Mind over matter...Never give up

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

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