Race Recap – Friends of Lake Louisa State Park 5k

Quick & Dirty Stats:

Chip Time: 23:48

Place: 3rd Female, 12th Overall, 1st in Age Group

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Event Recap

So I decided that this race would be my last hard effort of this racing season when I registered.  I will admit, I felt just a little unmotivated about it coming out of a hard effort at the Nike Women’s Half in DC, I am now glad I got one more race in before going into summer mode.

I woke up my poor husband bright and early at 5:30 am on Saturday and we left the house by 6 to head to the lovely Lake Louisa State Park for the first time.  We killed a bit of our buffer time getting Charles coffee at McDonald’s and finding the park (since our directions were a bit off) but we found the park, got directions from a volunteer at the front gate, and headed towards the starting area.

Packet pick up was easy and seamless and I was excited to see that the race bibs were teeny tiny.  Since the weather was forecasted to be hot as hades, I opted for a sports bra and shorts for the first time (and there’s not a whole lot of fabric for pinning in that race ensemble).  This was a great running look for me – I felt fast, confident, and it didn’t get in the way at all.  I also was excited to wear my pretty neon racing flats for the first official time (the Castaway wasn’t a true race so I can’t count it).

Although we ate up some of our buffer, I still had plenty of time to warm up.  I ran probably about half a mile out and back on the course which gave me an opportunity to scope out the flow and elevations.  When I got back to the starting area, I took a quick bathroom break, did a hand full of striders, and made my way over to the start.  I ran into my running group teammate Mike and the start and chatted with him and a few others while we waited for things to get going.  The race started with a loud air horn blast and we were off!

Let me preface all my splits by saying that my watch read out a total race distance of 3.25 instead of 3.1.  IF my watch is really accurate and the course is off, then I had an incredible race which should have been a PR of 22:49.  I guess we’ll never know the truth (till I hopefully replicate that time at my next race) but keep in mind that my spits are probably a bit off from the official race distance.

Mile 1 – 7:00

I started off trying to stay calm, cool, and collected.  I usually tend to go out way too fast which I know I did in this case from my first two quarter mile splits (6:08 and 6:40 pace respectively).  I slowed a little for the 3rd quarter (6:51) and then got a little too slow for the last quarter mile (8:18) so I picked it up a little bit again.  I was still not really feeling winded at all in the first mile and mostly focused on trying to fix my pace issues!

Mile 2 – 7:44

All my splits for this mile were a bit slow – closer to tempo pace.  I was still feeling mostly good here but something else to consider, there was a big climb going into the turn around point on this out and back course.  I continued to focus on staying strong but not over exerting so I could finish strong.  I knew I was behind the first two women from the starting line but wasn’t really focused on catching them.  There wasn’t a whole lot of movement in the pack but I maintained my place with the group of 3 or 4 guys that were just ahead of me.

Mile 3 – 7:19

I started rocking it again in the last full mile.  I knew the end was near and I still felt strong and in control.  This was a great feeling and for once, I was not absolutely dying awaiting the finish line.  The out and back course was great because I knew exactly where we were and had a good mental handle on the end of the race.  It was on a small but steady incline for the first half of the race and thus a small decline on the way back (which probably helped my pace).

The .10 – Somewhere in 6-something pace range

I really had a great kick in this race.  I felt my hips open up and I just blazed down that finish line stretch.  This resulted in my favorite running picture to date snapped by my wonderful husband:

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What a great way to end my racing season!  Better yet, I won my age group so I knew I would be getting an award.  I was so thrilled to walk up to the ceremony and see trophies on the table.  I have been just lusting after earning a trophy since I started really racing competitively.  Medals, bags, gift certificates – yes, I have been so lucky to have placed and been awarded some great things but the trophy eluded me.  I have come close a couple of times but never succeeded…until today!

Mike placed in his age group as well so as the only two runners from our team there today, we really cleaned up!

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As with every great race, I have the bug to race again.  I guess I will just have to channel that energy into training hard for the next few months so I can kick butt in the fall!  I’m still figuring out exactly what my training will entail for the next few months but I will be sure to share it with you all when I figure it out.

Do you have a racing season?  How do you feel when you reach the end of it?

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