Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stingray 5K Race Recap

The Stingray 5K is my second 5K ever, but it's only the first 5K that I've raced.  Last summer, I ran the Dash for Donation 5K, but I was injured so racing wasn't an option.  My finish time was 32:15.  I knew that I would PR this race.  The question was: by how much?

When I woke up Saturday morning, I had a stuffy nose, sore throat and a headache.

No no no no no!  It's race day!  Sigh.

I drank some water, had breakfast and took some Motrin.  All cold-like symptoms faded away.  Whew.

Then more bad news: it was snowing, despite the Weather Channel app on my phone saying that there was only a 20% chance of precipitation.  It was freaking snowing!  LIAR!  The Weather Channel app and that damn groundhog: LIARS!

The race was being held about 20 minutes from my house.  During the drive there I noticed that some of the less-traveled roads were pretty slippery.  Not awesome.

The start and finish were at a high school.  The doors to the school's main hallway were unlocked so we racers could wait inside the warm building rather than freezing our buns off outside.  It was cold.  Temps in the 20s with "feels like" temps in the teens.  I met up with a bunch of my runner-friends and we waited inside the school until about 3 minutes to race time.

My friend, Jen, and I were both hoping to finish in 27 minutes, so we planned to run together.  I told Randy before I left that morning, that I'd be thrilled with 28 minutes in slippery conditions.

Jen (in pink) and I
Randy drove out with the little ladies to spectate, but I didn't see them until the gun went off.  They were about 50 feet from the start/finish line.  I was thrilled to see my bundled up family cheering for all of the runners.

I love that the little ladies enjoy spectating.  Randy took a bunch of pictures of them while they waited for me to come back.  They posed and smiled for the camera, just like Mommy taught them... ;-)

During the first mile, Jen and I did quite a bit of weaving.  I'll resist the urge to hop on my soapbox about people who plan to walk the course lining up to start near the front of the pack.

We were getting a feel of exactly how slippery the roads were.  The answer was: pretty slippery.  Some roads were less snow-covered than others and on the snowy roads, if we stayed in the tire tracks, our feet had better traction.  Mile 1- 8:58

During the second mile, we were feeling a little more sure-footed.  We'd slow our pace a bit when we'd turn a corner, but our legs were warming up and we gained speed.  Jen and I were a bit less chatty.  Mile 2- 8:30

Around mile 2.5, I could feel Jen pushing the pace more than I was up to.  I told her to go for it.  She did.   I chased her to the finish.  By this time, I had to concentrate on my breathing.  I could feel myself getting a little dizzy from exertion, but if I focused on breathing in deep and blowing it all out, I could maintain my pace.  I passed a LOT of people in the third mile; too many to count.  I don't think I was passed by anyone.  Mile 3- 8:19

I heard my watch beep at mile 3, but it was a faint echoey sound.  I willed my legs to turn over a little faster while I concentrated on breathing and not letting the world around me spin.  I saw Randy and the girls and smiled at them, but couldn't wave.  Breathe, Jamie, breathe.

I focused on the guy in gray ahead of me and sprinted to catch him.
Thanks to my runner-pal, Don, for this picture!
Hell yea!  I crossed the finish line 2 tenths of a second before him.  Sorry, Dude.
That last .1 was run at a 6:42 pace.  I felt like I was moving in slow motion, but Randy said I was flying.  He had no idea I could move that fast.  I didn't either.  I looked at my watch at the finish line: 26:04 (unofficial).  Holy crap.  I beat my goal time by almost a full minute!

About the Race

Registration was easy, the Stingray 5K is the first in a 5-race series that was very reasonably priced.  Packet pickup was fast and convenient at any (of three) Columbus Running Company stores or inside the school on race morning.

The route was easy to follow and was well-marked.  There was no water station, which wasn't an issue on a 20 degree day, but I'm assuming that the summer races will have water on the course.

One happy mama.
Official Stats:
Finish time- 26:02
Avg Pace- 8:32 min/mi
Over All Place- 144/330
Age Group Place- 4/20

FOURTH PLACE in my age group!!

My BRF, Anne, keeps telling me that I'm capable of so much more than I think I am. Maybe it's about time that I start listening to her.