Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stillwater Stampede 5K report

It had been in the back of my mind that I wanted to run a 5K this month, even though I had just tackled the half-marathon and was not trained for shorter, faster, distances. When I walked for Parkinson's in April and saw so many other people running, I knew that 5K season was upon us, and that as soon as I reached my 13.1 goal, I would like to get fast again. I figured that I'd run a 5K in May to determine my 5K pace, and then start doing some interval workouts.

I decided to run an annual local race called the Stillwater Stampede. It is put on by the same youth running club that also puts on a lot of the other races I run (the ones that give out the delicious jam to age-group winners!), so I was familiar with the course and recognized a lot of the other runners, as well.

It was a beautiful day for a race. It was sunny, but cool enough to be comfortable. I lined up at the back of the pack and started out at a fairly easy pace. The course was a double loop through the campground of a state park, and we gave the campers a lot to look at as they cooked their breakfast! Some of them set up chairs along the path and cheered us on. Others just watched from hammocks or as they unpacked their cars.

I started passing people after about a half mile. I didn't feel that I had that much in me, but I was able to move up a little bit in the pack. I reached mile 1 in 8:36 and knew that I was going to have a slow finishing time. An overall 8:30 pace would be average for me, but negative splits were not in my cards that day, so I just kept going and didn't worry too much about the time. When I reached the turnaround point, the support staff was there to cheer me on, and I headed out for the second lap. As I ran back towards the campground, a really fast runner passed me in the opposite direction as he came in for his finish. It turns out that he was the first-place finisher and shattered the course record.

I kept going, passed a few people, waved to a lot of campers, and made my way to the finish line with a time of 27:26. It was certainly not my best run, but I had a good time, and now I know what my 5K race pace is when I run some intervals. I'll probably be back for next year's stampede, and definitely for the Christmas in August 5K, which was so unbelievably wonderful for me last year.

On a different note, the support staff and I hung around for some of the activities after the 5K, which included a mile fun run. The fun runners didn't get 100 feet before one of them lost his shoe...and kept running without it! Talk about dedication! A woman picked it up and ran after him, so hopefully he was able to complete most of the race evenly shod...

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