Mind over matter...Never give up

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cary Road Race 10K and 5K April 14, 2012

Cary Road Race Course

I decided to do the Cary Road Race 10K this year as a lead in to the Biltmore 15K in May.  It's close by and a nice course that I am familiar with.  I had run it in 2009 and it was a good event.  Also Owen was interested in doing the 5K so I figured we could both run that together.  I drove separate from Keith to run the 10K and Keith would later meet me there with Owen so we could then do the 5K.  I was not sure what to expect as far as competition but expected the 5K to be more competitive than the 10K.  It turned out that I was wrong however.  I knew at the starting line that there was at least one faster woman and assumed that there would possibly be others as a race in Cary tends to draw a different group than the ones in Raleigh do.

As the race started I was in second place but wasn't sure if I would hold onto that.  The race is just two repeats of the same course and there is a fairly big hill early in the race and then you have to go back and do it again.  But after getting past the hill I felt better.  I ran the first mile in 6:25, so probably a bit fast.  My main goal was just to PR which should be doable since I don't often run 10Ks and the current PR was from the Cary Road Race in 2009 at was around 44 minutes.  Mile 2 was back down the hill so I did that much faster in 6:19 and felt pretty good.  Then the course evens out to be more flat but going out a bit fast in the first 2 miles caught up with me and I did mile 3 in 6:39, so not too bad but definitely slower than the first two.  

Mile 4 goes back up the hill and I was wishing by this time that I had done the 5K.  There was a younger girl in her 20s in a heavy sweatshirt who at this point had passed me, and then I'd pass her, and so on.  But I was basically running as fast as I really could at that point so was more focused on time and finishing than maintaining my place.  I ran mile 4 slower in 6:57.  Since mile 5 is downhill again, I was able to pick up the pace a bit at 6:24.  I was pretty spent by mile 6 and somewhere between 5 and 6 a bug decided to do a kamikaze flight into my throat.  Also another woman passed me around this time and I really felt I couldn't pick the pace back up so I did mile 6 in 6:55, slower than I'd hoped but still my average pace was way better than the last time I did this race 3 years ago.  To my surprise the finish line seemed to come quickly and in fact did because the course was short, by a lot actually.  According to my Garmin, it was 6.03 miles.  I finished in 39:46, 6:24 pace.  A PR by a lot but of course since the course was short it was likely that my time should have been around 41 minutes instead of sub 40.  
Owen right before the 5K start
Owen at the start, with me behind him in the IOS shirt (photo courtesy of Shannon Johnstone)
In the end I came in 4th overall but first masters female.  I quickly went to find Keith and Owen before the start of his race.  Due to the bug incident and pushing the pace, I was feeling quite nauseous but had to run the 5K with Owen and felt better after we started running.  Luckily he was in a very good mood and did a great job running the 5K, talking and having fun the entire way (not always the way it goes!).  He was quite impressed to see a barefoot runner (Shannon's husband Anthony) and also one of our neighbors running the race and he had lots of fun shushing me so he could "concentrate" on his race instead of me talking to him.   

Owen mid-race
Owen nearing the end
Owen ready to cross the finish line
Owen ended up with a huge PR as well, finishing in 34:41.  We got back just in time for the 10K awards for the masters category so I was able to get my gift card and Owen took a few pictures.  I was glad I ran the 10K but moreso glad that Owen had such a great race.  

10K Race Results
Me getting my award
Owen post race
Owen modeling the cool race shirt (after the race of course!)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Second Empire 5K March 25, 2012

Second Empire 5K Course
I am way behind in this race blog update, but since today is opening day at the pool and the wi-fi is actually working this year and it's too cold to go in the water (at least for me, not for the kids of course), I figured I'd try to catch up.

I decided not to run the Second Empire Spring Series because I wasn't really feeling up to committing to so many races in the early spring and I was more focused early in the year on Umstead training and injury recovery prior to Umstead.  But I do have two of the spring races that I enjoy so wanted to participate in those.  The Run for the Oaks was earlier in March, the weekend after Umstead.  Instead of running I volunteered with Owen since I wasn't sure I'd be ready to run quite yet.  We had a great time and got to cheer on a few friends.  In the end I probably would have been less sore if I ran it than volunteered.  Turns out pulling chips off shoes is quite strenuous!

The other spring race in the series that I really enjoy is the Second Empire 5K.  It was my first race in NC back in 2008 and it's a really well run event thanks to Kim Reynolds and her husband.  I have run it several times now and last year I realized that the prizes were really great for this race as well.  It was the day after a tornado hit the surrounding area so the race went on, but fewer people came than usual, which explained my surprise second place finish.  I hoped this year I would fair well but after injury and Umstead three weeks prior, I really just wanted to see if I could beat 20 minutes.  Of course I secretly hoped to place so I'd get the cool race bling.

Owen waiting to cheer us on at the start

We got there early and had some time to hang out a bit at Flying Saucer like we had done a few times in the past.  Then I headed over to warm up just a little.  I saw quite a few running friends that I chatted with, which is always fun and a good way to relax a bit before the race.  And this was the first race I was running as a part of the IOS running team, so a few of the IOS runners were there as well.  As we all lined up at the start, I wasn't feeling too nervous but not too confident either.  I just wanted to get through and beat 20 if I could.  As the race started, and we headed towards the capital building, I felt pretty good but knew I was probably going out too fast.  It turns out I was going a bit fast and the first mile split was 6:11.  That speediness was soon was over however as the second mile, which heads up Hillsborough towards the NC State Bell Tower, is a tough and hilly part of the course.  Surprisingly I didn't feel too bad during this part of the race and just focused on keeping an even pace and not giving into the temptation to really slow down a lot.  I did run that mile slower, in 6:36, but from what I counted at the turnaround at mile 2, I was in second place overall at that point.  So as long as I could maintain my pace I should be able to place.

Somewhere near the finish, looking about to die  :-)
Pretty close after the turnaround I started to feel really tired and just wanted to be done.  However I was able to convince myself that with less than 1 mile to go, I really should be able to hang in there.  Afterall I ran a full marathon only 3 weeks ago so this should  be easier.  I knew I wouldn't catch the first place woman, who was actually the 13 yr old girl who had been winning all the races in the spring series so far.  I wasn't too far behind, but far enough that I wouldn't catch her.  So I just tried to run as steady as possible and when I saw the finish, which you can see from fairly far away, I started to speed up.  I was surprised later when I checked my Garmin data that the last mile was actually 6:12, nearly the same as the first.  It is, according to Garmin, a down hill finish, but I wasn't expecting to be able to pull that off so was pretty happy.  Final results: 19:43, 6:21 average pace and 2nd female overall, 29th of 406 finishers.

Posted results
Keith and the kids were there to cheer me on, so that was pretty awesome. Keith then left to take Grace back home while I waited for the award ceremony and the 1 mile run that Owen was going to do.  But just as the 1 mile was about to start, the storms that had been threatening to come all day finally hit with lightening and thunder enough to cancel the 1 mile.  Owen was a little disappointed but a bit relieved as the lightening and thunder were really freaking him out.  The award ceremony took a little while to get going and Owen was getting impatient and wanted to leave but I told him we at least had to stay for the first part.  Normally I stay for the entire thing to see all my running friends get their awards too, but this time we did bail early due to Owen's crankiness and the storm.  It was really nice to receive a $75 gift card to Second Empire, an engraved glass, and a gift card to Capital Run Walk.  Some of the best race bling in the area....shhh don't tell anyone!
Some of the best local race "bling"!
On the way home, Owen fell asleep from a long and tiring day.  I was glad I ran the race again this year and was happy with my finish.  It was great to get out there to a 5K and see all my running friends again.

Snoozing after a long day