Sunday, November 8, 2015

'Stache Dash 5k Race Recap

The first race in the Chilly Willy Series started with packet pick up on Friday night - at a bar!  I rarely drink on the night before a race, but since one of my coworkers mentioned happy hour, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.  Two Sierra Nevadas later, I was on my way home.

I was a little disappointed with the t-shirt.  Cotton? Really?  Have race directors learned nothing in the last 10 years? I really prefer technical shirts that I can use while training - not things I end up turning into dust rags.  

Mr. R&R and I decided to go out for dinner and were in bed by 10:30pm and I enjoyed 9 1/2 glorious hours of sleep before the alarm went off.  Did I mention that this race didn't start until 10am?  No Stupid O'Clock wake up!  

It was the usual pre-race coffee, water, and Clif Bar in the car on the way to the race - which was so close to home, I almost didn't finish munching the Clif Bar before we arrived!  We parked about a quarter mile away and took a chilly walk to the start. As we were walking, Mr. R&R realized that he'd left his watch at home, so he'd be running blind.

Race Morning Trinity: Coffee, Water, Clif Bar
We found the Start, stretched a little, did a short warm up run, stretched some more, and tried to stay warm until athletes were called to the line. While we were waiting, I figured out that this race wasn't going to be based on chip time, but rather on net gun time.  In a regular chip timed race, there's a timing mat at the start and another at the finish.  When you cross the start mat, your time starts and when you cross the finish mat, your time stops.  In this case, when the gun went off, everyone's time started and didn't stop until you crossed the finish line chip mat.  Knowing that, Mr. R&R pushed his way to the front and I wasn't too far behind him.  The gun went off and it was go time. 

Since I"m still working my way back after Hell Month, I had no real plans for this race other than to do my damnedest to run a sub-30, which kind of felt like it might be a stretch. The course started along the same parkway I ran last weekend (the one that I always find really tough).  I went out a little fast, but quickly found a pace that felt challenging yet manageable. After the first quarter mile, I stopped getting passed as people settled into their paces. The course followed the parkway for about a mile before looping back on itself.  As I was headed to the turnaround, the speedsters were already coming back at me, so I started counting guys until I saw Mr. R&R, who was about the 24th guy overall at that point. I felt pretty good as I hit the turnaround and was trying not to look at my watch too much because I was afraid I'd either be really frustrated by what I saw (too slow) or start freaking out (too fast).  Mile 1: 9:19

About a half mile after the turn around, we took a right and headed up a very long hill.  I ran up 99% of it and used the last few feet of the hill to slow down for about 10 seconds to catch my breath before picking up the pace again.  We wound through a residential neighborhood and back to the hill - to run down it! Mile 2: 9:19

I love long, gentle downhills because they're basically free speed.  I flew down the hill, marveling a the number of people still heading for the uphill portion of the course - and noting that I hadn't been passed at all since the initial surge of people in the beginning, but I was actually passing people. The final part of the race was back along the parkway.  I found myself actually enjoying that stretch!  I looked at the total time on my watch and my current lap pace and realized how close I was to my 5k PR time (27:33).  There was no way I was going to beat my PR, but it became my mission to see how close I could get.  I was getting tired and starting to hurt, but I kept pushing the pace.  I took the final turn and the finish line was in front of me.  I pushed a little harder, but not an all out sprint because it was a pretty short stretch.  Mile 3: 8:53

I hit the line, reached down to stop my watch, and finally looked down and immediately had a 'holy $#!% moment'  My watch was reading 28:03, but it always takes a couple of seconds to hit stop, so it was possible that I ran a sub-28.  I located Mr. R&R (who had run his ass off and missed his PR by 27 seconds) and we waited for results to be posted.  When they were, I was really happy. Final Time: 27:59!  To go into a race hoping for a sub-30 and ending up only 27 seconds off of my PR was awesome! 

Time: 27:59:  (9:01/mile)
Overall Place:87/212
Gender Place:33/119
Age Group: 3/15 (F35-39)

There was a bit of a mix up during the awards ceremony, so I didn't receive my age group award (a sweet looking medal) on site, but a quick email to the race director resolved the situation and my award should show up in the mail this week.

Up next: Gobble Wobble 5k.  First we run. Then we feast!


April said...

Go you! Amazing results!

Mary said...

Thank you!