Sunday, March 18, 2012

Race Recap: Lucky Green 5K

Yesterday I ran the Lucky Green 5K, a small race organized by the Rochester Track Club and the Running Room in Rochester. This was its fourth year running and they had a record number of participants (154). It was also the first year they didn't have to use ice melt on the course- we've had record high temps in the 70s and 80s all week!

I got up around 6:45 and had my regular pre-run Eggo with peanut butter and banana. I headed to the race around 8 and met up with my friend Felicity. Since it was a small race, the only bathroom available was a single bathroom inside the Running Room, so we hopped in line for that pretty early. After that we went for a short jog around the parking lot and did some stretching, then met up with Ben right before the race.

We all walked over to the start line together, which was about a block away. The race was gun-timed, not chip-timed, so I started pretty close to the front. I knew I probably couldn't hang with half the guys up there, but they weren't going to stop me from getting a PR!

The race director yelled, "Runners to your mark... GO!" (small race, remember?) and we were off.

Showin' the guys what's up- for about a quarter of a mile.

Remember how I said I couldn't hang with the guys at the start line? Well I definitely couldn't, but I tried for about a quarter of a mile, before I looked down at my Garmin and realized I was holding a 6:45 pace. Definitely not where I wanted to be! So I dialed it down, let a few women pass me, and settled in around a 7:30 pace instead. I needed to average 7:40 min/miles to make my ambitious goal of sub-24:00, or 8:00 min/miles to make my secondary goal of sub-25:00.

The first mile flew by- literally. 7:30ish. I can't tell you my exact splits, because I'm an idiot and didn't turn the Auto Lap on my Garmin back on after my speedwork sesh last week. You can bet this came back to haunt me later in the race- stay tuned.

Second mile was a little tougher. The course was flat the whole way, great for racing a PR. I monitored my lap pace a little bit more during this mile, and it had slowed to 7:38- funny, because I felt like I had slowed down more than that. Turns out since I turned the Auto Lap off, the entire race was my "lap" and I had really ran around a 7:46 second mile, and my average pace for both miles had dropped to 7:38.

The third mile was not so good. I felt like I might throw up, or possibly pass out, probably from sustaining a pace I wasn't quite sure my body could handle for 2+ miles. So when I looked down at my Garmin it said my pace was hovering around 7:45, I was (again) slightly confused. I (again) felt like I was running much slower than that, but I still hadn't realized my mistake, and thought, "I might as well slow down, because I can afford to give up a few seconds and still make my sub-24:00 goal."

Imagine my surprise when 100 meters from the finish I catch a glimpse of the race clock, which says 23:57.

At that moment, it all clicked, and I thought, "Well, crap." So I used the small amount of energy I had left to sprint to the finish.

Final time: 24:22* (Post-high school PR)
Average pace: 7:51
9th female (out of 86)
1st in 20-29 age group (out of 29)

While I was disappointed I didn't break 24:00, once I got over it I was extremely happy with my shiny new, sub-25:00 PR. I just know I can break 24:00 at my next 5K- whenever that might be. No plans for one yet, but obviously I'm using a separate tab on my browser to search for one right this second.

I left shortly after I got done because I had very little time to shower and get ready for work. I didn't even know I had won my age group until I checked the official results today! I was pretty excited when I found that out. I emailed the race director, and he said they're holding my award for me.

Next up: MSHS Race for Research 10K next Saturday, March 24th

You better believe both my Garmin and I will be ready!

Anybody else race on St. Patty's Day? How'd it go?


  1. Hi, I stumbled on this page from a google search. I was curious to know if more photos from this race exist. I'm in your first photo;I'm the guy with black long pants. This was my first race I ever ran and had a lot of fun with it. Thank you for your recap.

    1. Hi Dan, thanks for checking out my blog (albeit by accident)! Unfortunately these are the only pictures my husband was able to take during the race, and the race didn't have an official photographer. If you run any larger races, however, they usually have professional photos that you can buy, or use for free with their watermark. Congrats on finishing your first race! Hope there are many more in your future :)

    2. Hey, thanks for the reply! It was a fun race, my only goal was to finish ahead of my wife. :) Thanks again for your post.