Saturday, February 13, 2010

Race Recap: Valentine's Day TC 5K

The Marathon Sports-sponsored Valentine's Day TC 5k was so much fun this morning! It would have been even more fun if my NYC-traveling friend could have made it, but I still had a blast, and somehow, set a new 5k PR.

I woke up this morning to a strange site. I'm sure this looks just like snow to the camera's eye, but we only got a few flurries overnight. Instead, it's been very foggy lately (lots of accidents happening because of such low visibility!), and the fog more or less froze last night, leaving a very thick layer of frost on everything. Frost is unusual compared to the ice and snow we normally get this time of year, but it was really pretty. This is what I woke up to in my backyard.
I saw a lot of photographers out by the lake this morning, and now I wish I had a better camera to show you what they were photographing. It's hard to see here, but all of the trees across the lake have that thick frost and it looks really pretty from a distance. I tried uploading the full-size image, so clicking this picture might give you a more zoomed-in view.
Come on, really? I live here! So beautiful.
I sort of made it a little late to the start ... not "late" late, but I did hear the announcer give a 3-minute warning while I was still walking to the start line. Naturally, there are snow plow emergency laws in Minneapolis and when we get large snowfalls, it is unlawful to park on certain sides of the streets (marked with signs) on the odd/even days. This happens so plows can get through to make sure the streets stay wide and there is not a lot of snow pileup on the curbs. I guess there has been enough snow piling up this winter where fire trucks and ambulances can no longer safely pass through when there are cars parked on both sides of the street. The city of Minneapolis has declared a snow emergency for all of the even sides of the street, so no car can park there ... for the rest of the winter! I left uber early thinking that with all of the parking spots now cut in half, I would be more than a mile away from the start line. As I imagined, the snow emergency was in effect over by the race, and although I parked relatively close, I didn't want to get out of my warm car. :) So I sat in my car until the very last minute, then briskly walked to the start line.

Look at all those running fools! (Are you looking at the tall guy in blue giving my camera a doofy look? Yeah, me too.)
As a result of me getting there at the last minute, I actually cut ahead to the start of the pack instead of lining up in the back. I like starting in the front because I don't like tripping over the people with strollers and dogs, and those that just generally want to keep a slower pace. It's not a big deal as everyone is welcome to do their own business and have fun, but I want to run fast for shorter races. As much as I don't want to be pushing anyone aside to get through, I am sure they don't want to be pushed either. I think I was about 3 "rows" back from the start car.

I took this around Mile 1. I stayed with the front of the pack for what felt like a long time. Notice the gap between me and the next person behind me. :) I'm proud of this.
Another site along the lake. We were running on the street around Lake Harriet because the path is still slick and not very clear. The roads were much more clear and safe, and they were completely blocked off to traffic.
These guys are the true winners. It takes major balls to stand out in 11-degree weather for that long. And they are even standing in the snow! All of the supporters at races make it really fun. And it's really, really fun when there are just a few cheerleaders. They give it their all, and in return, the runners end up cheering for them.I love that you can still see all of these volunteers smiling, even though the picture is so blurry.Miles 1 and 2 breezed by, but right around Mile 2.5 I started feeling sick. I was dealing with a side stitch and it was making me pretty nauseous. I slowed down my pace to where I was able to get some deep breaths, and I felt a little better. I knew I wasn't going to be sprinting to the finish line or else my breakfast would have been revisiting me, and meeting the sidewalk and everyone around me. I kept my eye on Mr. Anastos and I knew I was still making good time to set a new personal record.

I ended up crossing the finish line in 23:10, which is 15 seconds faster than my last PR in January. I grabbed a bottle of water from the race organizers, and after gagging a few times in a snowbank (don't worry -- I said I didn't run fast enough where I WOULD puke, but I definitely scared a few people into thinking I was going to), I took off running again. I decided to run the course backwards to cheer on the rest of the people who were out there.
Isn't her hat SO CUTE?? And don't worry, little lady, races make everyone tired.There was lots of red and pink, but I only saw a few costumes. I can't complain though; I didn't wear one either. After I ran the 5k route backward and when I had the finish line in site (want to keep count? I ran 3.1 for the race, then added on 2.8, leaving me at 5.9 miles.), I turned around and ran the remaining portion of the 5k route again and then back to where my car was parked, finishing at 9.02 miles.

While I was running the final 3.1, the fog began to burn off, leaving blue skies for everyone. You may be able to see some of the frost layer on the trees better since the contrast for the camera is different. It was still right around 15 degrees, but when I get to look at beautiful things like this, the temperature hardly registers.Initially I was going to run to the race and back to get in those additional 6 miles for my marathon training, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to give the race my full effort. I also didn't want to run with my food-shelf donations. Doing the race first and the 6 miles after appeared to pay off. I collected these icicles after finishing three laps around the course.
5k splits: 7:33, 7:35, 7:38, :24 (total time: 23:10, average speed: 7.95mph)
5.92mi splits after the race: 8:54, 8:52, 9:14, 9:14, 9:18, 8:37
total 9.02mi time: 1:17:20
Air Temp: 11F

1 comment:

  1. Awesome report and we love the pictures. Great job on your PR - and in those nasty conditions!
    It does look beautiful but my oh my, WAY too cold!
    You are a hardy bunch! Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!