For me this race started the night before. From a quick glance, I had assumed the race was being held in Moorestown, NJ. I was excited because it was roughly 30 minutes away from my house and I had committed to go. The night before I realized it was in “Morristown, NJ”. Morristown is roughly 100 minutes away from me towards NYC. After debating whether we would drive up there we eventually decided to go for it. We didn’t have much else to do on Sunday and wanted to explore a new area of NJ.
This particular race had a special prize called the “Polar Bear Award”. It is given to the least dressed female and least dressed male (no nudity). I had decided if it was warm enough I was going to go for the prize. I actually ended up winning for females and received a coupon for a free hour massage…sadly it’s back up in Morristown!. Running in a sports bra and runderwear is pretty comfortable and it was warm enough that I was okay with it. The only awkward part of the race was that we were running by multiple churches as people were leaving. I was lucky the other people who were running half naked were about my pace so we kind of flocked together for a while. There is a screenshot and video below that you can basically see I was running in runderwear and a strappy Oiselle sports bra.
The race started at 11:30 which is a little late for me. It reminded me of a cross country race that starts which generally start between 11-12. I am normally eating lunch at 11:30 so it was awkward to fuel for. I ended up eating breakfast at 6:30 and eating again at 10.
The actual race:
Once the race started, I could immediately tell we were going down hill. I tried not to take the race out fast because I had been warned it was a hilly course. My times reflect the hills pretty well. My first mile was uneventful and I clocked at a 6:05. In the last 5k I ran, I believe my first mile was a 6:12 so I was happy with this. I knew it was a net down hill mile but who doesn’t enjoy seeing faster miles?
The second mile began a few short and steep uphill climbs. My body began screaming at me around 1.5 and I wasn’t sure how the rest of the race would go. Around mile 1.5 I questioned if I would be able to maintain this pace. I could feel my pace getting slower and slower and my breathing becoming heavier. Throughout the entire race the second place woman was roughly 10 seconds in front of me. I wanted to catch her so badly but I couldn’t. I tried to surge the hills and pass her but I couldn’t do it. I maintained the 10 second gap the entire race. I ran the second mile in 6:26. I was not happy and tried to remind myself that it was a very hilly mile.
The third mile brought one of the worst hills I’ve run. (I would honestly say it was worse than any of the hills at the Mountain Goat 10 miler…yes Jason worse.) I ran up the hill at roughly an 8:10 pace. It was a very rough mile and after the hill was over (3.7) I was just hoping that mile number 4 was not going to be as hilly (6:36).
Mile four was relatively flat with a slight uphill finish. The mile itself was also pretty boring. I was running behind three high school boys. I heard them discussing their plan and when they would surge to the finish. Since they decided to surge around 3.25, I determined the rest of the race probably wasn’t going to be that hilly and I let out a breath of relief. This assumption was purely made on hearing high school males talking (looking back it could have gone badly). I followed their surge but I wasn’t able to keep up. I started catching them on the final .1 stretch but only because they started skipping into the finish line (while holding hands). So YAY my ending race photos have three high school boys skipping and frolicking that I couldn’t catch. Oh well, I was proud to lay down a 6:13 last mile. If you are really interested in watching me run I make an appearance around 3:30 in this video.
My goal was to keep my overall pace under 20 minute 5k pace (6:27) and I was able to do that averaging 6:20. I’m pleased, especially on hills.
The real highlight of the race was being able to meet the Women’s Running Magazine web editor. How awesome is that? I told Fueledbyfuel that I didn’t think he understood how starstruck I was. I can’t ever sing Women’s Running enough songs.
In short: The hills were tough but I’m glad I ended up going up there. The next race I have is February 15, the Virginia is for Lovers 14k. This definitely gave me some confidence for that.
Questions for you:
What is the hilliest race you have done?
How did you celebrate Super Bowl Sunday?