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ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run - Run5k

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Conroe, Texas
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 22m 53s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Female
Age Group Rank = 2/
Pre-race routine:

Have been doing somewhat of a run focus for the past couple months and planned to check for progress from a mid-March 10k by doing a late-April 5k (before Houston becomes too hot to want to do a run race!). This race was really to check progress, and not an A race or anything -- as such, I had basically the hardest ride I've ever done (with a new 60' best power!) on Tuesday and a track workout on Wednesday. In the middle of the track run, I was thinking, "maybe I should blow this 5k so my paces don't get faster!" I told Marc that and he threatened to make my paces 5s harder per beat under 170 bpm HR, so sandbagging was no longer an option ;)

When I was looking for a race to do this weekend, I found a 5k that's literally within five minutes of my house or this one, which is about 90 minutes from home. I don't particularly like the race director for the local race and this race was sponsored by a brewery, so I figured "what the hell -- I'll drive 90 minutes for a 23 minute race!" Got up around 6am, ate a bagel with peanut butter, and left at 7am to do packet pick-up and make sure I had enough time for a good warm up before the 10am race start.

On race morning, I found out / realized that this race was not chip timed and was a little disappointed....started scoping out options for next weekend, but Marc assured me that my garmin file would be sufficient. So now it was just up to me to treat it like a race and not worry about it "counting".

When I did my 10k back in March, my first 5k was technically a 5k PR for me (yeah, dumb plan for part of a 10k race! But I'd made some decent gains from my previous 5k PR, so it wasn't completely out of line). I figured for this race, 23:30 was a very achievable time and would be a PR. I had it in my mind that I wanted to hold a 7:30 or better pace, so I would have been ecstatic to come in at 23:18. My stretch goal was sub-23, but I told Marc I didn't think I was quite there yet.

Event warmup:

About 45 minutes before the race was to start, I planned to do ~20 minutes of warming up. I ran most of the race course to scope it out (it was undulating terrain, but no hills -- some tree coverage and other places where there was no protection from the sun) and did a few strides to get the HR up and make sure my body knew what it felt like to run fast(er).

It was already warm (though humidity was relatively low) and by the time I got back, I looked like I'd already raced! HR got up to 160 during the warm up, so I knew I wouldn't have any problems getting up to 170 and not incurring my threatened penalty!

  • 22m 53s
  • 5 kms
  • 04m 35s  min/km

This was a pretty small race and looking around at the others who were there (and their pre-race routines), I figured I should line up toward the front (not in the front, but further up than I normally would). There were some people who worked their way up even further and I remarked to a friend that I doubted they'd be running sub-7 minute miles, but I didn't worry about it too much. As they were counting down time to race start, my HR immediately spiked up to 120 (from low-80's) and I laughed about it.

Everyone took off and sprinted out of the start chute. I let them all go and reminded myself to race my own race and be smart. Looking at my pace about a minute in, I knew I needed to pull it back a bit more and told myself not to have a one mile PR as part of a 5k race....that would be really stupid!! After a few minutes, I started reeling in those who had sprinted at the start and were starting to die. I settled into a comfortably hard pace and told myself to just keep it there.

Right before the first mile clicked off, I pulled even with my friend and told him, "keep me here" because I didn't want to fall off the pace when it started to hurt. The first mile clicked off and I looked at my watch -- 7:21. My first thought was "shit, was that too fast? Are you going to totally blow this? That was supposed to be more like 7:30!!" And then I just told myself, "keep it here, you feel fine. It hurts, but not that can do this."

I started pulling away from my friend, but was pretty sure it was because he was falling off and not that I was speeding up. I willed myself to not look at my pace, but to just run by feel. Coming toward the turn around, the race leaders started coming in the opposite direction. I saw a few guys and then the lead girl, and then a couple more guys....and that was it. So at that point, I was the second female (wtf?!?!) and within the top ten (again, wtf?!?!). I was curious where the third place female was and figured I'd get a look after making the turn around -- there were two girls pretty close to one another, but probably a minute back from me, so I figured if I could just keep the effort there, I could pull this off.

Second mile clicks off and I look at the split on my watch -- 7:29....and of course, I'm already in my head thinking, "oh crap, you're pacing this just as badly as you did the 10k! Why did you go out so fast on that first mile, dummy?? Okay, you got yourself into this mess, now you have to keep the effort here and try to salvage this....get to work!"

The third mile hurts, almost unbearably so. We got to this section that was slightly downhill, under tree coverage, and had a bit of a that point, it might literally have been the best moment of my life. I enjoyed the brief reprieve from the pain and told myself to take advantage because it was just about to shift upward and into the sun. I refused to look at my pace and was convinced it was going to be in the 7:40's given how bad my legs hurt and how much I was ready to be done.

On the way back in, there's a long sweeping right turn and I was pretty sure once that was done, we'd be right at the turn into the finish....and when I saw I was wrong, I said "fuck" out loud....I was so ready to be done! At this point, I allowed myself to look at my pace and the distance and I saw my pace was holding steady at 7:20. I couldn't believe it! I was so happy, but I was also really ready to be done. I started thinking a two mile PR would be fine and I could just shut it down, but then I started giving myself pep talks in my head -- that went something like this: "don't give up, you can do this, make yourself proud....make Marc proud....give him some reason to think you aren't completely hopeless when it comes to running....give him a reason to not drop you as an athlete.....keep your breathing under this shit almost done? Oh my god, there's the storage place!! And then you just take a right turn and an immediate left and you're done....holy shit, you're on track for a sub-23 5k, DO NOT LET UP!!!"

The third mile clicked off at 7:20 and I was so happy but in so much pain. I didn't actually think I had anything left to kick it in, but managed to finish the last minute at a 6:52 pace. As I crossed the finish line, one of the volunteers was holding out a pink piece of paper for me....I grabbed it and saw it said "2nd female" (which I already knew, but this made it official!). I was able to slow myself down and stop without running into anyone and leaned over with my hands on me knees and said "fuck....fuck....oh god, fuck, that hurt" and then I looked around hoping there were not children in the immediate area (there weren't!).

What would you do differently?:

Really not much, maybe be a little mentally stronger in the middle when it starts to really hurt but you're not "almost there"

Post race
Warm down:

I went back out for a couple mile warm down run on the course....and it turned out to be a really fun experience because I got to cheer on the people who were still on their way back to the finish, and then I got to run with a few and encourage them after I turned around and was heading back toward the finish

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I assume I would have been a little faster if this had been treated as an A race, but a 5k race is really not my focus (rather just a baseline race to gauge progress), and possibly could have been faster if it had been a bigger, more competitive (and chip timed) race. Though it wasn't excessively hot, it would have been nice to be 20F cooler! In fact, if we'd started at 7am instead of 10am, it would have been about 15F cooler, which would have been awesome!

Event comments:

I wish this race had been chip timed, but it turned out to be no big deal. That said, for $25, which included a shirt, pint glass, and three (full) beers, it's a damn good deal! I would definitely do this again -- it's in a pretty area (of course, I can't say I remember seeing much of it on the race! But I did enjoy it on the warm up, warm down, and while drinking beer after) and was a really fun morning.

Last updated: 2016-04-24 12:00 AM
00:22:53 | 05 kms | 04m 35s  min/km
Age Group: 2/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back from B-52
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-04-24 1:37 PM

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Houston, Texas
Subject: ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run

2016-04-24 9:52 PM
in reply to: #5178616

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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run
Wow! Great race. Way to be strong from start to finish.

Each distance has its own, special pain. Sounds like you did this one just about perfect.
2016-04-25 6:41 AM
in reply to: #5178616

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run

Nice job...I am with you on the pain on 5k races...I always swear at the end that I will never do another.

2016-04-25 6:36 PM
in reply to: #5178616

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run
Originally posted by ligersandtions

Great race execution.
That HIM will be sub 1h50 before you know it.
2016-04-25 6:58 PM
in reply to: #5178616

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Subject: RE: ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run

Fantastic race! Very well executed and I love that you were doing it by feel. So, so good!


2016-04-26 8:03 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: ADA and B-52 Brewery 5k Run

Originally posted by Asalzwed

Fantastic race! Very well executed and I love that you were doing it by feel. So, so good!


Thanks!  I know you've tended to race by feel in the past and it has obviously worked for you. 

I'm a bit of a mental case when it comes to running and I know that if I see paces slower than what I'm expecting / targeting, that it's not going to be a motivator to go faster, but rather a sign that I "suck / can't do it / might as well give up / insert other negative thought here" and I don't need that kind of negativity floating through my head, so it's better for me to pace by least for these short races where it hurts the whole time and I'm relatively unlikely to go out too fast and blow up (unlike a half marathon, where I'd use my watch to keep myself in check for the first few miles!).

Hoping to continue on this improvement trajectory and maybe stop being such a nut job when it comes to running

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