I went into the race with high hopes of running a sub 25 minute 5k. This has been my goal for every 5k race I've done for the past year, well probably the past two years. I always get close, but never get under 25:00. In the spring I finished several 5ks in the 25:40 - 26:30 range, but could never get close to 25:00. This summer I have been trying to get in at least 4-5 runs per week, in the 3-6 mile range. I've been doing speed work and hill repeats, and I know this has helped me.
I've also been running in Nike Lunarglides for the past two weeks - these shoes are awesome! It was time to hang up the pair of Mizuno Wave Creations that I got in January, so I decided to branch out a little bit and look for a lighter shoe. I think the Mizunos weigh around 13oz, while the Lunarglides only weigh 7...this made a big difference! The Lunarglides have really good arch support (which is good for my high arches) and lots of ankle support. They are pretty roomy in the toe box area, almost a little too roomy, but this is actually good for me as my toes tend to fan out with each foot fall. In my first pair of running shoes (Asics) my little toes actually burst out of the sides of the toe box due to this fanning out phenomenon - ha! But I really love the Lunarglides - Runner's World has really been pushing these shoes, both in their September issue and on their website, and I can see why.
So, yesterday morning I woke up and got my stuff together, ate a piece of toast with peanut butter and drank a Doubleshot, and headed into Wilmore at 7:15 for the 8:00am race start. The morning was cool (in the 60's) and clear, and runners were just starting to arrive when I pulled up to the race site. I checked in, got my t-shirt and my number (no bibs, just "18" written on my left hand with a Sharpie) and then went for a 10 minute warm-up run. I hoped that my training would pay off and that I would set a PR, but I was also realistic about the conditions...this was a cross-country race, held on gravel trails, grassy paths and sections of paved road. The gravel trails at Icthus have chewed me up and spit me out in the past, so I've tried to incorporate them more into my training lately in preparation for this race. I also made the mistake of eating a late dinner on Friday at Zaxby's...instead of being smart and eating a "zalad" with grilled chicken, I ate a grilled chicken sandwich (not too bad of a choice) with fries (bad choice) and a whole order of fried mushrooms (real bad choice)...with ranch dressing.
Needless to say, my stomach was just a burning after my warm-up run. Oh well, there was nothing that could be done at that point, so I just decided to suck it up and do my best. Shortly after 8:00am, we all lined up (there were probably 35 runners or so) and off we went at the sound of the starting gun. I started at the very back of the pack, but made my way to the middle and settled into a nice pace. My stomach burned and churned through most of the run, but I kept pushing and could see that each of my mile splits were setting me up for a finish in the 24s. I crossed the finish line in 24:54 - just making my sub 25 minute goal, and earning 1st place in the 25-29 age group! It was a fun local race that I look forward to racing again next year!
Last week, we watched our little friend Max for a few days while his parents (my co-workers) went to New England for a vacation. Emma enjoyed having a friend around the house, but she had her bouts of jealousy, too. Here are some pictures from Max's visit, with my commentary:
"Max, I don't want to play with your toy sheep, but I don't want you to be able to play with it,
so I am just going to sit on it."
so I am just going to sit on it."