Thursday, April 9, 2009

Run the Valley 5K Race Report

I was hoping to run this one with the kids/stroller, but the weather ended up being a bit too cold. I also didn't know which race I was going to run until that morning (5K or 10K), but the cold made that decision for me too.

When I got there I realized I made a bad decision wearing my capris instead of full length running tights. My legs were freezing! Luckily the registration area is indoors so I was able to stay reasonably warm. I had both a fleece vest and a wind-breaker jacket on and took off the jacket just before the start. The crowd looked a little smaller than in previous years (this was my first ever race back in 2005 and my 4th time running it). I wasn't planning on running this one for time, so I lined up around the middle of the pack (this is one of the few non-chip timed races that I run). And we were off!

The only hills on this course are right in the first mile. Normally that drives me crazy because I have just started running again after taking most of the winter off and I get tired out at the beginning of the race. But this year I am much stronger having actually run this past winter and I thought it was nice to get the hills out of the way and not have to worry about them for most of the race.

When we got to the first mile marker I checked the Garmin and saw that I was just over a 9:00 pace...really?? That is faster than my current PR!! And I wasn't even pushing the pace! Right then the plan changed from "take it easy, enjoy the race, don't worry about time" to "I can PR if I keep this up!!" Plus, like I said, the hardest part of the course was over already!

So, I kicked it into a slightly higher gear and hoped I could hang on for the last 2 miles. During mile two I was actually still passing people. There is a water stop right around the 2 mile marker, but I skipped it and just kept going. Throughout mile 3 there was a kid that I kept playing leapfrog with...he would sprint a short distance and pass me, then walk to catch his breath while I passed him. He looked so defeated each time I passed him that I kinda felt bad for him.

I had a little energy left for a bit of a punch at the end and as I came around the corner (the finish line is sort of hidden in a parking lot around the corner) I saw the time...under 28 minutes!! I could barely believe it! I mean, I was originally planning on something closer to 30-31 minutes. Not only did I get a new PR, I also accomplished my 5K goal time for 2009!!

Just for fun, I looked up my times for this race in the past:
2005 - 37:15
2006 - 33:33
2008 - 34:05
2009 - 27:47
Quite the improvement, huh?

As I was sitting on the sidewalk eating my donut and cheering in the later finishers a girl came through with quite the crowd support...she was wearing a shirt that said she was the "Birthday Girl" the announcer said it was her 12th birthday. I thought that was pretty cute!


Race: Run the Valley
Date: April 4, 2009
Distance: 5K
Official Time: 27:47
Average Pace: 8:57
Overall Place: 62/199
Place in Age Group: 6/32


Emily said...

You might be able to still sign up if interested. It's through Edina Community Ed but run by MDRA - there were all running types there. And you get a free membership to MDRA for the year. Next week they are meeting at TC Running in Eden Prairie at 6.

Rachel said...

Awesome!! Great race report and congrats on the earlier finish!!

Irish Cream said...

WOW! That's a massive PR and some huge improvement over the past 4 years! Great job!! :)