This morning I ran the Jubilee Race for Life 5K. The race takes place less than a mile from our house and so I really just couldn’t pass it up. This wasn’t a goal race per say, but more of just a chance to get out there and race (which I love!) and to get a gauge for where I am at this point in the marathon training cycle so that we have a good baseline to work from going forward.
With the race being so close to home, I was [theoretically] able to sleep in. I say theoretically because my internal alarm clock didn’t get the memo. Regular alarm was set for 5:45 a.m., but internal alarm was still set for 4:30 a.m. Toots. I had plenty of time to piddle around the house, have coffee, etc. before I headed up to the race. It’s actually quite nice to have some extra time to just “be” before having to rush off and do things every now and then.
We left the house a little before 7 a.m. (me on foot and Daniel on bike) and headed to the race start so that I could get registered and run the course as a warm up. This is a small, local race that is VERY well organized and VERY well executed. I highly recommend it to anyone local. I registered, got my number and shirt (a fun neon orange tech tee) and headed out to get my warm up in. The volunteers were working on getting all of the water stations set up and getting the roads closed as we were out on the warm up loop. One of the volunteers asked if I was “just out sampling the course,” which we thought was so funny! Yep! Just getting a little sample of what’s to come.
It was incredibly warm and humid! We’ve had some really nice fall temperatures already this season, but apparently it was NOT here to stay. The temperature and dew point were both exactly 76 at the start (i.e., 100% humidity). It was ROUGH! I entered the temperature and dew point into my pace calculator before I left the house (#nerdalert) and knew I was likely going to be looking at a 6 – 8 percent adjustment. I’m so glad that I checked this before the race, because my time definitely reflects the rough conditions and I probably would’ve been a little disappointed if I hadn’t done my research. Knowledge is power I suppose!
I didn’t have any specific time goals going into this one (thank goodness). Based on recent races and workouts, I figured that I should be able to run fairly close to 6:00 pace in good conditions. Seeing as how the conditions were far from ideal, I decided to keep a goal range of 6:15 to 6:20 in the back of mind. I honestly tried not to look at the pace too much mid-race and really focused on running by feel.
The race took off precisely at 8 a.m. I found myself in the top 5 or so pretty much immediately. I knew that it was going to be a small race and I was prepared to work by myself. The first half mile had 8 turns, which can be a little tricky. I mean, I don’t think there could possibly be any more turns in a half mile segment. Haha. I got a fun little surprise at one of the early turns … my mom was there! Daniel also rode his bike all over the course and saw me 4 or 5 times. I’m super thankful for my people!
The course was an out and back and after we got past the last turn at the half mile mark, the course was straight as an arrow (flat to downhill) until we got to the turnaround. I came through the first mile in 6:14 and had moved into the second overall runner. I was pleased with the split and thought to myself that I might even be able to negative split the course (how cute) since I had run smart for the first mile.
I tried to use the gradual downhill of the first half of the second mile to my advantage and just focused on the guy in front of me. I didn’t think that I would catch him, but having a rabbit to chase is always nice. Once we got to the turnaround, I was expecting things to get a little tough. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually got a big boost from seeing the other runners (I love out and back courses for this exact reason). We were all encouraging each other and before I even realized it, I had made it back up the hill! My split for the second mile was 6:11.
Things got a little dicey during the last mile. I knew that my place was pretty much solidified and I tried to keep the effort consistent, but that didn’t really work out for me. We have to reweave back through the 8 turns from mile 1 and the last three tenths or so of the race was uphill. I didn’t specifically feel like we were running downhill at the very beginning of the race, but apparently we were (gotta love it when that happens). That last little bit of incline got to me and my effort level dropped off. My split for the third mile was 6:36.
I finished in 19:29. Time wise, definitely not my best, but effort wise, I was pleased.
One of our precious little Girls on the Run girls was at the race and she did SO WELL. I thought she might need some encouragement at the end of the race so I ran back to find her, but as it turns out, she was just fine. Her finishing kick was amazing and I was really impressed with how she raced! After she finished, Daniel and I headed out for a short cool down. I thought about running the course again, but decided against that. I was really craving a diet coke (it happens), so we ran to the nearest gas station and got a drink before heading back to the race finish to enjoy the carbonation and wait on the awards.
The overall male and female winners got gift certificates for a pair of shoes from Running Wild. A runner can never have too many shoes. Fact. The age group winners got very unique, homemade awards, which is always a nice touch. There was also music, door prizes and Chick Fil A to be enjoyed after the race. We stayed for a while (because of said door prizes) and chatted with friends, new and old (in terms of how long we’ve known them, not because of their ages :)).
Daniel left the race a little bit before I did (Game Day was on … I can’t compete with that). I came home to find he and Brooksy chillaxin in the hammock watching Game Day. So sweet ❤
If you are local, you need to do this race next year! It’s always the third weekend in September. This morning was really fun, despite the sogginess of the air. Side note: I have yet to get a brush through my hair (it’s 5:30 p.m. at this point). I think I’ll just wait and deal with that mess tomorrow.
I hope you’ve had a good Saturday! Talk to you soon!