Last Saturday was Halloween and I decided to kick off the holiday with a local race. My choices were Philadelphia’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (WAY too long for me!), a local “Zombie Run” where zombies chase you on the course (eek!) and a good old 5K race in the hilly neighborhoods of Wallingford, PA. I opted for the safe, non-living-dead option and at 10:30AM found myself toeing the start line of my second Wallingford road race in just 7 days. (See the Double OyVey 10K for the first.)
The inaugural “Boo Run” was hosted by local non-profit The Creative Living Room. The 5K course differed from any other race I’ve done in Wallingford and I thoroughly enjoyed its many twists and turns. The race began on a flat stretch of Plush Mill Road, passing Pendle Hill (a Quaker retreat) before veering right onto a section of the Leiper-Smedley Trail that was blanketed in colorful fall leaves. The course then plummeted downhill on Rogers Lane (mimicking the finish of the Fueled Up 5K) before turning right onto a loooong uphill section of Turner Road that lasted for most of the 2nd mile. After a quick loop through a neighborhood and a little downhill the race finished back at The Creative Living Room in the middle of a mini festival with sponsor tents, food, kids’ games and music.
The night before this race I read an article by Lauren Fleshman in which she laid out a strategy for the perfect 5K. The following line really stuck with me:
“Run the first mile with your head, the second mile with your focus, and the third mile with your heart.”
I attempted to follow this plan and repeated that mantra to myself multiple times during the race.
I often go out too fast in the first mile, so on Saturday I tried to use my head and worked hard to stay at a slow, steady pace that didn’t feel too hard. I chose not to look at my watch for the first split because I didn’t want to spend mile 2 overthinking how fast or slow I went out. If I had looked, I would have seen that mile 1 was over in 7:37.
Mile 2 was almost entirely uphill. I knew this hill was coming but that didn’t make it any easier. I tried to stay focused on my cadence and pace but when my watch beeped a second mile split of 8:06 I figured that I probably wasn’t going to finish the race with an especially fast time. (Plus remember, I didn’t know about the 7:37 first mile!)
As soon as mile 3 began I told myself to relax and just give the end of the race everything I had left. At that point I was pretty sure that I was currently the first place female on the course. If that was the case I certainly didn’t want to get passed in the last mile so I pushed myself hard, only glancing back once at a turn to confirm that no one was right on my heels.
The finish line finally came into view along with a big surprise… the clock was in the mid-23s!! I happily crossed the line as the clock struck 23:41 and was thrilled when the race timer told me I was indeed the first place woman. Woohoo!
After the race when I checked my final split I did a double take… apparently I ran the last mile in 7:31!!! That’s my fastest final mile ever (tied with Brian’s Run, to be precise) and one of the only times that the final mile has been my fastest of a race. Cool!
The first place prize was a gift certificate to a local yoga studio. The certificate is being mailed to me and I haven’t received it yet, but I think it’s for 5 weeks of yoga or 5 classes or something like that. I haven’t done yoga before but I guess next month I’ll have to give it a try! 😀
My next race is tomorrow’s Trinity 5K, where I will once again try to apply the head-focus-heart mantra to my run. Trinity ends with a giant uphill in mile 3 so I don’t think I’ll be running a negative split, but hopefully I can put down a good 5K time for the second weekend in a row!
Miles since last post: 47.4
Days since last post: 10
2015 MILES: 1460.2
• October ’15: BAAR 5K (10/3), Double OyVey 10K (10/25) [10K PR]
• 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)