Race Recap: Spring Sprint 5k

Two years ago I did this race to celebrate my birthday and ended up getting a hefty PR.  So when the race feel the week of my birthday again I threw the idea out to Brittney and Coach Bryan that we could make this our spring goal race while the weather was still ideal and use it as a little pre-celebration to my birthday.  While we didn’t officially set an actual time we had hoped to run it in, both Brittney and myself had the goal of PRing which would be anything below a 28:36 for me and 28:10 for her.  We had both put in the hard training and while we hadn’t specifically trained just with this race in mind, our bodies were prepared to give it all we had and leave nothing out on the course.  I will be honest in saying we were hoping to have anything in the 27 minute range.

The day before the race I had some serious stomach issues and got very ill at school.  I texted Brittney while laying out in the middle of the hallway with my legs up the wall trying not to pass out and told her that this had better go away by the next morning.  Luckily for me I felt better as the day went on and I was ready for race day.

Race morning wasn’t super eventful.  I ate my usual breakfast of toast and peanut butter and then met Bryan and Brittney at the race site.  It was a smaller crowd and I was thankful to see some familiar faces and get some socializing in while attempting not to stress about what we were about to embark on.  Brittney and I chose not to wear our Garmins and to completely trust Bryan who would be pacing us.  The goal was to run consistent and even splits and then have a strong finish. After getting to the start line we realized we would have to line up fairly close to the front due to no chip timing.  This wasn’t really a problem since it was a smaller race and I never got the feeling that we were holding anyone up.

PRERACES

The course started out going directly up a long incline.  It wasn’t steep or anything but it was definitely an incline.  My favorite part about this course in particular is that it is held on the entire street so basically the course is wide open meaning little congestion.  We took our time getting up the hill and both of us commented how the pace felt a lot easier than we had expected.  It was nerve-wracking not wearing a Garmin but I completely trusted Bryan and also took lots of joy in passing some other people.  The first mile really did fly by because after what seemed like two minutes of running we hit the first water stop and the timer called out 8:55.  We were right on pace with even a little time to spare and I was ecstatic.  Slightly after that we made our way up the biggest hill in the course and I began to struggle.  Bryan reminded me that we had a downhill after it and a lot of flatness but it didnt’ help as much as I thought.  We made it up and then right around the halfway mark I lost focus.  It may have been the distress of a 7-year-old hysterically crying that threw me off but I just lost the groove and fell back.  It was completely my fault and I just watched as Brittney and Bryan seemed to get further and further away.

Prior to the race we had told each other that if one of us fell back that the other would keep going no matter what.  We also decided that even if both of us fell back that Bryan needed to maintain the pace so we would know where we were at in terms of being behind.  I tried frantically to catch back up but there was no hope.  The caller at mile number two called out 18:36 which wasn’t terrible but definitely not where I wanted to be.  I was actually surprised I had still gotten there that quickly despite the walk breaks I was forced to take.  Even though I knew a PR was basically out of the question at that point, I reevaluated my goals and decided to shoot for a sub 30.  It was around that time two years ago that I got sub 30 for the first time and it was the greatest feeling of all time.  The last time I had gotten any 5k race below 30 minutes was June 2012.  Quite some time ago.

I slugged through the final mile and came to the turn that led to a long straightaway finish.  I didn’t feel strong but I didn’t feel completely depleted either.  I couldn’t see what the race clock said but Bryan came back for me and told me I needed to push it to get under 30. Push it, I did.  Final clock time was 29:53 which was a sub 30 and I should have been happy.  That final kick took everything out of me and I walked out the finish chute and just laid in someone’s driveway.  I’m not sure if it was disappointment or just an overall emotional high from the race, but tears just poured out of my eyes.  I couldn’t make them stop.  Internally I knew I looked ridiculous and had absolutely no reason to be upset but I literally couldn’t make it stop.  Bryan and Brittney ended up finishing in 27:33 which was obviously a huge PR so I was super excited for my sweet friend even though there was that slight thought that I could have had a PR of over a minute had I been able to stay with them.

coach bryan

They had amazing post race food and I ate one of those chocolate mini-donuts.  It was lovely.  We stuck around for awards/door prizes and it was a good thing we did because Brittney actually placed 3rd in our age group and won herself a  nice little medal!  So proud of her.  Even if the race didn’t go as planned, I’m so thankful to have run a 5k in under 30 minutes and it can only get better from here.  I’m excited to see where my training takes me next.

Oh, and after the race we spent some time at Neyland Stadium for my alma mater’s spring football game.  It is dubbed the Orange and White Game (our school colors) and it is basically a scrimmage to get fans excited for the most exciting time in the South…fall football!  It was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon!

neyland

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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?