OK, so I know I said in my last race recap that my next race would be Run A Muck on September 20th, but I just had to sneak in another local trail race last Saturday. Run A Muck 2013 was my racing debut last September and with this past weekend’s event on the books I’ve now run a total of 25 races in a year! (That may count as an official 5K addiction, right?) I’ll probably do some sort of stats post about all of those races eventually, but for now let’s just say that I’m going to feel a LOT more comfortable at the start line of next week’s Run A Muck than I did last year! :-)
But back to this weekend’s race recap… On Saturday Matt and I ran the TALK 5K, a trail race on the beautiful grounds of the Garrett Williamson Foundation in Newtown Square, PA. We live in Newtown Square so I loved getting the chance to see the Foundation’s trails and woods that are usually closed to the public! The 5K benefited the TALK Institute which, according to the school’s web site, is the nation’s most progressive center for the education of children with autism and language disorders.
I wanted to run this 5K as a warm up for Run A Muck, so I went into the race with a plan: take it easy during miles 1 and 2 and then push pretty hard for the final mile. I had no total race time in mind, but as a reference my trail run PR was 25:49 (that’s what it was before Saturday, anyway) so I thought that a time around there would be nice. Here’s how things ended up playing out:
Mile 1 (8:30 goal, 7:51 actual) – I made a point of starting out really easy and staying very comfortable and relaxed during mile one. I was surprised that most of this mile was actually on pavement (much easier to run on than trails!) and there was a little downhill as well, so my split ended up a lot faster than planned. I still count this split as a success because I felt very relaxed the whole time and went into the next mile feeling energized.
Mile 2 (8:20 goal, 9:00 actual) – OK, so I felt great coming off mile 1, but at the start of mile 2 the course turned into the woods and plunged down a treacherous, rocky hill (the kind of downhill that’s not even fun because you’re too busy dodging rocks!) The rest of the mile was challenging, with more trails and a serious up hill climb. I missed my goal time, but the numbers don’t reflect the fact that I passed at least THREE men going up one of the hills. The men had all slowed to a walk and I was able to keeping running right past them and then – miraculously – somehow I accelerated off the top of the hill and totally left them in the dust. Slow split or not, I’m counting mile 2 as a big victory for that reason alone!
Mile 3 (sub-8 goal, 8:06 actual) – Mile 3 continued with the uphill trend (we really paid for that rocky downhill from mile 1) but I felt strong and was able to accelerate quite a bit. When the course exited the woods I realized that I could see Matt in the field ahead of me (and I saw him see me as he rounded a corner… watch out, Matt, here I come!!). I decided that today was the day to try to catch him and with around a quarter mile to go in the race I pulled even with him. We ran together for a few strides, then I pulled ahead!
Final 0.1 Mile – I pounded through the final stretch, dodging the 1 mile walk participants who were just making their way back to the start/finish line. With mere feet separating me from the line I saw a blur fly past me – MATT!! – and, just like that, Matt caught back up and managed to beat me. Darn it!! I’ll have to remember to sprint harder across the finish line next time!!! :-) We both ended up with the same time (25:40, a new trail PR for me!) which put us at 13th and 14th overall. I was also 4th place woman and 2nd in my age group. Cool!
Overall, the TALK 5K was a great experience. It was clear that the race organizers, participants and volunteers were happy to be spending their Saturday morning supporting a good cause and the race atmosphere was very positive and upbeat. At this point I think that it was a good mental warm up for Run A Muck next week… we’ll see how that race goes (and if I finally get to beat Matt?) next weekend! :-)
Miles since last post: 77.8
Days since last post: 15
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.83
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1242.8
• Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28/14)
• Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
• Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
• Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
• Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
• Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
• Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
• Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
• Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
• Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
• St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
• Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
• Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
• Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
• Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
• Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
• Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
• New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
• Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
• Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
• Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
• Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
• Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
• Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)