5k #16 – 2016 Glass City 5k

This was not quite the race that I wanted, but overall I am very happy with my performance.

21:17
4th female, 2nd aged 30-34

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Although it was not a PR, it was my second fastest 5k. This was the first time that I raced since Grand Rapids and my first 5k race since last June. I definitely felt a bit out of practice having not raced in so long. Although I missed my time goal, I did meet my goal of finishing in the top 5.

Pre-Race

My alarm was set for a 4:30 wake up, offering plenty of time to drive to the race (45 minutes), pick up my bib, and get warmed up before the 7:15 start. Packet pick up was a breeze and I even had time to say to my friends Alex and Ty before they started the half marathon.

After my warm up I headed to the starting line. I wasn’t expecting to see the marathon/half marathon start, but they started about 10 minutes late. The 5k ended up starting late as well which was annoying. I lined up close to the front knowing that I should be one of the first 25ish finishers (I was 19th). There were also lots of kids up front in spite of several announcements about lining up according to pace, this was also annoying, but somewhat expected.

Mile 1: 6:40

I checked my watch a ton during the first mile so I could work on getting on pace. I saw some crazy fast paces in the 6:05-6:20 range before settling in to the 6:40s. The pavement situation was rough. Lots of cracks and potholes. I wasn’t too bothered by it until about a mile in when I rolled my right ankle. I shouted a quick expletive but decided to just keep running and assess the situation at the finish line. I glanced down at my watch to see if I was still on pace, and saw that the first mile had already passed.

Mile 2: 6:48

The first half of mile 2 passed quickly since I could distract myself by watching the marathoners run past on the opposite side of the road. The occasional glance at my watch confirmed I was holding 6:40 pace. My pace slipped a bit at the end since the mile ended with an uphill.

Mile 3 – 6:41

The thought of a PR was the only thing that kept me running. I did my best to not let the runners in front of me pull away. I had entertained thoughts of catching and passing them earlier in the race, but that did not happen. I was hurting.

Also for some reason there were cars on the course during this mile. It was so frustrating and they made it really difficult to run tangents. I expect that in a small town race with just a few hundred runners, but not at an event this size.

Last 0.19 – 1:08 (5:58 pace)

I kicked as hard as I could, already knowing that 20:30 was out of reach. I had not lost hope in a PR, but I knew it would be close. Unfortunately my poor tangents and/or GPS inaccuracies led to a total distance of 3.19 miles. That extra distance cost me a PR. My Garmin congratulated me after the race with a 5k PR of 20:50, but sadly that doesn’t count.

It kind of sucks to look at my splits and see 6:40s, but finish with an official pace of 6:50.

Post Race Thoughts

I’m honestly not too bothered to have not gotten a PR. I still have 3 more races lined up and I can always add more races later this year. This was just one attempt and it served as a nice return to racing and offers a great indication of my current fitness level. I still feel very confident that I will get a PR this year.

I still feel certain that I am in better shape than last year. My PR was set on a mostly downhill course, but I ran only 15 seconds slower on a mostly flat course today. Last year I ran a comparable course in 21:36, but my splits were terrible (6:39, 6:55, 7:13). I think the consistency in this race really shows marked improvement (Note: I don’t have slits for my PR because it was before I owned a GPS watch). I think if I keep training and keep racing I can still get 20:30 this year (sub 20 feels a bit more out of reach at this point).

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18 thoughts on “5k #16 – 2016 Glass City 5k

  1. CONGRATS on 4th (and 2nd)!!! That’s very exciting!

    Sorry to see that the course was long and cost you the PR. At least deep down you know that you had a PR in you even if it’s not an official PR on paper!

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  2. Congrats and awesome job! Great way to kick off your racing season!

    This whole thing is a case study in why there are sooooo many reasons that we shouldn’t judge our fitness or progress based solely on race times. It is frustrating how just a little bit of extra distance can make such a huge difference in time: in my first half marathon this season, my official finish time was 1:48:05 but according to my Garmin I actually ran a half marathon in closer to 1:47:15 – that’s almost a minute of difference due to stupid tangents!

    I’m glad your ankle is okay (assuming it is since you didn’t mention it again), and I’m happy that you feel good about this race. You really had a great effort and your training is paying off! It is kind of annoying when races with longer distances included apparently just half-ass the 5K course.

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    • Yes, I forgot to add my right ankle seems fine this morning (though my left one has been weirdly sore…I don’t know what that is about). I’m taking today off, but don’t see any reason I won’t be running on Tuesday.

      Initially I was pretty positive that the distance was off because of tangents or my watch, because this is a certified course, but when I just now tried to find the certification I couldn’t. They had to change the route this year due to construction and I don’t think the had the 5k certified. I guess I’ll never know if it really was just a long course or if I really suck at tangents, lol.

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  3. Congrats! 2nd in your age group is AWESOME! This sounds like it went really well, even if you didn’t PR. Not every race can be a PR. I can’t wait to hear how your next races go. It sounds like your training is really paying off!

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  4. Congrats on your race! 2nd place is pretty sweet. I’m surprised about the car situation too! The road was a bit rough for us around the university too. I’m glad you didn’t hurt your ankle! It was a beautiful morning for the races. Glad weather was on our side!

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  5. You summed it up perfectly by saying even though you missed an official PR, you KNOW your fitness has improved! your splits were better, your time was faster—just a longer course!
    there will always be another 5k around the corner so just trust in your training and keep chasing that official PR!!!!!
    you got this!

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  6. That pavement WAS rough! I was really worried I was going to roll an ankle or something, but luckily I did not. Did you know that the half/full started late because there weren’t enough port-a-john’s and the lines were cutting onto the course?! We actually went to the bathroom in the arena where morning packet pickup was so no problem for us. ANYWAY, you still rocked that race and did awesome. Keep up the hard work!

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