20:51... a PR by 11 seconds. I look forward to breaking 20 some time soon... maybe this year, maybe next year.
This was a nice race... execution was pretty good, although I do feel like I could have pushed a little harder, which is good... room for improvement.
I somewhat trained through this race... a 12er plus hiking and technical downhill the week before. It left my legs feeling used for a couple of days. Strength, bike, as normal. Then, on Wednesday, a 5.0 progression run that should've been fine, although it left me strangely sore for two days. My calves and shins were still a wee bit sore on race morning. I'm not sure why I was sore. I had done intervals since the marathon, and the 5.0 wasn't particularly fast... 8:22 to 7:50.
My body happened to want carbs on Friday, the day before the race. I made some really good whole wheat pancakes (2 cups flour, 2 cups skim milk, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 bananas, dark chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp cinnamon).... sooo good, and good for you. I had an adrenaline-filled week at work, so cortisol levels were probably up, which doesn't particularly help. I did get 8 hours of sleep on Thursday (the night before the night before) and 6-7 hours on Friday night. Although I was tired and still would've liked more, those are decent counts.
I spent Friday night cleaning my 1-br apt for 3 hours... it takes me that long every week. Does it take everyone that long? 3 hours, between dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, unpacking my luggage, bit of bathroom, making my bed, bit of laundry. Anyway, I must've walked quite a bit during those 3 hours, scooting quickly between my rooms to put stuff away. On one hand, it used up a good bit of energy, but maybe it also helped recovery from the soreness. I was so eager to clean mostly because my family was visiting. I would've done it anyways... just not so quickly.
I did a quick stretch and foam rolling session, to help with the soreness, before bed.
I ate half a giant pancake, plus about half a cup of coffee. It was perfect. Filled me up without making me feel weighed down. I took my usual hot shower to warm up my muscles and help me wake up. Since it was going to rain, I packed dry clothes to change into. Even though my race was 2 hours away, it wasn't enough time for my hair to dry, so I might've been carrying a little excess weight from that... next time, I may use the blow dryer.
The 10K started at 8:30 and started from the same place, but went along a different course, which is great, because otherwise, there could've been some traffic issues.
I watched the 10Kers head off. Even though the two races were the same price, I went with the 5K, because I wanted to see how I could do at that distance, which I've had more experience doing, which I can better use to measure my ability. Also, a better chance of winning.
I did some very quick warmup of maybe just 0.2 mi, a bit of dynamic stretching, one strider, and some RoM ballistic movements for my legs. I think I heard a high-school boy say "Noob"... don't know if he was referring to me or the back of the 10K pack, but I'd show him.
Based on last year's results, I thought I had a chance at 4th or 5th overall, so I positioned myself close to the front, in the 2nd row, which became the third row when more people inserted themselves into the pack. It was chilly, so I was thankful for shared body heat. I wore my Asics singlet, Oxysox, a visor for the rain, and Saucony Fastwitch shoes. I go with the Fastwitch for 5Ks. I may otherwise wear the Kinvaras, but I want to preserve their cushioning for the longer races (1/2M, fM) that I do. The Fastwitch is vented on the bottom, maybe to reduce weight, but it wasn't really an issue, even in the rain, as long as you didn't step into any deep puddles.
After about 15 minutes on the line, we were off. I was able to set off at a good pace from the start. There were small rolling hills along the way, but I was comfortable going up and down... didn't seem to be too different pace-wise from those around me. The course is a mixture of some prettiness and some normal non-picturesque roads... but you're just focused on passing people and keeping up a good clip, anyways. The first mile has residential areas, with a nice family cheering us on, getting you in the mood for a good run. The second mile had more underpasses, with less to look at, but that's when you're settling in and working on your opponents. The third mile, you enter the Swamp Rabbit trail. There's rubberized track on one side and asphalt on the other. Normally, I take the track for my knees, but during a race, you need more fast rebounding during toe-off, so I went on the asphalt. It helped to know the area well... unfortunately, I didn't know exactly where the race ended... I just knew that it ended in Falls Park, but that could be anywhere within a half-mile range, so that wasn't helpful. Should've scoped it out or researched it.
During the run, I did most of the passing. A pink-shirt girl passed me about halfway through the race, and I kept her in sight. We passed another girl at about the 2 mile mark. It was hard to say how many women were in front... I just focused on those in front of me. Some men passed me in the last mile.
I saw my dad about about half a mile to go. Like I mentioned, wasn't sure exactly where the race ended, but I knew I was somewhat close. He held up six fingers... and told me to go up three more. A tall order. Pink shirt was a few steps in front, but I couldn't see anyone else. We were getting close now, so I stepped it up, and pink shirt couldn't match the move. I started seeing more crowds, so we must've been really close, so I started stepping it up. We turned a corner, and it was the finish line. It was really close, so I could surge big time. I passed maybe 5 different people, although I couldn't catch the 4th place woman, who was only 2 seconds in front of me. As I crossed the line, I felt like I had way more in me and was ready to run another 13 miles easily (although at a slower pace). It felt great to feel so not-tired at the end, although I wished I could've pushed harder. It was a PR, though. I crossed in 20:51. Can't not be excited about that. And knowing I could've done better, makes it feel even better.
I picked up some food, wandered around a bit, and eventually found my parents. We stuck around for the awards, where I got a glass, plus a $25 check to be mailed later... $30 entry fee, but I made most of it back, haha.
Pretty cool. My first time winning prize money for a race. I finished 1st in my age group. With that said, in the 10K race, which is the 10K championship race for SC, even the 14th place woman had a faster 5K split time in her 10K race... but I'm happy about today's performance and am looking forward to my next chance at racing the 5K.