Monday, June 15, 2009

stroke me stroke me

This weekend, I headed down to Philly for the Strides to Stroke 5k. I blame this entirely on Flo (also known in internet circles as Girl In Motion). I don't remember the last time I ran a flat 5k. Honestly, I may have been 12. In NYC, I run a lot of cross country 5ks which are anything but flat. I do, however, enjoy running through the woods and know the course here very well so even though it's very hilly, I always have fun. So I figured I'd go to Philly, run a flat 5k, and see how fast I could do it.
Here's the thing: I ran a marathon on May 3rd. I ran a half marathon 2 weeks ago, I ran a 10k last week. Adding this 5k makes it 3 races in 3 weeks. And ya know what? That's dumb. It's dumb because I RACED all of them. I'm usually good at pinning on a number and going for a run. I didn't do that here. The Brooklyn have I wanted to run all out and PR. The 10k was a team race and I raced it like a moron and blew up. 
Anyway, on to this one. I dont know how to race a 5k. It's too short. So we walked over to the start from Flo's house and got our numbers. We met up with Judy (a gal from the RWOL Boston girls) and warmed up. My intention was to warm up for 3 miles. I really need to go for a while before something short. Loren and Bea came with me for most of it. I'm so use to NYRR races where there are thousands of people and you need to be in your corral 10 minutes before the start time that I was worried about getting back to the start in time. I ran a bit over 2 miles with some striders. 
The course is flat and out and back. I've run here before, but not since I dropped out of the Philly marathon. That feeling of being hurt and not even being half way done came back to me as I ran behind the art museum.
I lined up with Flo and Judy close to the front. I was really hoping NOT to go out too fast. If last year was any indication to who shows up for this race, I should be up front with only a handful of women.
And we're off. I felt pretty good to start. I knew Flo was going to run a lot faster than me so I intentionally stayed away from her so I wouldn't blow up.  I was figuring my first mile should be between 7-7:10. I hit the marker at 6:58. Ok, maybe a hair too fast. I had 2 women pass me in the first mile and one right in front of me that I was working on catching. When I did catch her, she sped up and passed me back. I let her go. I wasn't going to spend a whole lot of energy going back and forth with her. 
As we got to the turn around, there was water. I went to grab it but the woman holding it didn't let go. Oh well. Oh and the woman who passed me pretty much came to a stand still to drink so I passed her back and never saw her again.
I started running with this boy who looked like he was about 12. He was working hard and I just sorta stuck with him. When I got to the mile 2 marker, I was pissed. 7:38. Are you kidding me? I totally fell asleep at the wheel. I dont know what happened. That's part of the reason I dont like these short races, there's not a whole lot of time to make up for a mistake. 
I left the kid behind. I went into this race with a goal of 22:30. I've wanted to break 23 minutes for years. Earlier this year I came close with a 23:17 on a hilly course when it was 30 degrees out.
I was sorta in no mans land. There were a few guys strung out ahead of me and as far as I could tell, no one too close behind me. Then I heard footsteps. I took a quick look back and it was a woman. 
I didn't want to be passed. I knew I was maybe 5th at this point. She passed me. I kept her in my sites. Man, this last mile feels like forever! It shouldn't feel this way! This race is only three miles!
I knew there was a bend in the road and then I'd see the finish line. And there it was. I was also pulling back the chick who passed me. Like usual, I was obsessively looking at my watch.  There were about 10 cones leading up to the finish line, I passed the chick in the cones to finish just ahead of her.
Ok, so 6 seconds off what I was hoping for. Not bad considering I didn't run the best race. 
The RWOL girls had a nice showing. Flo was 2nd over all and won her age group. I was 5th over all and won my age group. Judy was 2nd in her age group.
My mom, 2 of my nephews, my BFF Tracy and her kid all came out to the race. That was fun. My nephews had never been to one of my races before. I took Bea to do a cool down (which wasn't enough. My legs were sore almost instantly after this race, something that rarely happens. TOO MUCH RACING). As I was jogging along, I hear this little voice behind me "I'm coming with you!!!" and I turn around and there's my 6 year old nephew, Cole, running to catch up with me. He was such a sport. I slowed down so he could run with me and the dog, I bet we did at least a half mile. When we were done, he just sat on the sidewalk and said "Man, I gotta get use to this". SO CUTE!! I hope later in the summer I can go back down and find a race that has a kids race too so he can run.
So the short of it (ok, not so short, it's taken me longer to write this than it did for me to run the race) is I'm happy with my time, I'm happy with winning my age group. I'm not too thrilled with the way I ran the race. Oh well. I dont plan on doing a whole lotta 5ks that aren't XC. 


Girl In Motion said...

Was run racing with you this weekend. Congrats again on the #1 AG! That was cool that we all got goodies. Now rest those weary limbs of yours, you deserve it.

Nugent said...

Nice work again! You just keep running....faster and faster....

I almost decided last second to go for a third race in three weekends too this past Saturday and then decided better of it, only because it would've ended up being 4 in 4 weekends since there is a club race next weekend for me.

L.A. Runner said...

Awww, the best part was when you ran w/ your nephew! That's a lot of racing w/ very fast times. Way to go. The new rule is no more FEs without me! I'm getting quite jealous.

TiredMamaRunning said...

WTG-you've just hit a whole new level of running and have had some killer races this year. And fun to get the FE with Judy and Flo in addition to all the family and friends there.