Sunday, October 6, 2019

Phillippi Shores 5k

I was not planning to run this race. In fact, for the first time ever, I had to register on race day at packet pickup because I was so late making a decision!

It ended up working out, though. Matt and I were in Sarasota Saturday. He had a 16-mile OC6 paddle practice with his team for Chattajack and I had a 5k to keep me busy before we drove across the coast to meet little Wyatt. I planned to borrow my dad's car and get it back to him so he could start his trip across the state ahead of us.
The race started at 7:30. I got to Phillippi Shores elementary around 6:50, registered, and had plenty of time to warm up and decide on a race plan. This 5k is put on by the school to raise funds, but is supported by the local track club. That meant it was well-organized and chip-timed. The biggest surprise and disappointment, then, was that the course ended up being significantly short.

The start line didn't have a timing mat, so I lined up as close to the front as I could without being in the front row.
Find me!
There were tons of children running, and I mentally prepared myself or some dodging and weaving. However, it really ended up being fine. The numbers were small enough and the roads wide enough that I didn't have any trouble navigating the crowds, and while many of the kids didn't follow "race etiquette", they weren't bothersome. I just kept reminding myself that this race was to raise money for their school, so they kind of had the right to the road.
I came up on the 1-mile mark at .95 by my watch. I knew the race was a double-loop, so I wondered if the second loop would be a little long to account for the shortage. I clocked my first mile around 9:00 and was very pleased; I had started out way too fast and had reined it in, so knowing I had banked some time was comforting.
When I got to the second mile marker, I knew the race was going to be significantly short. My watch read 1.95. Part of me didn't mind; I thought maybe we'd still run an even 3 miles and I could still get a pretty good read on my progress this fall.

I hit my usual wall around 2.6 miles, but knowing the race was short, I kept plugging along. I talked myself out of taking a walk break due to the short course and was especially happy with that once I crossed the finish line and saw just how short. I have had to walk around the 2-mile mark for most of my runs this summer and have been running a 9:50-10:20 pace. Here I was, holding low-9s!
I managed to sprint out the end of the race and the finish line, then thought I was seriously in danger of puking. By the time I had recovered enough to look at my watch, it was too late to find an unpopulated piece of sidewalk to run another quarter mile and finish the whole distance; it wouldn't have reflected any important data, anyway, and for a race that wasn't even on my schedule, I didn't have any need to prove anything. I already knew based on my performance that I ran really well and I was ecstatic.
Here's a blurry screenshot from the finishing video.
I once ran a 5k that was only 2.65 miles; in comparison, this shortage barely matters!

I wrote in my last post that I thought maybe I could place in this race...the reason being that they do AG awards 6-deep. Sure enough, I managed to place 5th in my AG! I spent the next half hour looking for someone who could give me my medal so I could get back to my parents' quickly.
My actual pace was 9:06, which would have meant a 28:16 for a 5k. I think I could've done it!
It took some asking around, but I finally found the announcer, who agreed to sneak me my medal early. I didn't realize until I got back to the house that he had given me the 4th place medal by mistake! I feel pretty terrible about that, but hopefully they had an extra 4th place medal lying about for the woman who finished before me.

But actually 5th.
I have definitely been dealing with hangups over my last couple 5ks, where my running consistency was off and the heat really slowed me down. Even though this race wasn't a full 5k, I know if it had been I would have finished well under 30 minutes, and that has restored my confidence. Running a short race can be frustrating, but honestly, I wasn't bothered!
For people who may have trained for this race specifically, that would be a major flaw and a point of contention.

Over all, I had a great race morning, especially given my last-minute decision to run it. Our plans worked out, and Matt and I got to meet Wyatt and spend some time with the family. It turns out sometimes it's nice when plans don't work as expected!


1 comment:

  1. I was just thinking about how most of the 5ks and 10k that I've run have been a bit short but both of the halfs that I've done were 13.3x, and how nice it would be to put the extra distance on to the shorter races instead of the long ones...oh well. Congrats on a great race!