Monday, August 8, 2016

Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Race Recap


JUST squeaked in under 20 with this one!

Saturday morning I ran the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail 5K.  One of the leaders within my employer's organization formed a team so it was a free entry fee for me!

I felt really crappy most of last week, culminating in some ear pain on Friday which caused me to stop by urgent care on the way home from work.  The NP barely got the otoscope in my ear when she announced, "Yikes! You definitely have an ear infection."  A stop by the pharmacy and I was on course to have amoxicillin 2x a day for the next 10 days.  I was surprised at how quickly I started feeling better after getting just one dose in!

I woke up on Saturday and still felt tired, but no ear pain.  I had a breakfast of two over easy eggs with spinach and avocado and half a water bottle of Nuun Energy.  After breakfast, my family packed up and headed to the race.

We got to the race about 30 minutes ahead of the start - plenty of time for me to get a warm up in.  Except that I didn't.  I still felt tired and out of sorts so I decided that I was just going to do the race and let it be what it was.

We started up at the finish when a woman next to me asked how fast I was going to run because she wanted to gauge where she was in line.  I told her that I would maybe run it in the mid-upper 19s.  She tried convincing me to move to the front but I stayed where I was (still near the front but not at the line).

The gun went off and I started running.  I was grateful that my ear pain was nonexistent as I was wondering if the pounding during running would affect it.  About halfway through the first mile, I found myself running with another woman.  We were the lead females.  The pace felt comfortable, but at one mile, my watch beeped: 6:04.  Ok, so that is too fast.   My goal for mile 2 was to stay with the other woman if I could.  I was able to do that and our second mile was 6:25.

I felt really tired and hot by the time I was running the third mile.  I just wanted to be done with the race.  I ended up pulling ahead a bit and I didn't have any idea of how far back the woman had fallen.  I was essentially running by myself - time for some major snot rocket action.  Felt so much better to get those sinuses cleared!

I was still really tired so I checked my watch - 2.4 miles.  I then checked my watch every 0.1 miles.  That last 0.7 miles took forever.  You cross a small bridge and turn left right at mile 3 and so I tried to push it in for the final 0.1 mile.  I could see the clock ticking as I was running toward the finish...19:49, 19:50, 19:51 and I tried to just get there before I saw 20.  My final time was 19:58 and I maintained the first place female spot!  The second place female finished in 20:09; the third in 20:35.  I spoke with both women for a bit afterwards.  The second place female injured her hamstring only a few days prior!  She was also in my same age group (35-39).  We were commiserating at how hot it was.  The third place woman (in 40-44 age group) got second last year with a 19:46 (19:40 won it last year) so we were definitely slower than last year's field.  Go upper 30s/lower 40s age group!!!!
My efforts were rewarded with a $50 gift card to Bartolotta Restaurants.  Date night is on me, ha ha ha.

The event was really nicely done.  1,048 people finished the race, 552 of which were women. The post-race party included Sprecher root beer floats, grilled burgers and Collectivo Coffee.  I definitely plan on doing it in future years. There was a lot for my kids to look at while I was running.  While my time wasn't the greatest, I was happy with the race given my coming-off-of-injury, saddled-with-ear-infection-and-inflamed-sinuses status.

My foot was feeling better this weekend.  I think part of the issue was that my calves have been really tight.  I foam rolled them daily over the weekend.

This summer has me feeling old, like I'm falling apart!  Still trying to feel grateful that I am running at all, even if it isn't up to what I want it to be and not nearly as consistent as I wanted to be.

I have no 5Ks left this least that I am registered for.  I have an 8K in mid-September and a half-marathon in the first week of November.  Depending on how I am feeling, I may add to this list but I think it will be good to have a few weeks off from racing.

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