My first Triathlon
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Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash - Run5k
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Thousand Oaks, California
= 24m 26s
Age Group Rank
This race was my dad's idea and it would be the first road race ever for both him and my mom. Yay! My dad's goal was to run the whole thing, my mom planned to walk it and just wanted to finish, and I wanted to run sub-24.
I got a decent amount of sleep the night before -- maybe six hours? I had some toast with peanut butter while we waited for my mom to get ready. We left about 45 minutes before the start. The race was at the mall where I used to hang out as a teenager. Hee.
We got to the race at about 8 a.m. and I took off to do a quick 15-minute warmup. I backtracked some of the course and ran by a couple of volunteers who were with their kids. One of the volunteers saw me and told the kids to practice their cheers on me, which cracked me up. I got back to the start line with less than 10 minutes to spare, and a whole lot of people had shown up while I was warming up. It took me a few minutes to find my dad, and then I wished him and my mom luck and worked my way toward the front while they went to the back. There were a ton of kids up front and the RD kept telling folks to watch out and make sure they didn't run over any short people. Ordinarily I get really annoyed when the little kids line up at front, but whatever, it's a turkey trot.
07m 52s min/mile
Even though I was fairly close to the front I had to fight through the masses for the first quarter mile or so. Once I got free and started really running hard I realized I was feeling pretty shaky -- just low-energy and like I had nothing special going on. The shaky feeling went away soon enough, but I never felt "on" in this race. I got that "I hate 5Ks!" vibe at, like, the half-mile mark.
The second mile was even rougher and I could feel myself slowing down a lot
(which is obvious from my splits
). It was also really hot. This was when I got my "I so don't even give a shit about this race" vibe.
I did finally come alive in the last mile but the damage was done by then, of course. Still, it was fun to pass a bunch of folks. I wasn't flying by them or anything, and I wasn't feeling *great*, but I found some physical and mental reserve to pick things up. I was able to basically sprint the last tenth of a mile to the finish.
Funny coincidence: This is only the second 5K I've done this year, and in both of them I came in 4th out of 59 women in my age group. How weird is that?
What would you do differently?:
I'm not sure if it would have helped, but I should have gotten up just a little earlier and had some coffee with my toast. I might also try eating a gel right before the start.
Aside from that, 5Ks are obviously a mental game and I suck at HTFU and running through the pain. I think the only way I'm going to improve is to run more of them. I'm still annoyed that even after all the additional miles I've put in this year my 5K time is *slower* than last year. Ugh.
I grabbed a bottle of water then jogged slowly back along the course to find my mom and dad. My plan was to cheer for my dad then join my mom for the rest of her walk.
I saw my dad and stopped to yell for him. He was clearly suffering in the heat, but running on anyway. I offered him some of my water and then cheered as he moved on.
My mom was closer to him than I'd expected. When I joined her she immediately told me that she had blisters on her feet and that she'd seriously considered quitting about halfway through. I was so proud of her for sticking with it! She even said that she'd tried running a few times, and she hadn't been able to go very far but it felt good to do it anyway. Seriously, she was so awesome. We walked and talked about how fun the race was, and then I made her run in the last tenth of a mile. My dad joined us right at the finish and we all crossed together.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
As I said above, the mental game, I think. I suck at pain.
This was a very nice local race. It's a very family-friendly event -- they even give discounts for families that sign up together -- and the atmosphere is festive and fun. Everything was well organized, results were up immediately after the race, and the course was surprisingly pretty and diverse, considering we were just running around a mall. I'd definitely do it again.
Last updated: 2009-11-26 12:00 AM
00:24:26 | 03.11 miles | 07m 52s min/mile
Splits: 7:42, 8:18, 7:52
Basically two loops around The Oaks mall. It was a little hillier than I'd expected. They weren't big hills or anything, but I'm sure they slowed me down a bit.
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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