Well, the race still hasn’t posted their photos – but I’m sick of waiting, so here is the recap. As always, race recap = lonnnggg blog post haha!
Saturday before the race, we did a lot of walking around the city. You can read more in detail about the rest of the weekend here. I wasn’t feeling super hungry, but kept up snacks and had my usual spaghetti & meatball dinner. I didn’t do a shake out run because a 15k is a shorter distance, and I was pretty tired from my week of training. I felt like a full rest day would be more productive.
Saturday night after dinner, I had Nuun Watermelon before bed. I usually do this before any long run. Plus it is hard to drink a lot of fluids when you are out doing things during the day. Nuun is a good helper for that. I also did some romwod, stretched and foam rolled. I really didn’t sleep well, even though I wasn’t nervous for the race. I just kept waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. When that happens, I work really hard and not stressing that I’m going to be tired the next day. I either try to read a book, or count backwards from 300.
Sunday morning, I had my usual Beet Elite & Amino energy cocktail, with a large banana for breakfast. I also took a package of Gu Salted Caramel Apple chews with me for the start line. (Side note – you may not need to do this for a 15k if you can eat a bigger breakfast.)
The start line was pretty hectic when we got there. There were about 12,000 participants total between the 5k and the 15k races. The 5k went first at 7:20, and the 15k started at 8:20. The weather had threatened to rain, but for now was holding off, which was so nice – it ended up being a low of 49 and high of 55 – perfect running weather in my opinion.
After the 5k groups had gone through, they pushed the 15k pace corrals up to the front. I was in the first corral. My mom & dad got to stand right by me and chat while we waited, which was nice. Also nice because I could keep a coat on until it was time to go haha! I did some skips to stay warm and lose, since I was planning on going out a bit faster than usual.
The course is mostly an out and back. There are “sweet stations” instead of aid stations, which I thought was kind of fun. I wanted to race it, so I skipped those and grabbed Nuun or water a couple of times. I went out pretty fast and kept that pace as much as possible. I knew the last 5k portion of the course was uphill. I had thought about saving energy for that, but as this wasn’t a goal race for me, I wanted to test the waters of pushing my speed and seeing how that went. Here is what my splits looked like:
It took me a bit to get my rhythm at first. My left shoe felt like it wasn’t tied tightly enough, my right trap seized up and cramped in mile 5, ect. But eventually I got into a groove and was feeling good (no I didn’t stop to fix the shoe, it was fine – all in my head). Checking my pace, I really wanted to come into the 10k under 45 minutes, so I pushed for that. Going into the last 3 miles, the hills at the end were tough for me after pushing my speed. I kept telling myself it was a firewalk – just how close can you push to the mental barrier? As you can see, I flagged in mile 8 & 9, but not terribly.
My watch read 9.37 miles. I always check the watch to see how well I ran the tangents. A 15k course should be exactly 9.3 miles long. However, if you aren’t running the straightest path, or dodging around people, you add distance. Even though it isn’t a lot of distance, it does add up. As you can see, the watch says I ran 7.27 average, but the race chip says 7.30.
Still, .37 instead of .3 is pretty darn close, so I was pleased with that. I was also so excited about finishing 5th in my age group out of 789. That is always fun! The finishers mug had hot chocolate & chocolate fondue with things to dip. It is a very cute prize and I know people love it.
Personally after a race, I crave salt & savory. So we headed to Sweet Maple for brunch. I got the breakfast pizza & had them take off the meat and do light cheese so it wouldn’t be too hard on my stomach.
As I mentioned in my post from January 8th, I didn’t really know what to expect from myself for this race. Last year, I had not raced since the Nike Women’s Half in October, so I got to rest and re-train for this race. This year, this race was more of an afterthought than a goal race. I did the CIM marathon in December, and then took about 9 days off while on vacation in Costa Rica. So I came back, and had a little longer than a week to get back in the swing of things. Which was exactly what I needed after the marathon – which was really my focus.
Given that, I was so happy with how I came back and ran this race. It was a lot of fun and didn’t feel stressed about hitting a time goal. I was thrilled with my 5k & 10k time. Sure, it would have been nice to hold that through the last 5k, but I also have to be realistic.
The race is well run, and the distance is easy to recover from. The jacket in swag bag was pretty cute this year. Last year, I wasn’t a fan. I was really impressed with all the staff and volunteers. No was cranky or stressed, and all seemed willing to help new comers, or people who showed up late to the 5k, which ran before the 15k. All in, I’m really glad I ran this race again. My only complaint is 4 days later and still no race photos HA!
What is up next on your running calendars?