Grow + Go 5k, Bloomington IL
May 13, 9am, 61 degrees
1st in AG, 2nd Overall
23:14, course PR
Mile 1: 7:10
Mile 2: 7:22
Mile 3: 7:44
Final .14: 0:58 (6:52 pace)
I decided to run this 5k because Tim works at Country and I wanted to support, and also because last year I didn’t run this smart and wasn’t able to take my age group win and so this year I wanted to run smarter on this course and have some redemption in my AG 🙂
I went in treating this as a B race… I havent been training for a 5k PR, and I assumed that Celeste K would run it again (in my AG and also a Country employee) and take the overall win, and if I was smart, had a shot and getting my AG win… but I know this course isn’t a fast one, with much of it being on the grass and having some hills. My 5k PR pace is 7:07 so my plan for first mile was to be around 7:10 and hopefully be able to hold on as best I could.
We got there early, but I spent more time in the bathroom than normal, so my warm up got pushed to after the kids’ races which started at 8:30. Jack took 1st in his AG, Gracie took 2nd in her AG group – but most importantly they had fun 🙂 After we celebrated them, I didn’t have a ton of time to warm up – got ten minutes in quick and did a handful of strides and lined up for the 9am start. Fun to see Eric A from IRT actually racing! And several others. Last year, Gary raced this, but this year he had a conflict with birthing classes. So no racing teammates with me on this one. I decided to wear the neon coral singlet that matched the laces on my Fastwitch racing flats. Thanks, Mitch, Saucony, Often Running for making me look good always. Oh, and I love the Saucony speed run cap I picked up at OR!!! I feel legit. 🙂 I’ve never liked running with hats until now!
Gun goes off and we are off. I see Marshall, Eric and Celeste all in front of me (as they should be), and I keep them in my sights. I check my watch a couple of times to make sure I’m not flying or dying and once we hit .5 I start to settle in. The first mile has concrete and asphalt and an uphill, then you turn and get on some grass. I was good with the 7:10 that came in, right on target. Celeste isn’t too far ahead and there was another younger looking girl ahead of me.
At 1.25 I catch the girl and give her some encouragement. I was hoping she would stay with me, partly because I love the company and partly because I love to cheer for young runners. But by 1.5 she had fallen off pace and I was solo. I see my fam on the course and that gave me a boost. At this point I’m starting to feel HOT and my breathing is getting labored. At 1.8, back on the asphalt and uphill there is a goose right in my path. Hissing as I get closer. Don’t they know that I run the tangents and don’t go off course for ANYTHING ?!?!? Me or you dude. I come within 2 strides of mr. goose and he waddles off, giving me more dirty looks and hisses. Mile 2 dings in – 7:22, dang, not awful but maybe a smidge slower than I wanted.
Starting off the last mile and I’m completely solo, no one around me at all, and I had lost sight of Eric, Celeste, Marshall, and my young runner. I was tired, my breathing was off and it felt like a sauna (and let’s be honest, it was 60). Choke/Swallowed a gnat – which took me a few strides to recover from. And of course I wonder if I would have pushed this more had my AG win been in jeopardy, had my teammates there, or had some company or direct competition on the course with me. So when I got in the grass and glanced down and I was in the 7:40s I was disappointed and tried to pick it up. Dinged the third mile at 7:44, and then ran up the last hill for the finish (My fam + Marshall cheered me in) and I picked up the pace to a 6:52 for the last .14.
Happy to get the AG win, and I know every race won’t be a PR, but I was a smidge bummed to be that far off my St. Patty’s 5k (about a minute), and those positive splits were U-G-L-Y. I can attribute some to the grass and warmer temps, but honestly, I just had more power at St. Patty’s than I felt here. Gary was kind and encouraged me that his times at this course are slower than other courses as well. YAY for friends who make you feel better! And, I’m still happy about how Lake Run went, so there’s that 🙂 It’s a B RACE (telling myself that!)
We hung out there for quite awhile and I was able to cheer in other runners, see a lot of people, meet a lot of Tim’s co-workers. My young runner (Penny), had a course PR and AG win too, she was all smiles and that melts my heart. I talked to Celeste for a little bit and heard more about her Ironman stuff. Next year I hope Tim is healthy + out running with us!
WHAT I LEARNED
- Running really is a team sport – especially for me. I love + thrive in the team atmosphere + camaraderie.
- Treat a B race like a B race and be ok with that. Probably have some room to grow on this one.
- I want to boost up my short game and get back to my track workouts!!!
Thanks again, Mitch, Often Running, and Saucony!!