Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bull Run Festival of Lights 5k Race Report

Well, I had already done my yearly wrap up and wasn't expecting to be adding anything new to it. I had done no better with my 10k since then, no luck on an improvement at JAW10k. Then, once Christmas arrived, I got into some lazy habits. I only ran a few miles the day after Christmas, and then a few more the next day. I missed the club's hill work-out Tuesday morning by oversleeping and wound up doing 8 miles, 4 with some pick-ups thrown in. Wed morning I leaned over and smacked the alarm clock off and decided I would do the mornings pool run and weightlifting on Thursday instead, only to blow it off completely come Thursday.

Friday was the day I was going to race Bull Run Festival of Lights 5k, a race I ran last year, but this year it meant something. One of the runners in our community lost her 18 year old nephew to heart failure and this race was to benefit the foundation set up in his name. They had a great showing for it!

Given that catching up on my sleep was about the only thing positive I was doing for my running, as eating Milano cookies for breakfast most mornings, engaging in too many spirits that week and all sorts of assorting poor eating choices, were making it clear this race was going to be a fun run. I actually signed up for another race New Years morning, 2 miles from my front door that I thought might go better once I got the cobwebs out on NYE.

It was wonderfully warm, 47*, warm enough to be in shorts and a tank top. Delightful weather for Dec 31. That morning I was a busy girl, last minute grocery shopping, packet p/up and then heading over to Road Runner Sports to pick up my new Kinvara's:

they're so kickin'

 So busy, I almost lost track of time, next thing I know I had 10 minutes to get my act together and get out the door to the race.  Ugh, I didn't hydrate enough!

I got to the race site, registered, ran into some people I knew, ran back to my car, caught Coach George, who yelled at me for not wearing my CAR gear.  I tried to explain, "DUDE, LOOK AT THE NEW SHOES I JUST GOT!!  I HAVE TO WEAR THIS SHIRT WITH THEM SO THEY'LL MATCH, that's why I ordered the CAR Bondi-Bands!"  (yup, I have this black Nike sports bra top that has a turquoise stripe on it! C'mon, right???)  

With less than 10 minutes to spare for my warm up, I didn't quite get a mile in.  I was mostly disappointed in the fact that I didn't get to go potty, but it was 3pm, nothing disastrous was going to happen and it is just 3 miles, I can hold it.

At the race start I spied Jessica and we while we were up close to the front, Coach G was towing the line.  Talk about your Fierce Warriors, when this guy races, he means business.  Jess and I passed few minutes prior to the gun going off by worrying about all the kids that were also towing the line and joking about whether we actually needed to be worried about them being in the way, or kicking our asses.  We also gave each other the old, "this race is going to suck"  Jess is coming off an injury and I'm coming off a week of being a fat, lazy, slob.  The "gun" went off and so did we.  As is typical with the 5k, I wonder and wonder if I'm going out to fast, when 400 meters into the darn thing, here comes Coach G lumbering up past us, not saying a word, but basically letting us know if we were ever ahead of him, then yes, we went out too fast.  I looked at Jess and said, "that Figures".  I started to try to reign it in as I got very concerned about seeing Coach G, that I did go out too fast.  Jess has more backbone than I do and she kept it up.  I looked down at my garmin when we hit the mile mark, it said I was doing a 6:39 pace, but when I lapped it, it said 6:27 and .96 mile.  

Luck was on my side when we didn't turn left to go up the hill we had last year, we continued straight, an out and back course.  I was able to see the turn around and started picking it up.  Just after we hit the turn around I caught up with Jessica.  I was setting my sights on two other girls (I could see) who were ahead of me now.  I soon passed one of them, but the other girl was keeping a great pace.  

We hit mile 2 marker and I felt like I had a nice gait going, later in reviewing my watch it was 6:18 for .97 mile (this marker was also off), I was pleased with how great my legs felt and I was thinking of Adam's post about keeping your arms at chest level and it seemed to really work.  I typically run with them towards my side.  Anyway, it was about that time I began my little primal scream gasping.  If you run with me, you know all about it, otherwise I don't know how to explain it, but I sound like I have asthma, which I don't, I just gasp loudly for air and sometimes it comes out like a war cry.  I wanted to apologize to the girl and the guy just ahead, as I was sure it was as disturbing as running next to someone with keys in their pocket.  I kept trying to keep the pace going and felt very determined!  I kept trying to relax my breathing and really kept my arms to up near my heart.  

My watch autolapped this time to let me know this was a mile since I lapped it and I could see we were much further from the finish than .10 of a mile.  I started really picking it up and then gunned it once I could see the finish.  I managed to pass the girl just in front of me and finish in 20:24 - a 19 second PR!  (that last bit was .21 on my garmin, so it seems it was overall an accurately measured course, with the markers just a bit off.)  

I apologized to the girl about my breathing, she laughed that it helped her push forward knowing I was gaining on her! ;)  

I got first place in my age group, which was a fleece blanket and a great end to the New Year!  No, I didn't PR again the next day, I slept in!

Thank you Peter Cheney!  Here is the video, see Coach George at around 3:51, me and Jessica around 5:38.


  1. Great race!
    Great age group win!
    Totally great shoes!

  2. Wow- congrats on the PR. That's pretty huge for a 5K. LOL on the matching shirt with your shoes-- I like to do that too. Did you buy the shoes to match the top or vice versa? How long have you been in the Kinvaras and what do you think of them?

    It's also know that I am in good company with my "war cry" gasps. I tend to make loud screaming gasps and people nearby me tell me "just relax and hang in there" or they ask if I'm okay, and then I smile and pass them. ;-)

  3. Awesome recap and race! I love the parts about coach giving you a hard time, more for the gear than the going out too fast!

  4. I heard the war cry gasps! You are tougher than me :) Thanks so much for talking me into doing this race and congrats again on the PR. You paced it perfect I think - a slight negative split!

  5. Well done. Check minute 5:38 on this youtube video, this is you coming in at the finish.

  6. Wow -- what a great time and great way to finish the year! And I laughed about the first mile!

    And I have those same shoes! I love the Kinvaras, and that's my favorite color scheme. I was about to bust them out when I busted my foot.

  7. Thanks Everyone! Elizabeth, I did a review on them when I first got them, I've been meaning to do a followup, as I am now switching them from being primarily speedwork/race shoe, to being my everything shoe. They're that cushy and that light. I really love them!

  8. I can describe your war cry: It sounds like someone just stabbed you.