I know – in my last post I said that I was not going to run any races on the plan unless it was sanctioned. BUT a couple of weeks ago I had been cleaning out my In Box and realized that I had signed up for Solstice Sprint 5k over the winter – Whoops! So this past Wednesday, I laced up my sneakers for an evening 5k put on by the Hartford Track Club.
Let me tell you – the weather was so much different than the last time I traveled to the West Hartford Reservoir for a race. If you recall – back in April I ran the Quarter Marathon (also sponsored by the Hartford Track Club) in conditions that were cold, wet and pretty rainy.
This time I had the opposite conditions to deal with – hot, humid AND after work. I am a morning runner by nature – I like to get it on and done as early as possible. It’s usually a lot cooler, I don’t have to think about it all day AND I don’t have that heavy feeling I have when I try and run after work.
But I signed up for it and did not hear anything to the contrary from my coach, so Wednesday after work I headed over to pick up my bib and Summer Solstice Sprint 5k swag (cute t-shirt!).
I had some time to kill (the race was at 6:30pm and I got there at 5:00pm) so I had a peach and tried to stay cool.
With some time left (and still not hearing if I had a plan or not) I did what has become ingrained in me – drills, warm up, and a bit of stretching, all while trying to stay cool. That turned out to be a lost cause – it was just hot!
I headed to the start with the other runners for the start. The Solstice Sprint 5k is a bit smaller than the Quarter Marathon but it was still a very competitive field. I was lucky to meet another one of my coach’s “client’s” who knew me from Instagram (Hi Tessa!). Talking with her helped the time go by and before we knew it we had a very informal “GO”. I had asked Tessa if she had a plan and she told me that she was supposed to run as fast as she could for the first mile but still be able to say her address and then pick it up for the second mile. I thought that was a great idea and decided to “borrow” it for my race plan.
However – after we started and I tried to say my address I was having a hard time doing that – meaning 1) I was going to fast or 2) it was just really hot and humid. I decided at that point that it was probably a bit of both – and since I consider a 5k a 3.1 miles of death running I decided to just hang on for dear life and see what I could do.
The Solstice Sprint 5k is one time around the Red Loop which is great (the Quarter Marathon is 2 loops) but the timing of the race proved to be a sun glaring challenge. Just after I climbed the hill to reach the lake I was confronted by the full, glaring hot and angry sun. YUCK! It was also at this point that I really wanted to stop, catch my breath and maybe grab some water from the nice volunteers. This usually happens at some point during all the races I run BUT I told myself I could hold out for water a bit longer and I even talked myself out of stopping – because God Damn It I paid money to be this miserable 🙂
Luckily I got out of the sun and the last part of the race if flat and downhill – it is supposed to be glorious but I was just looking for the finish and the sweet taste of watermelon I knew would be available to me. Another runner (Hi Craig) came up beside me and I was hoping he would not say anything of encouragement because honestly I just wanted to reach the finish and did not want to expend any more energy than needed.
As always crossing the finish is a great accomplishment.
As much as I dislike evening races Hartford Track Club puts on a great race and an even greater post-race. They are very organized with everything, including the awards ceremony and even more importantly the post race food – which in my opinion is the best. How can you say no to fresh strawberries and watermelon!
I waited for the awards to be announced because guess who placed second in her age group – THIS GIRL!
Not a PR but getting there – last summer I was about a minute slower and my PR is about a minute faster so I am happy where I have come. AND two of my McKirdy Trained teammates also placed – nice job ladies!
I headed back to my car and guess what – a text from my coach. I was warming up when he sent it and told me to start out 20 seconds slower due to the heat – WHOOPS!
So what do I take away from this race:
- I still do not like 5ks after work BUT this was a good quality workout AND a good test of my 3.1miles of death fitness.
- Wearing a white tank top is hard with mascara – I so wanted to wipe my face after my race but did not want to leave any marks. #runnersproblems
- Can all races have watermelon – Seriously I think I love that as a post race snack more than oranges.
- File this under the “don’t try something new on race day”. I tried some Skratch after the race “by accident”, it was great…until I got home. Let’s just say my stomach was not happy with me.