Sunday, October 6, 2013

Finally, a 5K PR!!!

Seeing as how I am transitioning from a sprinter running no more than 400m to a longer distance runner. I always thought the 5k race, would be my race. It's short enough for me to keep some speed. I haven't really sprinted since high schoold and my fastest 400m as of late was 1:10, which according to McMillan Running Calculator hsould put me at a 19:48 5k (yeah right, in my dreams). My fastest 5k to date was 26:27 which I ran 4 months ago. I suck at running distance, and I would love to one day achieve a 19:48. I have done numerous 5ks since June and have not PR'd. But finally today I ran a little faster.

My company sponsored a team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. For some reason everyone at work thinks I'm this great super fast runner. I told one person, I run about 4x per week, and he thought that meant I was really fast. I have tried to explain to him many times that I run slow during those 4x per week. Somehow word got out and one of my co-workers (he is an MMA fighter) decided to make a competition out the Race for the Cure. As an MMA fighter, I knew he was way more in shape than I was. I kept trying to talk myself down to anyone who would listen, but for some reason no one would listen and thought it would be some great race between him and I. Yeah...not even close. He finished in 18:52. However, boosted by the little competition I was able to PR! It did have a few more switchbacks than I would have liked because it was all in the parking lot of a hotel, but it was flat! Gotta love flat! I finished in 25:41! Not super fast by any means, but super fast for me. I averaged 8:17/mi! My splits were 8:03 (starting too fast like always) / 8:28 / 8:28 / 6:59 (final .11mi).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Joy of Racing

I am going to be very sad once this racing season is over because I have really taking this racing thing head on, some might even say obsessed. I have only been consistently running since February and my first race was March 17th. Since then I have ran 10 races and I still have at least 3 more planned for the rest of the year. A lot of people say they run for sanity, health, etc. Is it bad to say that I run to race? Racing is so exciting to me. The competition, the atmosphere, the goal of trying to better myself. I think Oprah Winfrey said it best when she said:

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it”

This quote is so true. This is why I love running/racing. How I compete at a race is a direct correlation to how I’ve trained. Unlike in other team sports where you are depending on others, it’s only you. I’m not saying I don’t love team sports (because I do), but there is no one else to blame. If I don’t do well, it’s all on me. I consider myself to be a very independent person, and running is a great independent sport.

On that note of not blaming anyone or anything for my perceived failures, I have yet another race recap to talk about.This past weekend I participated in the Race to Benefit the Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit 5k and 10k. This was the inaugural year for this race, and like most races, I couldn’t resist the allure of a free technical t-shirt and cheap entry fee ($25). This was a very small race with only 162 people doing the 5k and another 79 doing the 10k. I opted for the 5k. Since this run was put on by the Reno Running Company, they were giving away gift certificates for AG winners 3 deep. The course was definitely not flat by any means, so I knew I would most likely not PR, but since it was such a small race, I thought I had a shot at an age group placement. This race started about 15 minutes later than it should have. One of my friends and her husband were running in the race so I lined up with her near the middle back. The race started about 15mins late (better late than never I guess).  The first .75mi was downhill. I should have taken the opportunity to use the downhill and go out really fast, but again my fear of going out too fast got the better of me. My first split was 8:14. The course was a lollipop shape through a neighborhood. It wasn’t pretty or scenic, and like I said previously it was not flat. The next mile was 8:41. Since this was a lollipop course, I would have to go back up that huge downhill in the beginning of the race. It was tougher than it should have been. I struggled the entire way up, but still managed to eke out an 8:44 for the final mile and 7:35 for the last .1mi. My friends husband was already done and relaxing by the time I got to the finish line. This was his first 5k and he still managed to place first in his age group and 12th overall. My results…not so good. I placed 32nd overall and 4th in my AG (for the 4th time, will it ever be my time to get an AG placement). However, upon a closer look I noticed something about the girl in 3rd place.

Lauren Tomory

Eleanor Su
Hayley George
Lynsey Day (me)

Do you see it? She had a faster gun time than me, but I had the faster chip time. Normally I wouldn’t put up a fuss, but there was a gift certificate to my favorite running store on the line, So I went up to the women who was posting the results and asked her if they were going by gun time or chip time. She wasn’t sure but said I should go talk to the people doing the timing. I went to them, and they said they were pretty sure it was going by chip time. So I told them that my chip time was faster than the girl in 3rd place. They told me to go talk to the race director. I found him and asked him the same question. Chip time, or gun time? He told me they were going by gun time because he didn’t think it was fair that if someone showed up 5 minutes late to the race and crossed the finish line after everyone else should deserve an award. In the nicest way I could I said, “So, even though I was on time for the race and ran the course 4 seconds faster than the girl in 3rd place, but obviously started behind her, I don’t deserve 3rd place in my AG?” He just said that they were trying to be as fair as possible and that awards should be given by who crossed the finish line first. Seriously??? Had I known that, I would have started up at the front. I have to say I feel pretty cheated out of an AG and a gift certificate. I was a good sport and still clapped for her when they called her name.
So, 26:48...not my best, but also not my worst. I guess that is about my average for a 5k. My Garmin put me at a 8:30 pace because it said I went a total of 3.15mi. I honestly don’t think I will be running in their 2nd annual race, but it was still a race, and I still had a great time.
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