Fall City Days 5K

I was pretty excited to get out and run my first 5K since March, especially since my pace is slowly but surely increasing.  Or, wait, is it decreasing?  Whatever, I'm starting to get a wee bit faster!  My last 5K was at about an 8:40 average mile and since then I ran an 8K and 4 miler in the 8:20 min/mile range.  I'm trying hard to finish strong and get progressively faster throughout the race, which is REALLY hard to do in a 5K.  They still seem to be three short miles of torture for me, perhaps even to the point of vomiting.  As much as I enjoy seeing how fast I can get myself to go, I don't think this distance will ever be my 'thing.'  I enjoy adding distance waaaaay more than adding speed.  That being said, I totally wanted to sneak under an 8:20 average and hopefully PR!

The conditions were perfect for a great run: nice and overcast day, flat course and not a terribly early race start time.  I usually do all of my running around 9AM and the race started at 9:15.  My friend Ashley picked me up around 7:45, at my insistence, since I hate to be late.  And, of course, we were way too early.  We made good use of our time and got our bibs, went to use the bathroom a couple of times (just in case) and took some pictures.

It was a bit humid out and I think I must've spent more time chatting and less time taking sips of my pre-race Nuun than usual, because when the gun went off I already felt parched.  Not good.  All I could think about for that first mile was that I had cotton mouth and that I'd probably have to grab water at an aid station, which I HATE doing in a 5K.  So, the first aid station had local cheerleaders on either side of the trail holding waters out for us.  Now, they were on BOTH sides of the trail and people were going to BOTH the left and right sides. (foreshadowing!)  So, I saw an opening on the left and went for it - riiiiiight as the first person to be finishing the race (the guy won with a time of 15:53) was coming back from the halfway point turnaround.  Being full body checked by someone running damn near 5 minute miles does NOT feel good!  I even have a small bruise where my phone armband got bonked extra hard into my arm.  Needless to say I was spooked and thrown WAY off my rhythm.  I barely drank that water and kept on, not without a expletive or two, ahem...  A nice guy near me ran with me for a bit to make sure I was OK and we exchanged a few words, probably adding more cotton to my already dry mouth.  (fyi, I congratulated the winner and apologized for being a roadblock and he was very cool about it and empathetic.)  After the turnaround, I made sure to get my water from the RIGHT side of the path this time and hoped it would give me the boost I needed for the final mile.  Not so much.  That was a tough last mile and I certainly didn't meet the goal of finishing strong vs. starting strong.  But I met my goal of getting a PR and running a 8:16 average mile!

I guess I have to work on my progression runs, but overall I'm really pleased with how the effort I've been putting in has been paying off.  Also it could have been the inspiring nail polish. 

Thanks Meggie for the recommendation on the nail polish (Revlon 'Dreamer') and also for your great post recently on not always setting PR goals for a race; it has certainly inspired me to think about my goals in a different way.  I would venture to say that at a certain point/age PRs are just not going to be possible, but man, I think that my age group has the most competition right now!  If I had been running in ANY of the age groups younger than mine, I would have placed: would have been 2nd in the 20-24, 1st in 25-29, or 3rd in the 30-34 group.  This also seemed to be the case at the Ironheart Classic 4 Miler.  As it was, I placed 5th in 35-39 and would have been just as far down the totem pole in the 40-45 group.  Same goes with the men: the first place finisher in the 50-54 age group finished 6th overall with a time of 17:16, totally smoking most all of the younger competition.  It's inspiring, and also daunting! 

The Fall City Days is a perfect event: small, but not too small, inexpensive, easy to get to/park, and fun for the whole family.  I was a bit worried about rain, so I left my family at home and I'm kinda bummed I did; because, as usual, the rain stopped for most of the morning.  There was lots of arts, crafts, food, a bouncy house/slide and a parade.  I definitely want to give it another go next year.  Hopefully following the rules of the road and properly hydrating will automatically take a good 10 seconds off my time...


  1. I totally agree that the 35-39 age group is super competitive! I'm moving up next year, and over the last year, I've noticed that it generally does better than my age group. :( Guess I have to step up my game. My best guess is that it is because some women are coming back to running from having children.

  2. You are welcome for the recommendations! I now try to go into races with no expectations, but certainly not counting myself out -- just hope that I won't get scared and give into the pain. As long as I give my best effort, I can be happy, unless my race performance is well below my training. But, anyways, there is so much "context" in our lives that a race has to be considered in whatever context it was run!

    try this next time - blue but then one nail pink (I do ring finger) for "power pink"

  3. Ouch, I'm glad you were ok after your run in with the winner guy! That had to be painful!
    As far as the cotton mouth goes, I always get that when I'm nervous, regardless of hydration status. Sometimes I chew gum to help, but the gum won't help with true dehydration!
    Great job on PR despite problems!!!

  4. Really nice paces! I have a similar thought, I don't think the 5k will ever by my distance. My hubby loves them, he's the speed guy (former track and field athlete) but I prefer more of the endurance races. I hate gunning it out thru the whole thing! Glad you were ok after the bump and that the guy was friendly :-)