This race was exactly what I thought it would be. After two months of not doing low 6 minute paced runs or races (my last was the 8k that I broke my arm) and also driving 1200 miles, I was not expecting a PR. What I was expecting was a nice shock to my body and that is exactly what I got. I had toyed with the idea of doing a half marathon instead on Sunday, but decided that was a terrible idea since my body might not recover before the marathon. Plus, I wanted to start getting some faster miles in as my body goes into taper mode. It was actually difficult to know there was a half marathon in the area and I wasn’t doing it.
So the race itself:
I was happy to stay with a good friend of mine Laura and we got to the race in enough time to warm up together, grab our race numbers and get ready to go. It was a “low key” Atlanta race which meant there were only 200 or so people. Not my definition of low key but I was happy for lots of people. It was roughly 100 old people and 100 high schoolers. Look us oldies out of high school go.
The first mile started in an open field and we funneled down onto the course. I felt like I was really moving and didn’t feel as stiff as I thought I would. I realized rather quickly that I was pretty far in the back of the pack. I was discouraged but just mentally told myself, this is how you run and it will be like this in New York City. (5:57)
The second mile I started to pass people and felt a little but more motivated. My arm warmers had fallen over my watch so had no idea what my pace was. I just went with how I was feeling (which really isn’t anything different, I just couldn’t stare at my watch). I passed roughly 5 females during mile 2, the only time I passed females (6:09).
The third mile, I felt exactly the same. I just kept plugging away at the miles. I passed a few males and I didn’t feel like I was dying. I don’t remember anything significant about this mile just that I was running…when I plugged it into my computer I realized I ran another 6:09 mile. So it was consistent.
I saw the finish line and just powered through. I had seen three other females the entire race but had no speed or power to catch them. When I saw the clock hit over 19 minutes I was honestly a little bit upset. It was a reality check that I hadn’t been doing speed work. I finished the race in 19:15.
Thoughts of the race:
I am happy with the time after driving and no speed work but at the same time it’s hard to look at times above 19 minutes after 2 races this summer being in the 18s. I’m also disappointed with a fourth place finish but you cannot control who comes to races and these girls were faster. I fully enjoyed the race and cross country races are my absolute favorite (I just wish there were more!). I honestly felt like I could have kept a pretty similar pace for a couple more miles but I couldn’t run faster for 3. To sum it up, it’s nice to get some faster miles on my legs. I’m happy but not ecstatic with the time and I had a great time in Atlanta.
Questions for you:
- 1. What is your favorite type of race? Road, cross country, trail, trail?
- 2. Is it cold near you? I just went from 80 degrees for the last 6 months to 40 degrees. It was a shock to my body to say the least.
It put a big smile on my face to see a picture of you and Laura together. 🙂 Fourth place finish is frustrating but considering how fast your time is, it was obviously a very speedy field. Congrats! Oh, and my favorite races are road races for sure, they feel so fast.
I haven’t raced in more competitive races in a while so it was a nice reality check. I don’t think anyone finished the race in over 40 minutes which is pretty competitive for an open 5k. Atlanta has some great competition. (VA beach does too 😉
I’ve only done road races so that’s my favorite, lol. However, during the 20 mile race I ran, 3 miles of it was on gravel/rocks and I did not care for it.
It’s finally cooler here in the DC area. The mornings are in the 40s and in the upper 60s during the day. I can’t really complain at this point.
I’d say for someone who ran 13 miles the day before, did all that traveling, and busted out with that time, is pretty awesome; however, I know runners are runners and when it’s us we get down on ourselves. I can win a race but if it isn’t my best time, I am not satisfied; while everyone else is congratulating my and saying it’s awesome, deep down I wanted my time to be better. I’ve learned to think about it, give myself at most an hour to be down on myself, and then let it go – it is now in my past.
I haven’t been reading long, but one of your posts said you are moving to Jersey; there are tons of running clubs and each running club holds a cross-country series in the fall, just to give you a heads up. Lots of cross country running going on this time of year over here!
Thank you! I am moving to NJ, I won’t actually be there until mid November. I’m moving to Southern Nj! After the NYCM, I’m taking a couple weeks off of running and seeing where it goes from there. I don’t want to commit to anything until I feel good again. Do you have those club links? Are you from NJ!? (Could I ask you anymore questions? Ha!)
I am from New Jersey. I live in Central or what most people know it as the Jersey Shore. I currently run for a racing team which is a lot of fun. There are so many clubs and great races this way. They have them running all year long. On Sundays a bunch of us meet up to do our long runs, the mileage, paces, and ages range but they’re a ton of fun and I’ve made so many friends this way! I can absolutely send you the links for all the different clubs; do you want them through e-mail? Also, ask away with the questions! I’ve lived here my entire life!
Sure that would be awesome, thank you! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t lose a bit of speed in their shorter races when marathon training. Relatively speaking, you haven’t lost much at all, and with the added issue of travelling so far I think that’s an incredible 5K performance.
I like alternating between road and trail races – road for the time goals, trails because they aren’t so hard on my body. I would never run cross country because I fall over at the slightest mention of mud.
It’s not cold here yet, but I get the feeling it’s just the calm before the storm…
Nice race! I love your team shirt!
My favorite type of race is probably a cross country race even though there are NONE around me. I like running on land but not trails. I’m too much of a clutz for the trail races. I can’t imagine how it felt from running in 80 degree weather to what it’s like right now! Your body probably had a tough time adjusting which might be why you had the 19 minute finish which (obviously) is still awesome.
I think your time is amazing after not running fast miles for a while AND driving so much. You go girl. 200 people isn’t low key to me either… I’m like you and get kinda anxious with so many people haha. Anyways, great job Hollie! I can’t wait for your marathon. You are going to rock it.
I’m a road racer.. I never thought I would love anything more than track races but I have really learned to love them. Although if you put me on a track race right now I am sure I would be really happy. I’m so glad you had a great time in Atlanta and got to spend time with Laura!
” … you cannot control who comes to races …” <– very true. Even though you aren't super pleased with this showing, it's good that you identified why (i.e. training for a MARATHON, lol) and that you're taking it with a grain of salt. NYC is the big one!
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