I cannot believe this race was nearly a week ago. It seems like just yesterday I was whining about having a night time race. As the saying goes people always need something to whine about, I do really enjoy the Memorial Scholarship. It’s in the beautiful location of the Botanical Gardens (not to be confused by the other beautiful location in my area of Mount Trashmore). The other favorite part is that I can honestly say about 95% of my running friends from the area do this race. So really what’s not to enjoy about the race?
I will say though that waiting until 6:30pm to race is it a bit nerve wrecking and you it’s just on the back of your mind all day long.
I got to the Botanical Gardens pretty early and immediately got my bib and beer bracelet. I like my beer bracelet because it shows a. I’m 23 and not to be confused with high schoolers and b. I can drink beer.
I had planned to use this as a perfect marathon workout. Run a double digit run in the morning, start the race (with the warmup) having about 13 miles on my legs and then make for a 17-18 mile day.
All of that I did.
My easy run in the morning felt okay though my legs were pretty sluggish. I had cross trained the day before (not run)so I wasn’t surprised that I wasn’t feeling the greatest and my legs were stiff.
The race started in the parking lot and immediately bottle-necked onto a narrow path. I’m somewhat claustrophobic so having so many people so close was a little bit unpleasant for me. My legs did not feel good at all and I saw quite a few females in front of me. I looked down at my watch at exactly .68 into the race thinking we MUST be at least 1 mile plus in…then immediately thought dear god this is not going to be pleasant if I’m already staring into my watch. My first mile was 5:48.
The second mile went around quite a few different bends and loops and reminded me of a track. Nothing was really a straight line but I was able to run the tangents pretty well and pass a few people. At this point I came across a close knit cross country pack of males. I always find it weird to pass or be passed by a heard of people at once. The coach was pacing the kids as well chanting and motivating for them to hurry. My second mile was a 6:06.
The third mile I just kept reminding myself (as hard as it was) one more mile to go. I honestly had no thoughts of pace or time and had no idea what I was going for. When I saw the clock, once again in the 18:XX, I was flabbergasted. How did I manage an 18:52 5k after all those miles when just 3 days ago, a sub 19 minute 5k seemed unreachable. My last mile was a consistent 6:07.
A good friend and great local running Ally captures some pretty awesome shots at the end.
I then proceeded to finish and head straight towards the table with fresh watermelon. I am pretty sure I ate at least half of it. After chatting, take a few photos with friends and eating more watermelon I decided to do a cooldown. Sadly I missed everyone else who cooled down directly after the race, so I had to run solo. It gave me time to reflect on what a solid race I had and that I was nearly at 19 miles for the day.
So with that is my first marathon workout and another great race. The positives are that it was my second fastest 5k to date and was done after nearly 14 miles on my legs and at night. The negatives are…well I felt terrible but even though I had a fast race I’m now hungry for a tapered 5k and I know that there are none that fit into my schedule for a very long time.
Questions for you:
Have you sandwiched a race into a long run?
What is the perfect time of day for you to race?