Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow Flake 5K Race Report - Being Last Never Felt So Good.

I have never been last in a race until this Sunday and if every last place finish makes me feel as good as this one did then I have to say being last ain't too darn bad folks!

Sunday was the Snowflake 5K race. It took place at Haines Point. Site of numerous DC races in the area of various distance. In fact I am doing the Jingle All The Way 10K there this coming weekend with my friend Keri. It's a popular race spot.

I have not done any formal running since the Maine Half Marathon in the beginning of October due to some calf problems and back pain which seems to be related in some way to my latest adventures in perimenopause (a story for another post...) so I felt like I had to get out and do a race to kind of judge where I was at before I showed up at the 10K next weekend.

The race was small - 46 people. So I knew as soon as I stepped out of the car at 7:15AM that I was likely going to be alone in the back of the pack. I simply hoped that there might be a few runners who were in the 30 minute range so that the finish line volunteers didn't feel they had to wait forever.

Lately my local 5K route from my front door have been taking me around 40 minutes. It's a pretty hilly route but the pace has not wavered much. I was hoping that with the "pancake flat" nature of the course around Haines Point that I might finish closer to 36 minutes.

The race started with a blast of a air horn and off I went with the group. Pretty quickly I settled down and found myself around the same 4 runners. SInce I have still been incorporating RUN/Walk intervals, I found myself leapfrogging with the same two woman who seems to be keeping a steady 12:00 pace.

My goal became to keep these two ladies in sight and never let them get to far ahead when I took my walk breaks. Running, I was definately at a faster pace because I *tried* to tuck in behind them and stick with them, at their invitation, but I found them going to slow for me. I guess that just goes to show that I need to work on my endurance at the pace that feel comfortable to me since I still needed to take walk breaks but could never just "slow down and keep running".

At the half-way mark, I looked behind me and there was nobody to be seen. I was last but I was still "hopping" back and forth with the ladies in front of me. I decided then that no matter how I felt, if I had to finish last, it would be last by seconds and not by minutes.

The final results: I crossed the finish line last at 36:11 - about 13 seconds behind Keyna and Kim (formerly "the two ladies")

While it is not a PR for the distance, it turns out to be a 5K PR for this season ....and while I was last, I know that this weekend's Jingle All The Way 10K will be a fun run, a good time and that I will safely finish somewhere in the middle of the back of the pack.

In terms of how I felt physically during and after the race, I could have kept up that pace for longer and my recovery was no different than any other workout over the last few weeks. As I said to Jim, "Imagine how much time I will make up if I can get back to only walking long enough to drink water at the water stops?" ......

From here ... I can only see myself getting faster next season. A cool place to find yourself when you are last across the finish line!!

Life is Good - Live STRONG!

1 comment:

kerihadley said...

i'm so happy you're back, can't wait for the jingle bell 10k.