Last weekend I ran the OK 5k. The day before a tropical storm had blown through so the course was rather swampy and muddy. A cross country course is already harder, let alone when there is a layer of mud on the course…let alone seeing people slip. (I’m honestly surprised I didn’t take a tumble personally).
Moving on, I fully enjoy cross country races. I think they are far more fun then road races and I’d race more if they were offered…but they aren’t so I take advantage of the ones I can find. This particular race is also a grand prix race for my road runners club so I mean I basically “have” to do it…After my half marathon before and my legs not feeling the absolute greatest, I knew this would not a PR for me. I also knew you don’t PR is 100% humidity and you don’t Pr when you are running in a swamp. I was completely fine with all of it and planned to use it more as a nice speed workout as well as pretending to have a social life. And duh, I know I race every weekend and know not every race, half my races are a good percentage will be PR’s and oh look…I’m over it because I like to see my friends.
Like Ellie who is a 26 minute 5ker and 7 years old. Let me just brag a bit about her because she is awesome.
Dad and I got to the race about an hour early where we were showered with a race number, ankle time chip and all that jazz. I don’t know, it seemed like there were a lot of things going on.
I warmed up with the kids I used to coach last summer (and hope too this summer) and with a two mile warmup, I meandered down to the start. I chatted with dad, some favorite locals and we started the race.
The first mile felt pretty smooth. I didn’t encounter much mud and immediately noticed I was the 3rd place female overall and my (14 year old) rival was about 30 seconds ahead. I knew the first mile would be the easiest of the 3 (from last year and just continued). My legs didn’t feel as bad as they had every single other run that week but didn’t feel stellar either. (5:50).
After the first mile, I caught one of the females and the mud bath began. The back trails were where I could not get any good footing and my feet kept sinking. I had to physically avoid the mud on several courses and lost my rhythm a few times. Honestly, if I had ran the course prior and realized this I would have probably wore spikes…oh well…I’m over it (6:35)
The third mile I caught a couple more people and just kept running…I was never really physically in pain during this race. I don’t know how to explain it but I was never breathing heavily or feeling like I was going into cardiac arrest and I’m not sure I reached my cardio limit. My legs were just not allowing any faster though and I did a twins mile for 3 at 6:35 again.
I sprinted (just kidding I probably went the same pace) the grassy nole to the finish and finished in 19:27. About 20 seconds faster then last year but I’m an overall faster runner in everything but the 5k from last year… Not my best 5k time, not my worst. Just a nice cross country 5k. I enjoyed the race a lot but for me personally, it wasn’t a race that stuck out to me either way. I’m happy that it awoken my legs (and they feel a lot better than before the race) but still lusting after a consistent sub 19 minute 5k.
The awards were number one in heart though because they gave out a coffee mug tumblr.
Questions for you:
Best race prize/swag?
I really enjoy mugs and glasses when they give them out but to be honest, medals are never a bad thing nor are trophies. (I didn’t get trophies in middle, high, or college so it’s cool to get them at some road races).
I always like hearing people’s favorite race terrain. Road, track, treadmill, cross country, dirt, sand…what is your favorite?