Strawberry Plains 10k: Race Recap

When I set out to do one race per month this year, I had trouble coming up with a February race.  There isn’t a Valentine’s themed race in my area, so I was at a loss for which one to pick.  Luckily our local track club puts together a 10k/half marathon race in a neighboring town.  After convincing my friend Robyn to do the 5k with me, I signed up and added it to the calendar.  I’ve only ever done one 10k and it only had 6o people running it so I was up for a  new experience outside of my comfort zone.

We were lucky enough to pick up our race packets the night before at a sporting goods store.  I was grateful for this because it meant sleeping in a little longer than usual.  Our shirts had donkeys on the front which made me giggle a little bit even though they definitely were not my style.  Fortunately I was able to get a great night’s rest the night before so I woke up fairly easy on race morning feeling very Olympic.  (if you don’t get the Cool Runnings quote then we can’t be friends)

On race day we met up with Robyn and basically just hung out until the race started.  Robyn and I milled in towards the back and waited for the gun to go off.  I knew that I wasn’t going to have a stellar race since I haven’t been running very much, but I did know that anything faster than my first (and only) 10k would be totally acceptable to me. The course was an out and back so I was able to gauge where I was at by the number of runners passing me on the opposite side.  The first mile or so was torture.  My legs were tight, my lungs were on fire, and I just couldn’t find a groove.  Sometime around mile 2 I found my happy place and ran strong when I could but still took walk breaks.  Everyone who ran past me headed back to the finish line looked strong and I made sure to tell them good job.

I felt proud and strong until I hit the 5 mile mark.  The man standing by the mile marker had a stopwatch and was calling out times as people reached him.  I passed him at 60 minutes on the dot.  That was okay with me and I was pleased with my effort.  At that point, it was a sure PR for me and that made me happy.  My legs didn’t feel as great as they had earlier, but I was trucking right along and walked until I could see the finish line.  I was able to kick it in and look strong for the finish.

I finished with a solid time of 1:13:13.  Over an 11 minute PR for me from my first 10k.  I”ll take it.  I thought having two 13s in my time was a sign that good things were headed my way for 2013.   strawplains

After finishing and getting a big hug from a former track club president, I found my man and got a big old sweaty kiss.  Cheesy, right?  My main focus was to get water and to sit down.  We were able to chill for a quick bit before heading back out to watch Robyn kill it and meet her goal time by over 3 minutes!  So proud of her and everyone else who met their goals at the race.

It was a great race and I was so thankful to have done it, to have my friends do it, and to have someone cheering for me at the finish line.  It wasn’t my best effort and I was not trained for it, but I’ll take an 11 minute PR any day.

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Spring Sprint 5k: Race Recap

Last year on my birthday I chose to run a 5k to celebrate.  But this year has been a lot busier and in an effort to be financially responsible I decided to sit this year out and just celebrate some other way…until my friend Michelle was all like “oh let’s do this race for your birthday and I’ll pay for you as your present”.  Umm, let me think about that….YES.  So we signed up for the Spring Sprint 5k, a super low key race near our town that is part of a triple crown series.

Race morning was super easy and we couldn’t have prayed for better weather.  The registration site was bustling but I noticed that most people at this race were a lot younger than I’m used to seeing.  A few elementary schools had their run clubs there and a lot of families were there to run the race.  We met up with Michelle and our good family friends, The Walkers. 

bunch of champs.

The race was not chip timed but we lined up closer to the back anyway.  In lieu of a gun, the announcer had an air horn that he blew to signal our start.  We were off!  I haven’t been feeling entirely too great this week and Michelle is still coming off her injury so we were expecting probably upwards of 32 minutes finish time.  Definitely not a PR for us like Greenways 5k.  But right after crossing the start line I busted tail to try and bank time.  We passed quite a few people and I was feeling pretty great.  We got to the first hill and people started to slow down so this was ample opportunity to pass.  I will say there were quite a few hills in this race, but also some downhills so it was easier to make up for lost time. 

I left Michelle then right after the one mile mark she caught back up and blazed past me!  See ya, keep running! After hitting 2 miles and checking Garmin I knew that I would for sure break 30 minutes again, but just couldn’t tell if it was a PR.  Our friend Kayla was right in front of me the entire race and I spent a good portion of the race chasing her.  On the last turn with .35 miles left and the finish line staring us down, I finally caught her.  At this point breathing was a luxury and I was on the verge of my grave.  And what did she do?  Looked at me all cheery and breathing normally “oh hey girl”.  I muttered a grumble of DO NOT TALK TO ME.  Then I told her we should pick it up to the finish line and of course she rocket boosts past me and bolts in to a strong finish.  I was able to pick it up too for the most part and had a strong finish. 

c'mon kelsey. work on that form for your finish.

Clock time/Garmin Time:  28:36    A new PR and another wall broken down.  Could not have been more proud at that moment but after stopping so abruptly I felt nothing but ill.  After inhaling gatorade and canned water (what a novel idea), I felt a lot better.  We decided to stick around for the awards ceremony to see how our times compared to our age group’s.  Although Michelle and I both got whooped, Kayla and her cousin both won in their ages which was a big HOORAH.  And I won a 25 dollar gas gift card.  That was better than any trophy. 

attempting to finger spell PR.

This race was a huge confidence boost for me after having a bit of a crappy run this week and having some shin and knee pain.  I can’t thank Michelle enough for being there and for paying for my entry.  Such a blessing!  It was a great way to celebrate my birthday and setting a new PR was just the icing on my birthday cake.  Right before we left Michelle gave me part 2 of my birthday present.  I think she knows me too well.

birthday present of the year award.

Ever got a PR after a bad week of training?  How do you celebrate your birthdays?  Would you ever run a race as a way of celebrating?  What is a cool birthday present you have received?