RACE RECAP: HOT CHOCOLATE 5K

I knew very early on Sunday that it most likely was NOT going to be my day.  Yes, things could have been much worse, and I am probably being very petty about things pretty much out of my control, but it’s frustrating when things don’t go your way.  Especially when you have big expectations for the race.

Reason #1 it was not my day:  I got completely ready, coffee made, and out the door by 6AM without waking up either kid or Matt, which is definitely a win.  Unfortunately, since I was doing most of this in the dark, I didn’t realize I had left my gear check bag with my GLOVES in it sitting on the counter until it was too late for me to turn around and go back.  Ugh.  I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome, so gloves are essential for weather under 50 degrees.  Thankfully, my shirt had thumbholes so I could at least keep my hands somewhat warm.

Reason #2 it was not my day:  I made my way to the starting area so I could use the port-a-potty for my “race day tummy” issues.  Apparently, I didn’t latch the door enough and actually had someone open the door on me while I was sitting on the potty.  Yeah, so that’s fun…

Reason #3 it was not my day:  I found some of my friends that I was meeting up with who decided to use the bathroom at the Tim Horton’s a block away from the starting area.  We left Tim Horton’s at 7:15 and heard them announce that they were opening the corrals.  We made our way toward our corrals, with a short stop for a group picture, and got completely STUCK trying to get to the corrals.  I was in D and I was at a dead stop at Corral H when they started the National Anthem.  By the time I was at my corral, there was a HUGE line to get in it and they had already started Corral A.  I ended up hopping the fence to get in my corral.  Thank goodness there was a TWO MINUTE WAVE between each corral…

Reason #4 it was not my day:  As I’m standing in my corral waiting for the race to start, I’m looking around, trying to stay warm and see the pace group for the 11:30/mile at the very front of Corral D.  Um, I run a 6:30-6:45/mile average for a 5K.  Why was I put in Corral D?!  My friends had even asked me why I was in D instead of A.  I played it off as it being a BIG race (the 5K had over 5,000 people) and there were plenty of guys who would be running around 16-minutes for a 5K.  Still true, but apparently someone screwed up and I was NOT in the right corral.  While it could’ve been me, I typically double or triple check to make sure I have my pace and finish time accurate.  I will probably never know why I was in Corral D, but I DO know that it was NOT the corral I should’ve been in.  So, I made an alternate game plan to just run for time because I really had no other choice and just hope that I could pull out a decent run even though I wouldn’t have any competition.

Thankfully, from there on, the race went pretty well.  I ended up making my way up to the front of my corral – and thankfully I had that 2 minute buffer between our start and the corral in front of us so I didn’t have to worry about having to dodge too many people.  But, I knew that I was going to have to run on the outside the entire time so I didn’t get boxed in and stuck and lose time.  I was incredibly thankful that this was a chip timed race because I knew at least I could do well on my time, even though anyone who was of similar speed was WELL ahead of me.

And because of all those reasons above, I had to throw race strategy completely out the window.  Typically, I try to pick people out the chase down, but I didn’t really have that option so it was all about running as fast as I could, using the downhills to my advantage and trying to push up the uphills as much as possible.  It’s definitely a route full of rolling hills without much of a break from an up or down.  And while I planned on keeping my watch covered up, I decided my best choice was to watch my splits so I could see exactly where I was on my time and push myself as much as I could.

Mile 1 – 6:37
Mile 2 – 6:33

Mile 3 – 6:24
Miles 0.14 – 0:46
Total Time – 20:21
Average Pace – 6:29/mile

1st in Age Group (30-34)
4th Overall Female (based on time)

It was definitely NOT an ideal race and I think I ran well mostly because I was soooooo ticked off by the time I started.  I think that’s all I thought about the entire race:  how I wasn’t in the right corral, how I could barely make it to the right corral on time, and the fact that I didn’t have my gloves.  But, despite all that, I really did have a GREAT race.  The only thing I’m disappointed about is the “what if” factor.

What if I had remembered my gloves?

What if I had gotten to my corral on time?

What if I had been placed in the right corral?

Would I have broken 20-minutes?  I guess I will never know.  It just wasn’t in the cards this year to break 20 again, but it definitely gives me something to work toward in 2017 as I’m determined more than ever to make the 19s my “happy place” on my 5K runs.  I’d LOVE to set a new PR in 2017 – the goal for the year is going to be ALL about short + FAST!  But, we’ll talk more about goals in a few weeks…

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  • Kristen, you know what, I haven’t really had to greatest of time during this race! I love the concept and you can’t beat the awesome jacket you always get with the race fee, but something about it always ruins my time. Maybe the fact that the two times I ran it, it was ridiculously cold to where I was so bundled up I couldn’t move ha! I thought about doing it this year but decided against it since I didn’t know where the football season here at Mizzou would take us. I’m sorry you didn’t get an ideal race and know you’ll break that 20 min barrier (my ultimate goal one day as well,) coming up in the next year!