Thursday, October 16, 2014

Topsham 250th 5K {Race Recap}

You know those days when everything falls into place and you least expect it? Well, that happened to me last Saturday at the Topsham 250th 5K. A Home Depot customer of mine, Jeff, who was the co-race director for this 5K to celebrate Topsham's 250th anniversary, invited me to run in his race. Honestly, we talk more running than home improvement when he comes in. I also managed to talk my manager into going into work late. It totally worked in my favor that he's a big runner too...in more ways than one...he is over 7 feet tall!

Seeing that it was one week before the MDI relay, I had no intent on pushing myself for this race. I wanted to focus on running easy and not bother my left hammy that had been nagging me recently. I wasn't thinking that a PR could even be possible with my lack of following a training plan or no speed work in recent months. I wouldn't say that they have been terrible, but my training runs have been a struggle to even feel comfortable at a 9-minute-mile pace. In my head, there was no way I could run an average 7:40 pace. This one was to be for fun.

The weather could not have been more perfect. 40 degrees. No humidity. No wind. I chose to wear my Spandits! 3/4 tights. 

Don't they look fast?
(from a previous day)

They worked out great in my last two training runs and the temperature was just right for them. Plus the print is called Hyperspeed. I was also wearing my go-to racing shoes, the Mizuno Wave Sayonara (not picture in the photo). 

When I got to the start I recognized another runner who I knew was faster than me, but I didn't plan on racing, right? I watched the hot air balloon giving people teathered rides and soon it was time to line up. 

From the warmth of the car.

I jostled for position with a few other women plus a little kid (his name is Dash - so appropriate!) before I found myself as the third woman within the first mile. I wasn't all out sprinting, but running relaxed and comfortably hard. My hands were a little numb, but I knew they would warm up soon. As I ran along with another woman I could hear her stomach sloshing around and either she slowed or I sped up, but at the one mile mark {7:51} I was now the second woman.

Up ahead I could see the woman I knew was fast running along with Jeff (who decided to run). Crazy thing, she was running with her hands on her hips/sides...not using her arms at all, or very little. I was slowly catching up to them when we hit the turnaround point, but then she saw that I was only a few steps behind and turned on the gas. She opened up a bigger lead, but I kept with her and eventually passed Jeff right around mile two. I was now in 5th place! Mile two split was 7:32, which completely stunned me. That meant that my average pace was at my current 5K PR pace. My effort thus far seemed easy and I focused on keeping it that way. Any time I started to tense up, I relaxed my shoulders and kept my eyes on the first place woman's back. My younger, more competitive self would have pushed hard to beat her, but I was so stoked that I was in second place (albeit a small field), and that was good enough for me. 

Mile three came in at 7:27, which meant that this was the first time EVER that I had negative splits in a race. And still I wasn't really pushing the effort. I'd say I was about 85% of red-lining. This also meant that I had a shiny new 5K PR coming my way!

I crossed the line in 23:34, an average pace of 7:36. 

5/45 overall
2/26 women
1/13 in AG 31-50

Bath, Maine represent!

They didn't do overall winner awards just age groups. I was a little taken aback that I fit into age group 50 and under...seriously, I'm only 37! But this was my last race at this age and it earned me a $20 gift certificate to Dick's Sporting Goods that I know I can put to good use. At first I was confused when they called my name for first, because I thought it would be Madison, the woman who beat me, but then she told me that she was 60 and out of my age group! Dang, I want to be you when I grow up!

My winnings!

I am still a little shocked that I now have a new 5K PR. There are a few things that I think made that happen. One, the weather was my absolute perfect running weather. The sudden lack of heat and humidity felt so good. I could actually breathe! Two, I was relaxed and not nervous at all about this race. Sometimes having no expectations is a good thing. Three, the course is flat. Not completely a pancake, but the only "hill" was the short incline right before the finish. Four, I really think my Hyperspeed Spandits! tights have magical speedy powers.

I'm hoping that this is a reoccurring race, because I really want to come back next year and seriously race it! 

8 comments:

  1. Hmmmm.... speedy. Way to go!!!! I'm super pumped for you! Now you need to push me on Sunday.

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    1. We'll push each other! It's been so long since we ran together...I really can't even remember when it was.

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    2. I am jealous that you both are running together! Awesome race there Carrie! It was more than the HyperSpeed! It was YOU!

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  2. Fantastic race Carrie!! I'll be cheering for you, Jennifer and your MDI relay team on Sunday!!

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    1. Thanks Kara! I hope your marathon recovery is going well!

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  3. Great race! I love when everything comes together. Good luck at MDI, the weather is looking good!

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  4. Great race -- congrats! And P.S., LOVE those tights!!

    ~ Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

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    1. Thanks Lora! You can save 10% on Spandits! with the code SPANDITSLOVE

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Thanks for your comments!