Perfect Racing Weather? [BAAR 5K Recap]

Ask anyone from the east coast what last Saturday’s weather was like and they’ll tell you it was miserable. Thanks to Hurricane Joachin, Saturday was cold, dreary and windy with the occasional spitting drizzle. Yes, it was definitely not ideal weather for hosting an outdoor party (which we tried to do later in the day) or for volunteering at a race, but as far as I’m concerned it was absolutely PERFECT racing weather!!

Just right for racing.

Just right.

I am a cold weather runner. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve announced that at Tuesday track nights, on group runs, or after a particularly hot and humid race. July, August and September were nearly unbearable, but I knew I just had to hang in there through the heat of summer and wait until better weather arrived in the fall. “The mid-50s,” I’d say, “THAT’S my ideal racing weather!”

When I saw that the weekend forecast called for unseasonably cold weather (in the mid-50s!) I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I woke up before Piper on Saturday, bundled up in the most layers I’ve worn since April, and arrived bright and early at the BAAR 5K to sign up for the race on site. I think the poor volunteers were shocked that someone actually WANTED to be outside in those conditions! 😄

Start of the Race (Photo Credit: BAAR 5K)

Start of the Race (Photo Credit: BAAR 5K)

The 3rd Annual Brain Aneurysm Awareness Run (aka the BAAR 5K) began promptly at 9AM. I was not familiar with the course, but the starter told us that we’d be finishing on the same 3/4 mile stretch that we started on, so I paid extra attention to the first few minutes of the race. I was excited to discover that we seemed to be hitting a lot of uphills – that meant that we’d have downhill towards the finish!

With only 86 runners, the field was small and initially it was easy to see who was in front of me. The eventual 1st place female finisher shot out of the start looking strong and relaxed. I didn’t worry about trying to catch her as I watched her sprint up the first hill. I was sitting in 2nd for a minute or two before a girl in black passed me. I have a tendency to run too fast in the first mile, so I told myself to let her go and worry about trying to track her down later in the race if possible.

Miles 1 and 2 ticked by in 7:40 and 7:49. I was still in the 3rd place female spot and, surprisingly, the girl in black was still in sight. I started playing a mental game and told myself that I was racing from a position of strength. The girl in black was setting the pace and fending me off whenever I got too close, but I was simply cruising along and biding my time. This sort of positive thinking is rare for me (but it’s so nice when it happens!!) and, as a result, I felt unusually strong and very rational during the entire race. I also wasn’t listening to music which definitely helped my mid-race focus!

My chance for a pass attempt came towards the end of the race. The course took a downhill turn with about a half mile to go and I used the decline to pick up my pace and close the gap between myself and the girl in black. I positioned myself almost directly behind her through the 3 mile split. I have been doing a lot of speedwork and I hoped that I could out-kick her from that position once the finish line came into view.

Finishing strong!!! (Photo Credit: BAAR 5K)

The final kick!! (Photo Credit: BAAR 5K)

With a block to go we were both coming in fast. I swerved out from behind the G.i.b. and made my move. I sprinted hard and focused on a spot on the horizon, just trying to get there as quickly as possible. I realized a few strides into my kick that this was a CHIPPED race and I had started at the front of the pack. If the G.i.b. had started towards the back she might still beat me in the race even if I crossed the line first! I shifted into an even faster gear and ran as hard as I could through the line, not even breaking stride to stop my Garmin.

Going WAY too fast for the camera. ;-) (Photo Credit: BAAR 5K)

Going WAY too fast for the camera. 😉 (Photo Credit: BAAR 5K)

The results of the race weren’t announced until 40+ minutes after my crazy finish. I didn’t know if I had managed to secure the second place spot until the moment the race organizer called my name. Second place female, woohoo!!!

Although this wasn’t my best 5K time by any means, Saturday’s race felt like a complete success. I stuck with my plan to not kill myself in the first mile, stayed mentally positive throughout the entire race, and finished VERY strong. Plus, my prizes paid for my entry fee. I love it when that happens! 😄

BAAR 5K Stats

Someone commented during last Tuesday’s track workout that their season is winding down now that summer has ended. I think the opposite is true for me. My racing season is just getting started!!

Miles since last post: 32.9
Days since last post: 7
2015 MILES: 1328

Past Races:
• September ’15: Run-A-Muck Trail 5K (9/19)
• August ’15:
Boxcar Mile (8/13), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/27)
• June ’15: Media 5 Mile (6/19)
• May ’15: Broad Street 10 Mile Run (5/3) [10M PR], Rocky Run Trail 5K (5/15), Victory 5K (5/17)
• April ’15: Tyler Trail 10K (4/11) [10K PR], Empower the Children 5K (4/18), Haverford Twilight 5K (4/26) [5K PR]
• March ’15:
Athlete’s Closet March 5K (3/7), St. Pat’s 5K (3/14), Granogue Trail 10K (3/21), Pickle Run #3 (3/28)
• February ’15: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/7), Pickle Trail Run #2 (2/21)
• January ’15: SRA New Year’s Day 5K (1/1), Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/3), Pickle Run #1 (1/17)
• December ’14: Jingle Elf 2 Mile (12/5) [2M PR]Brian’s Run 5 Miler (12/7) [5M PR], Athlete’s Closet Holiday 5K (12/14)
• November ’14: Trinity Berwyn 5K (11/1)  [5K PR], Metal Run 5K (11/8), Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/27)
• October ’14: Martin’s Run 5K (10/5), Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/18), Bark in the Park 5K (10/25)
• September ’14: Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13), Run A Muck Trail Race (9/20), Haverford Township 5K (9/27)
• August ’14: Riddlewood 5K (8/3), Radnor Red Steeplechase (8/17), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28) [5K PR]
• July ’14: Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10), Swarthmore Independence Eve 8K (7/18) [5M PR]
• June ’14: Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1), Media 5 Miler (6/20)
• May ’14: Elwyn 5K (5/3), Run for Victory 5K (5/18) [5K PR], Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30)
• April ’14: Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3), Rick’s Run 5K (4/19), St. Tim’s 5K (4/26)
• March ’14: Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1), Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30)
• February ’14: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1)
• January ’14: Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4)
• December ’13: Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14), New Year’s Eve YMCA 5K (12/31) [5K PR]
• November ’13: Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2), Turkey Trot 5K (11/28)
• October ’13: Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19), Oy Vey 5K (10/27) [5K PR]
• September ’13: Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Athlete’s Closet January 5K

Matt and I ran the second 5K in the Athlete’s Closet Winter Series this morning.  This race was special for two reasons… we had our first-ever spectators/cheering squad (my mom and stepfather) AND both of our brothers ran the race with us!!!  Here we are at the finish… my brother Billy (#167), Matt’s brother Dylan (#145), me, and Matt.  Yay for family running together!

Athlete's Closet January 5K

Billy was the first finisher of our group (15th overall) with Dylan (17th), Matt (20th) and me (23rd) close behind.  Matt’s time was 25:45 and mine was 26:19… much slower than usual but we had a good excuse… the roads were partially covered in snow and it was really, really cold out.  It was a mere 1°F when we arrived at the event.  ONE DEGREE!!!  By the time the race actually started it had probably warmed up to around 10° but that’s still pretty chilly!

It was COLD!

I knew it was going to be cold so I tried to plan my clothing accordingly.  I was wearing SmartWool compression socks, Athleta’s Relay Tights, a thin Under Armour Twisted Tech T-shirt, Athleta’s Queen’s Luscious super-soft long-sleeve half zip, the Sugoi Firewall 180 Jacket, a head band, lightweight gloves, and a neck warmer from my mom that was made out of some sort of super-breathable tech material.  All of that layering paid off because I felt good at the start line and got just hot enough during the race to unzip my jacket and long-sleeved shirt and put my gloves in my pockets.  Oddly my toes went numb for the first mile or so but I’m not sure if that was from the cold or from my compression socks… I’ve never run in these socks before so I’ll have to do some investigating to figure out what was going on!

Cold Weather 5K Gear

Today’s 3.1 mile course took us on the same route as the Athlete’s Closet December 5K.  It was fairly hilly with a few big, slippery uphills towards the end of the race.  I tracked the run on my iPhone with Runkeeper as usual but unfortunately I couldn’t get the “start” button to work at the beginning of the race.  I ended up running the first several hundred yards looking at my armband trying in vain to push the stupid button with my “iPhone friendly” gloves (which, for the record, had been working fine up to that point!).  I finally got it to work about .1 into the race after taking one glove off and licking my finger before tapping the phone screen  Jeez!  Maybe it was too cold out?  All of this excitement resulted in my splits being a little messed up since I had to manually edit the course distance in Runkeeper afterwards.  Oh well!

Runkeeper Stats Athlete's Closet January 5K

Overall today was chilly and not quite as fast as I was hoping for, but it was really fun to have our brothers running with us and to have our very own spectators.  I figure if our family was able to survive today’s frigid temperatures they can survive anything!  Hopefully they will join us again for the next 5K of the Winter Series on February 1st!  🙂

Miles since last post:  16.3
Days since last post:  4
Avg. Daily Miles since July 18th: 4.84
2014 TOTAL MILES: 16.3

Athlete's Closet 5K

Related Posts:
•  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)
•  Let’s Go Streaking! (11/21/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)