Race Report : Tallmadge Memorial 5K

There is a tiny Spider-man outside my window right now. AKA Summer has officially kicked off. This past weekend was the time for backyard BBQs, sparklers, and of course red, white & blue.

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Saturday I spent some time with friends out and about on my bike. Before chilling at home with some old episodes of South Park and creating the beautiful tutu you see above. Normally my first ride of the season is on my hybrid (equipped with a very cushy seat) and is under 8 miles. For some strange reason I opted to take the road bike out and did not wear padded shorts. I joined my friend Jess and then several members of her riding crew and we took off for a 20 mile trip. The first 10 wasn’t too terrible. A few stops here and there and according to Jess we kept a nice pace (over 10 MPH). We road the local bike trail and I always forget we have access to such beautiful scenery. Large grassy fields full of various greens. A spot to stop and look at a waterfall. I even find beauty in all the friends and families out walking, biking or running.

After a short break we headed back and I informed everyone my “personal undercarriage” wasn’t feeling too swell. The fact I did Zumba the night before and again the same morning (complete with LOTS of squats and lunges) was catching up to me (specifically my quads and hammys). I finished the 20 mile challenge and felt proud of myself, but the way back was a rough, both physically and mentally, from fatigue and my not properly fueling before. So I made up for it with a delicious hamburger and fries platter.

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Sunday was a day of resting and cleaning the house. Then Monday I attended the 21st Annual Tallmadge Memorial 5K.

The race features a female only start at 7:30, before the general 5K at 8:45. The course has been the same any time I’ve run over the last 7 years. (2007. 2008. 2009. 2012. and 2013) Down a main road for about a mile, before turning right into a neighborhood. The neighborhood features a slight gradual hill and a turn around. Back onto the main street to meet up with mile 2. Then a another right turn into a different neighborhood. The trick with this is how it features a very long and gradual hill, where a majority of the people walk. You might think you’ve completed your task when you turn back onto the main road again, but you’d be wrong. A few more rolling hills on the way to the finish chute. It is almost always hot and humid too. I’m so lucky to be a female, because those men who run after us do not get much of a sun break. There is virtually no shade on this course.

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How was my personal performance? Well I was in a “zoned” mood so I stuck in my headphones and went to town keeping a steady pace. I forgot to bring a GPS watch so I only had a timer. I tried to pace based on how many songs were playing between each mile. I saw the sign for the 1 mile turnaround and noted I was just over 5 minutes. Excellent. I started late so when I made it to the one mile post the time was 11:00 even, but my watch said 10:40. I took water and powered up the hill. I told myself to push it because it’s only 3 miles and I needed to burn up negative energy.

Mile 2 read 21:30 on the main clock. This meant I ran a negative split! I was so excited, that hasn’t happened in FOREVER! Using this energy I went into the final mile knowing the hill I still had to face. I didn’t stop at all the entire 3 miles and kept trying to run faster and faster. I saw the finish and told myself to go all out. I thought maybe I’d pick up the pace a tiny bit and blow past 1-2 of the runners ahead of me. Nope. I somehow managed a full on crowd noticing final kick and blew past 5-7 runners. I wasn’t going to place, I wasn’t trying to show off, I simply needed to run my race in my way. I finished in under 33 minutes, giving me another negative split at the end.

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For someone who has been running 12-15 minute miles and WALKING so much the last few months, it felt AWESOME to go out there and crank out miles closer to a 10 minute pace. I’d like like to get back down into the 9-minute range again, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

I chatted with a new friend after the race before heading home and crashing out for a nap. Then I went to a few picnics and Emme sported her matching tutu at my sister’s cookout for a while.

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Hope everyone else had a nice holiday! Did you run any races? Are you training for any events?

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