This morning I kept with my Thanksgiving tradition and ran the local Pie & Glove 5k.
Along with the race being a tradition, it was also my goal race. Who makes the Thanksgiving Day 5k a goal race?!
My reasoning goes back to late summer when my friend Ericka and I were planning a Fall running training plan. We had talked about our ultimate goal of wanting to get faster for our triathlon training next year. This lead to our decision to run the Wineglass 5k and the Pie & Glove 5k as our races because they take place on the same course. We would get a baseline from the Wineglass 5k and then continue training up to the Pie & Glove 5k. Hopefully, we would see our times improve and maybe even PR.
Ericka created an 11 week training plan for us. Here’s an example of week 5 of our training:
The plan definitely kept me busy and focused on running these past 11 weeks. I gave up a lot of bike and swim time. Although, at least once a week, sometimes twice, I would hit up the pool to help my legs recover. I truly believe swimming helped me stay healthy and injury-free throughout this run focused training.
I knew I had to make some other changes as well in order to improve my speed. I chose to say goodbye to staying up late, cut back on sweets/processed foods, and increase my core work by 200% (j/k), but really.
My Wineglass 5k results were as follows:
10/5/13: Wineglass 5k: 20:47- 20th Overall, 4th Female, 1st AG
This brings us to today’s race.
Ericka and I met 40 minutes prior to the race and did our warmup around town and on the race course. Some areas were pretty snowy, but luckily, the course (minus the finishing area) was cleared of the snow. We made it to the starting area and did some strides. The start line actually ended up being in a different place than where the Wineglass 5k start was back in October. This meant 2 extras turns in the beginning of the course.
I had just taken my 5 layers of clothes off when a horn sounded. Does that mean the race just started? But, I’m in the VERY BACK AND my watch says we still have two minutes! I was so far back, that crowd in front of me wasn’t even moving despite the horn sounding. Once it actually hit me that the race had indeed started, I went into panic mode. All of that preparation…and I’m starting in the back?! I looked for anywhere I could go to get around the walkers. This meant running through ankle deep snow in the grass. I spent the entire first mile dodging walkers and slower runners. Forget running the tangents, I was running as wide as the course allowed in order to pass the crowds of people. My first mile ending being 6:53. This is way slower than my goal pace of 6:25, but fast considering what I was doing during that entire first mile. Too fast.
I felt disoriented the entire race. I had no idea if my efforts had caught up to where a place where I wanted to be or if I was still way behind. All I could do was keep running. I checked my Garmin every so often and couldn’t help but notice my pace was not improving. Second mile: 6:54. I tried to pick up the pace during the third mile, but my legs just did not want to turn over. It may have been because I wasted my energy early on or because it was really cold. I decided to ignore what my Garmin was saying and just try to continue passing as many people as I could. Last mile was 7:03.
Finishing time: 20:59 *from my Garmin (started when I crossed over the starting mat).
The race used my gun time as my official time. Being that I was in the back at the beginning, it made it something like 21:xx. I’m not sure of my overall place yet. I will update that information later.
Post goal race, I can’t say that I met my goal time of 19:59. I also didn’t PR. I didn’t even improve my finishing time from the Wineglass 5k race. I can’t feel discouraged though. I am by far a much stronger and faster runner than I was 11 weeks ago, despite my time not necessarily showing it. With a better starting position, ability to run the tangents, slightly warmer temps, snow-free roads, and the original course, I think I would have been faster than I was at the Wineglass 5k. Or at least I can believe my training would have put me there.
Luckily, I can walk away from this experience stronger, faster, and most definitely, smarter-about racing. Oh, and with a pie too! I somehow managed to win this award in my age group.
I am fortunate to have been able to share these training and racing memories with a good friend. Looking forward to many more to come!
- Did you run a Thanksgiving Day race?