Race: The Pig Pounder 5K in Greensboro on 4/14 (Momma’s birthday!), the 4th race of the Trivium Race Series.
Goal: Initially this was my goal race for the season, but then there was illness, injury, a death in the family that included flying to FL…so yeah, training did NOT go to planned at all for the 6 weeks. I missed a lot of key workouts, so I just gave myself some grace, and tried my best. Since I ran hard at PTI, and then a week later at RunnerDude 10K, then this was a week after that–I wasn’t sure if I’d be recovered. So yeah, I wanted to go sub-23, but being realistic, figured maybe 24 minutes was more like what I should aim for. Anymore, I’m trying to focus less on time and more on effort and feel.
Gear: I kinda wish in hindsight I would’ve worn my Oiselle crop top again, but since I just got my new team tank, I went with that! Plus my Oiselle black shorts, Champion bra, Garmin, compression sleeves (first time wearing in a race), Smartwool socks, and Altra Kayenta’s (which I am loving, BTW!) I didn’t pick up my packet until I got to the race, so no flat runner pic, just some friends pics:
Gut: I had a filling breakfast (waffle, toast, eggs), then just ate white rice for lunch… We went out to one of my fave spots the night prior (Green Valley Grill) and I had the pecan-crusted trout. I took leftovers home, but was scared to eat them for lunch, so I just played it safe with rice, and hydrated a ton with my Nuun electrolytes (which is why I’m all out now… sad panda!) I ended up feeling fine. A tag hungry, but I’d rather have that then GI distress any day!
Weather: It was supposed to be rainy, but then somehow it held off. As a result, it was very warm and humid. Not my fave kinda weather to run in–I wilt in the heat–so I found myself praying for some big cold rain drops.
Pre-Race: This was a 4 PM start, so Katie met me at my house, then we drove to the Pig Pounder together. We arrived before 3, so we could get our packets. We did a slow 1 mile jog at 3:15 to get everything loosened up. Then met up with my work friend MM. This was MM’s first official road race, and she was a wee bit nervous 🙂 I did my best to calm her nerves. We also met her friend Joe and his fam. Joe said he wanted to run about 24 minutes, so I thought maybe I’ll stay with him. Had plenty of time to stand around and chat. I did some strides back & forth in the parking lot before the start, to make sure I was primed and ready.
Race: Right before the start, I saw a girl my age that I’ve raced at least 4-5 times (and lost to every time! Most recently, the Jingle Jog in 2018 and 2017, but as far back as Dixie Divas in 2015). I have a lot of respect for her as a runner–she’s very consistent & speedy–but of course I am competitive and just don’t like getting beaten. At that moment, I knew that any time goals were out the window: the goal was to stay with her, and finally beat her. She started about 5 seconds in front of me, so I knew if I stayed really close, I could beat her. She didn’t realize she had a target on her back, but as the gun went off, my sights narrowed in on her, that I barely noticed the course. My eyes, my thoughts, every breath and every step were laser-focused on staying with her! I told myself “You got this!” and stayed about 10 feet behind her. The first mile passed pretty easily. I could tell I was working hard, but it was a doable effort. I didn’t bother checking my watch. I just stayed with her. We ran through a beautiful neighborhood in mile 2, with some rolling hills, and I thought, “She doesn’t look as strong as she usually does.” This gave me a little mental boost, the thought that on this day, I might be stronger and faster. Two older ladies came up with us, passed me slightly, then we ended up running together for awhile. The whole race is a bit of a blur, since I was so focused, but in mile 3 I was breathing really hard, and thought, I just need to hang in there for about 8 more minutes!
With half a mile to go, we did a weird U-turn, and I think she realized how close I was, but I just drafted right behind her. I saw MM and she was very close behind us–yay for her first road race going so well! My face burned with the heat and humidity. I think my target girl expected me to pass her, after she saw me, but for me it was still too early to make a move. We were about a quarter mile from the finish, when I saw Joe up ahead, and he was fading. I caught up to him and gave him the thumbs-up. I was still behind The Target. Finally, we could see the finish in the distance. I thought, OK, now is the time! Go for it! Push it in!! (Unfortunately I don’t have an accurate heart rate reading cuz my watch was loose, but I’m guessing it was at least 170+)
The risk was that she would have a better kick than me, so after I passed her, I gave it everything so that she wouldn’t pass me back! And it worked! I came up to the finish and saw that the time was at 24 minutes. Not the PR I wanted, but I still ran strong! I turned around and saw her crossing the line, about 10 seconds behind me. Whew! I had to catch my breath, and by the time I looked up, there was MM crossing the line! I was SO pumped for her! She ran 25 minutes for her first 5K/road race ever!! And she didn’t train for this at all, but she goes to CrossFit so she’s already in awesome shape. We went to grab waters, and came back to see Katie crossing the line. Then we checked the results, and I was so pleased to get 2nd place age group (MM got 5th, and Katie 15th, so we were all happy with our results!~)
We waited around for a little while, drinking beers and eating bananas and granola bars. The awards ceremony started at 5.
Results: 24:10. 2nd place age group of 29, and 10th of 187 women.
Recommend: Yes, for sure! I wasn’t a huge fan of the course (a little too hilly to run a PR, plus that U-turn), but everything else was great! Beers, prizes (a bottle opener), fun T-shirt, and a great medal. Very fun yet competitive.
Up Next: Not sure what I’ll do in May. In June, I signed up for Ultimate Runner, so I have about 10 weeks to get really fit & fast 🙂 Thanks for reading! Let me know what’s up next for you so I can cheer you on!