I don’t remember if I even noted that I was doing a 5k on my blog last weekend. I had actually found the deal on living social a few weeks prior and for 10 dollars how can you resist a 5k in your favorite park? Plus I would probably run down there anyways so why not pay 10 dollars and find myself a nice baseline time. I haven’t run a 5k since January so this was a nice change of pace (literally).
After the last week of training and being sick, plus recovering from a 20 miler, I wasn’t exactly sure where this race was going. I wasn’t really that worried about it either way and the morning of decided I would still drive down there. I could use it as a nice speed workout that wasn’t on the treadmill.
The morning of the race, I woke up to find the weather outside to be beautiful. I was a bit confused and thought maybe it was a dream but it was sunny and absolutely gorgeous. I ate my breakfast and drove down to Syracuse around 8am. I got to Syracuse and it started snowing…and all of a sudden it was overcast and about 30 degrees. Oh goodie, good thing I brought mittens and pants. I had actually almost not and just brought shorts and a singlet since it was supposed to warm up to 40.
After picking up my shirt and race bib, I did a nice 2 miles in the park and tried to warm up. I warmed up enough that I decided I would run in shorts…but not enough to delayer my long sleeve, headband or mittens.
I used my favorite festive porta potty (no really, the porta pottys at the Onondaga Lake Parkway are decorated on the inside with wreaths and whatever Holiday is coming up. They also have hand sanitizer and some sort of air cleaner…). They are the gold standard. I’d take a picture but um…a picture of the inside of porta potty on a blog?
When I got to the race start, I was immediately greeted by a friend Dylan and we chatted for a second before the race. (Shoutout to you Dylan…wish we had gotten a photo, at Mountain Goat we will!). The race went off and ran parallel to the lake. It was windy…it was cold, it was snowing but not too bad. I started off something like 10-15th overall.
My first mile was 5:45 and I felt good. Not great, not awful. I kept powering through and moved from around 15th place to 7th passed the other females as well. It was around mile 1 that I was able to notice every single person in front of me. That was a bit strange for me…I’ve never been a “front runner” in a race so it was pretty neat to see all the race competitors at that point that were ahead.
The second mile included the turn around point (180 degrees). Late during the second mile, I moved into second place overall. Not second female overall, but second place between male and female. That is a HUGE deal for me, and something I had never been before. I hit the second mile in 6:18. I was still feeling good and not like I was dying so put on my mean face (because I really do look mean when I run).
The third mile, I saw the 1st place person was probably 2 minutes ahead and no way I’d catch him but I was all by myself. Literally no one around. It was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me at a race. I’ve placed top female in races before, but I have never placed second overall in a race and never been in a position that I’m just all by myself and no boys around. I was going against the wind at this point but managed to pull at a 6:08 final mile. I saw the finish line for like half a mile before I crossed it. I didn’t help because I run these trails at least 1-2 times per week too so the last half mile felt longer than the entire race.
My final time was 19:18. A lot of people said they had the race at 3.2-3.3. I’m wondering if the people measuring the 3.3 went for a swim in the lake on their way back…looked a bit choppy to me. For an inaugural race, it was very well put together and went by pretty smoothly with no issues. (You never know with first races I guess, but races at the parkway seem to always go well). This race has all the credentials on a nonwindy day to be a PRing flat, fast 5k…but there are very few of those days in Upstate NY. No matter, I got some speedy miles on my legs in preparation for my half in a week.
After the race I actually had the honor to meet up with Heather (Upstate Runner) and ran 10 miles with her. If you know my running style it’s generally a no cooldown and shakeout a few hours later but today it was an enjoy 10 mile cooldown/shakeout/chat session with Heather. She ran the Shamrock full marathon last month and is from an area somewhat close to Syracuse as well. It was really nice to finally meet her and chat for a solid 10 miles. I was glad she took it easy for me, since I was dead after the race…I was also really glad that she didn’t think I was terribly awkward…or if she did , pretended that I wasn’t.
Questions for you:
Have you ever run a race and been alone?
I’ve run a few smaller races that I have ended up being by myself (not placing overall but just because there aren’t a lot of people). I actually nearly got lost a couple of times because there was no one around and no signs. That’s upstate mentality for you.
Do you like mittens or gloves?
I like mittens, specifically I like the mittens I stole from my brother…let’s hope he isn’t reading my blog today.