Sunday, October 25, 2009

YMCA Freaky 5K Race Report

Eleven seconds.

We're talking about the time it took me to walk through the water stop in an attempt not to spill a glassful of water all over myself on a chilly day. Or the extra seconds I took to get up the hill without killing myself on the wet, leave covered street.

Eleven seconds is what stands between me and a sub-34 minute 5K after yesterday's YMCA Freaky 5K.

After it poured all day on Friday and was super windy, I was not looking forward to my 6:30 a.m. wake up call Saturday morning. I was almost scared to turn on the Weather Channel or peak out the windows. It was going to be chilly.

And it was. When I left my parents' house to drive over to the race site, the Weather Channel told me it was 37 degrees outside and windy. Great. Maybe the coldness will make me run faster, I thought.

I got to the park, got my race packet and headed back to my car. Because it would have been cute to watch the little kids run in their costumes, it was too cold to stand around for 45 minutes. So I went back to the car, pinned my number on my T-shirt, decided on the ear warmer over the stocking hat and tried to stay warm.

It worked. Kind of.

It was finally time to line up for the start. I walked over, dodged the puddles left over from the rain the day before and waited. My mom had come with me, so the plan was I'd keep my jacket on until just before the horn sounded in an attempt to stay a bit warmer. I was wearing my running pants, a long-sleeve tech shirt and a T-shirt layered over the top along with my ear warmer and gloves. I was cold just standing there, but I was pretty sure I'd be warm enough once I started running.

The gun sounded and I was off.

The course immediately started with a downhill towards the river. Still a little crowded so I didn't go super fast. Ran along the river for a bit and then the uphill climb was staring me in the face. An uphill climb covered with wet slippery leaves, which weren't too bad at the beginning but really stunk near the top of the climb. I took them a bit slow, just crossing my fingers I wouldn't slip and do a face plant into the cement.

I didn't. Made it to the top of the hill and kept running. Passed the first mile marker in 10 minutes, 49 seconds. Not bad I thought.

I kept running. Somewhere around 1.5 miles, this little black dog wearing a pumpkin sweater passes me. He was on a leash, but it was one of those retractable leashes, so the owner was behind me. And that little dog? He didn't like to run in a straight line and wanted to go visit the guy running next to me. And he didn't care that as he moved towards the other runner he nearly tripped me with his leash. Not happy. I gave the dog owner a nasty glare as she ran past me. Next year? Leave your dog at home.

I slowed down to a fast walk when I went through the water station. Didn't want to spill cold water on my already cold self. Drank, tossed the cup and started running again. Hit the second mile marker in 11:13.

Last mile was uneventful. My fingers and toes were starting to get a little cold, but that was the extent of my uncomfortableness. Passed the third mile marker in 11:06, rounded one last corner and the finish line was in sight. I kicked it into a new gear and sprinted towards the finish.

I was hoping to break the 34 minute mark, but realized the hills and weather might play a factor, so I wasn't getting overly optimistic. Finished in 34 minutes, 11 seconds. Another new PR for me this season, but that still leaves me struggling to break 34 minutes.

Since April, when I logged my slowest, stand alone 5K ever, I've managed to whittle away the seconds. Take a look at my 5K times this year:

Oshkosh 5K (April 18) - 37:05
Fox Firecracker 5K (July 4) - 35:36
Scheel's Sunset 5K (July17) - 35:03
Run for the Paws (Sept. 7) - 34:14
YMCA Freaky 5K ( Oct. 24) - 34:11

So yes, I'm glad I've shaved almost three minutes off my time so far this year. But still, I'd love to get past that 34 minute mark. So I think I'm adding an additional 5K on Thanksgiving last shot at breaking 34 minutes this year.

Be afraid 34 minutes. Be very afraid.


teacherwoman said...

Dude! it's a PR! Way to go! You will break that 34 minute marker in no time! WAHOO!

Mark said...

Yes! Way to stay in there and not let the dog trip you up. You will break that barrier!

Diana said...

You have lots to be proud of, after all, you're off the couch and doing the damn run to begin with. That is something couch potatoes can only be jealous of!
Good job on the a race in these Wisconsin conditions!

Suzy said...

Congrats on the PR!!! You should be proud. Keep going, you'll get another PR.

Found your blog via Tall Mom and had to stop by esp when I noticed your runs are all in the Fox Valley. Awesome place to live (I went to college in Green Bay).

Nat said...

Awesome job! You are doing great!

Marlene said...

Congrats on the PR! You've made a HUGE improvement in your 5K time this year.

Oh, that dog would have made me bonkers!!

Runner Leana said...

Wow, you have really knocked a lot of time off of your 5K this year. That is huge!!! Congratulations on the shiny new PR. Those 11 seconds will come. It is hard to PR a race when the weather isn't ideal.

Nice job!!

Anonymous said...

OMG!! I just googled freaky 5k (which I also ran last Saturday). My time was 34:30. I had the little black dog pass me too! and I noticed it was veering all over and almost ran into the back of a girl with a black jacket on! Very irritating. Congrats on your PR. I wasn't familiar with the course at all and after the hill at the beginning I was thinking I might be in trouble, but thank god it was the only one of it's kind!!

Anonymous said...

Ok too weird. I posted the last post and upon further review of your above picture, I am two people back in the pink shorts! I can't believe I found a picture of myself so randomly.

Badgergirl said...

I agree anonymous...that is weird to randomly find a picture of yourself on a stranger's blog. And just because times could sound confusing, I used my watch time. The race results listed my time as 34:25, but I don't count the 15 seconds or so it took to cross the start line. Congrats on your 5K and thanks for stopping by!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

I missed my goal in my last race by 10 seconds.. UGH!!

OK the Dog, are you sure?? I would be livid..

Congrats on making it through.. Get some warm gear for your next one and SMASH 34!!

Havs said...

Nice report! And nice progression on the 5k times, you will hit a sub 30 min in 2010, no doubt!
Got to love this WI fall weather, hey? I'm running a 15k tomorrow AM, its supposed to be like 43 deg and super windy. Great. Can't wait for winter!!!