  Hillsborough had been closed all morning, what's an extra 5 minutes?  I hadn't realized there was a time cutoff for the 1 mile fun run, geez!  Quite disappointing but whatever, we didn't let it ruin our day.

Ready for the start of the 1 mile

Owen took off so fast that he was nearly at the front of the pack at the start!  It was really cool.  I was worried because he was so far ahead but we saw him after he turned around after the 1/2 mile point and he was still running and looking strong.  Grace pulled a Rosie Ruiz and never quite made it to the half way point, we just turned around when we saw Owen so we wouldn't be too far behind him.  Once he saw me he slowed and walked but I encouraged him to keep going.  At that point Grace took off, sprinting down the street (way to go Rosie!).  I guess the thought of beating her big brother was just too exciting!  That prompted Owen to start running again and Grace slowed and stopped, complaining a bit again.  Owen took off for the finish and I ran/walked with Grace to get her to make it to the end.  She was dead last, but everyone cheered for her.  Ok well correction, I was actually dead last since I knew she wanted to beat me.  Hmmm, first last place finish for me, but it was really fun!  In the end they got medals anyway for the 1 mile, which I was not sure they would.  They were really happy but more excited at the prospect of getting ice cream afterwards.

Owen looking strong just after the 1/2 mile point

Grace (aka Rosie Ruiz) seizing her opportunity to get in front of Owen

Owen doing a great job!

Grace out-kicking mommy

Race bling!

The 5K awards were held pretty soon after the 1 mile finished, so I got my second place race bling...$75 gift certificate to Second Empire Restaurant, which I will be using tonight, $35 gift card to TAF, and a nice engraved glass to add to my collection in my home office.  Not too shabby!  Once again a great race experience at Second Empire.  By the way, Pauline placed 1st in AG, with a time of 22:46, way to go Pauline!

Award ceremony

Going to Second Empire tonight...yummy!

My race bling

Next race...well pondering the Bunny 5K in Cary (new race from Lifetime Fitness) tomorrow AM but my calves are quite sore and going to Second Empire tonight, so we'll see.  I am still considering the Run for Our Heros 5K on Apr 30, depends on what kid activities are going on that day, and the 12 Oaks 5K on May 22 which benefits our local Kraft YMCA.  That is the same day as the IOS half marathon, but not really feeling quite ready for that one so I'll likely do the 5K.  I guess I'd better get back to training for the half soon though since I have the Napa to Sonoma half in July which will be here before I know it!

Looking too cute while picking at Second Empire...sorry guys!