Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bring on the Snow?!?!? - Week 3 (January 14-20, 2013)

Bring on the Snow 5K (Cumming, GA) - January 19, 2013

Last week's race was quite large to say the least - about 16,000 finishers between the 15K and 5K.  I decided that this week would be a good week to do a smaller race.  I have ran races put on by FiveStar NTP previously and I knew how smoothly they run.  Through Five Star I found out about Bring on the Snow 5K in Cumming.  

After running the Hot Chocolate 5K last weekend, I have developed pain in my right shin.  At first I thought it was just a "runner's ache", but after a few days of it hurting I came to accept I probably got hit with a case of shin splints again...great!  I took it easy most of the week and laid off the miles to let things calm down.  As the week went on, I was questioning whether or not I was going to do the race Saturday morning - I have way too many bigger races that I cannot afford to have injury for.  Then, I remembered my good friend from the past - kinesiology tape.  I went to Big Peach Running on Thursday to get a fresh roll then watched the tutorial video online about how to tape for shin splint relief.  Thank goodness for my kinesiology tape or I probably would not have been good to go.

I thought the race started at 8:00 so I left early enough to get to the race around 7:00 to get through all my pre-race activities (check-in, port-a-potty trip, stretch, etc). Well, I quickly found out that the race had a 8:30 start!  Note to self: double check your start time before setting your alarm the night before a race.  Since I had extra time to kill and it was 28 outside, I decided to hang out in my car for a while.

As I sat in my car and watched other participants arrive, I quickly felt OLD!  About 1/3 of the 300 participants were under the age of 21!  Most of them were high schoolers with their soccer, cross country, and track sweatshirts on.  I knew then this would be a pretty competitive race.  I couldn't let that get the best of me.  I kept reminding myself that my #1 competitor is myself and to just run my best and if I have to slow up with my leg, it is ok.  

While waiting for the race to start, I met a woman that was doing her first 5K.  She told me she wasn't sure if she could run the whole time and didn't know if it was ok to walk.  I told her it is 100% ok to walk and to just do what she can and the best she can.  The night before as she was putting her 6 year old daughter to bed, her daughter told her "mommy, you know you won't win the race right."  I reminded her that even if it takes her over an hour to finish, she is still beating everyone on the couch.  After talking for a bit, we decided to head to the start and I wished her luck with a few last minute words of encouragement.

The start line was not easily marked and not organized well (people were starting in a very wide line that quickly had to narrow into the road), however it started on time.  They advertised the race as a "fairly flat" course, however I would say it was moderately hilly.  It was an out an back course with some good down hill sections on the way out, which we would soon be running UP.  I hit my half way point in pace to beat my PR by about 30 seconds - WHAT?!?!  I was on quite a high at 1.5 miles.  Since the back half was a little more challenging, I did not PR.  On a happy note, I FINALLY got back to my pre-marathon training time!  This is exactly the boost I needed going into my longer runs getting ready for 3 half marathons within 8 weeks.

What about the lady I met at the start?  Since it was an out and back, I knew she was just a few minutes behind me.  After I finished, I ran back a bit to find her.  Around 38:30 she crossed the finish line of her first 5K.  Even though I hardly knew her, I was so proud of her!  She did a wonderful job and is looking forward to finding more 5Ks to run.

Post race food can be a hit or miss - either you get just a banana and water or you get some amazing food.  Since this was a smaller race, I did not expect too much.  Well, they had one of my favorite post race indulgences - PIZZA!  They knew the way to this runner's heart for sure!

The shirt for the race was cute.  It was a light blue, long sleeved cotton shirt.  I always enjoy shirts that are not white and the fact that the shirt was long sleeved was nice (especially in January).

Race Pros:Nice shirt
Post race food (yummm, pizza)
On time start

Race Cons:

Not an well-marked/organized start

Overall race rating: A-

Question of the Week:  
What injuries have you had to overcome in your running/training?  How did you overcome it?

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