I’ve got a race recap to share with you today!
Tuesday evening I ran the Crime Prevention 5K in Mobile. The race is always the first Tuesday in August and it’s one that I try to do every year. I like to look at it as a good opportunity to gauge your fitness after your summer training. The conditions make the race challenging (it’s typically over 90 degrees), but the course is very good (completely flat with enough turns to keep it interesting). Here are my times over the years:
2015: 18:23 (5:54, 5:53, 5:58)
2017: 18:50 (5:47, 5:57, 6:23)
I had a really nice progression going and then I “accidentally” ran a PR here in 2015, which really made it tough to continue to chip away at my time (but it was obviously #worthit). I haven’t been able to get back to the same fitness that I was in 2015, but that is basically my goal. I know that progress isn’t always linear and I think this is a good representation of that. In the first few years, it definitely can be linear and you kind of get used to that. As you reach a certain level of fitness though, it becomes much, much harder to see continual progress.
Going into the race, I was using the one mile race to predict what I thought my 5K pace should be. I ran the one mile in 5:25 and I was hopeful that I could hold 5:55 for a 5K. I talked about it with my coach and she agreed that 5:55 was a good goal. If I was able to run 5:55 pace, it would put me close to 18:15, which would actually be a PR. I was so excited just to think that maybe this was within the realm of possibility.
Before the race, I looked back at my race recap from last year and was reminded of my terrible pacing. I had issues with my GPS and ended up running the first mile way too fast last year. My main goal this year was to try to keep the splits as even as possible. My coach basically told me to start at 5:55 and just hold on for as long as you can. As it turns out, this is easier said than done!
I tried to do a #fastbraidfriday, but it was a Tuesday, so … I don’t know what that makes it.
I arrived downtown around 5:30 p.m. for a 6:30 p.m. race start. The weather was iffy on the drive across the bay. There was a good bit of rain in the area, but somehow it seemed to pretty much avoid the race course altogether, which was wonderful! The rain also cooled it off a good bit as well. I must say though, we traded HEAT for HUMIDITY. The temperature was only 80, but the dew point was 75. Normally it is hotter than blue blazes, but since it is later in the day there usually isn’t much humidity. I honestly think this year’s conditions were equally as tough, if not tougher.
I ran the course with a few friends beforehand. None of my regular crew was racing, but a couple of them were out to do an easy run and to watch the race, so I had some good company on the warm up (and again later on the cool down). I ended up with about three and a half miles plus a few strides before it was time to line up for the start. There was actually a little bit of confusion as to where the start line was supposed to be (the course is certified, but hadn’t been marked yet that day). Eventually they found the washer and poured some chalk across the street delineating the start line. Sometimes I start a few rows back at this race, but I decided to line up essentially on the line this year.
In typical 5K fashion, the start was pretty fast. I was so glad that my race recap from last year had jogged my memory (running pun) about the GPS satellite issue downtown. I looked down at my watch at one point during the first quarter mile and saw a pace of 7:30, a little while later it was 6:30 and it felt more like 5:30! Last year I kept picking it up and picking it up because of the watch and this year I was a bit wiser. I came through the first mile in 5:57. Not too fast and not too slow! Just right.
I held the pace pretty consistently during the second mile. Also in typical 5K fashion, I was running in no man’s land. There was a group of guys up ahead of me that I could see, but they were too far ahead for me to be able to run with them. I tried to focus on staying comfortable and not worrying too much about the pace. I came through the second mile in 5:58. Again, not too fast and not too slow. If I could hold on to this, I was setting myself up for a really good time! If only it was easy to maintain your pace in the final mile …
I really started to struggle during the final mile. I didn’t think I had run the first two miles too fast, but in hindsight, I guess I did. I hadn’t specifically looked at a pace adjustment for the temperature and humidity and I likley should have done that. I think I might capable of holding the pace in perfect conditions, but not on a super humid, muggy evening in August. Silly rabbit. I wasn’t looking at my watch because I knew that I was doing everything that I could and seeing the pace wouldn’t do me any good. My third mile was 6:24 and I managed to pick it up to 5:40 pace for the last tenth, giving me a finish time of 18:43. I was the first female finisher and sixth person overall. It’s always a treat to place at this race because the top three overall winners get gift cards to McCoy Outdoors in Mobile. I got a $100 gift card! Sweet! Side note: if only I could find a job that paid $100 for about 20 minutes of work. That would be NICE! Ha.
While the pacing didn’t go exactly as planned, I KNOW that I will get this nailed down. I am actually very hopeful that I might be able to squeak out a 5K PR this fall! I know that my fitness is really solid. Now I just need the weather to cool off some and help a sister out.