Sunday, December 2, 2012


Happy Early Birthday/Christmas to me!  My 5K best of 24:49 (set in November 2005) that I have been trying to sink since November 2011 (the first time I got close with 25:07), FINALLY went down today!  Holiday Hustle 5K in Dexter this evening: 24:39.  I'm so freaking happy!  Sort of.  

The minor hiccup is that I don't have an official time telling me that yet.  The results page has my chip time equal to my gun time at 25:09.  I started side by side with a girl from my running group, and her chip time is 30 seconds faster than her gun time, so I should have the same deficit.  25:09 - 00:30 = 24:39, which is exactly equal to what I had on my watch (24:38.47), so I KNOW I did it.  I emailed them to see if they have the corrected chip time available, but I'm celebrating anyway, damnit.  This was a big one for me.  (UPDATE: they put in the chip time on the results page.  It's official!!) 

Now I just need a half marathon PR to have beaten all my old times from 2005/2006 during my first episode of running.  I'm training for and trying my damnedest to get that at Rock CF in March. 
Personal Records at all race distances that I have run at least twice. 
I bought a sparkle skirt a while ago, with this race in particular in mind, and finally got to take it out for a spin.  I had planned on buying red/green arm warmers (two pairs of tall socks, 1 red and 1 green for the legs and 1 red and 1 green for the arms, with the feet cut off) and wearing a black tank, but I'm glad I never got around to doing that, because it was 50 degrees and sunny today!  Way too hot for tall socks and tights on the legs, and too hot for arm warmers too.  I took this photo before I went outside and realized how hot it was.  I ended up leaving the arm warmers in the car.  A tank and shorts at a Holiday Hustle in December in Michigan.  Whodathunkit.
Race ensemble.  And my new lucky PR Christmas bow.  
I LOVE the race tees! They're long sleeved cotton tees, which are my favorite thing to wear out and about (with jeans or jean shorts depending on the season).  And I actually really love gray, as long as it's medium to dark.  They are super cute! 

I wasn't really planning on anything special at this race.  I had already marked my 5K PR goal as unachieved for 2012, after the Turkey Trot last month.  I knew this race was still pending, but the Turkey Trot is flat, and is generally my best time for the year.  Plus they do a good job lining up by pace at the start, and I figured this one would be a cluster at the start, like the Super 5K was in February, because it's put on by the same people (Running Fit).  And it's not flat.  I was definitely planning on trying my best today, but I was expecting around 8:10-8:15 pace again.  I did have a little bit of hope though, because I have noticed my easy pace has been a bit faster recently (9:30-9:55, instead of 10:30ish).  And I've been feeling stronger in general, thanks to spinning and strength workouts.
I took this photo of some of the festivities from the stoplight from afar with my phone.  Not the best. :)
I found Rich and Rick pretty quickly from the A2Runners meetup group.  Later, Rachelle, who runs with the 501 group, found me.  I run with her a lot.  We are pretty similar in pace, though she is generally a good bit faster than me if we're doing easy or long runs.  I was glad she found me, because I figured I could just try to keep up with her and that would be great motivation.  We started with a 1 mile or so warm-up jog together before the start.  

My 2005 5K PR was from a race where I had ended up with a "buddy" (we leap-frogged each other a lot), and when I started to slow at the end he yelled at me to keep up!  Today, it ended up that I actually led most of the way, and she tried to keep up with me.  I didn't realize she was right behind me until somewhere after mile 2 when I saw her when I checked over my shoulder before "changing lanes".  She ended up passing me on the last hill and I couldn't keep up, but I wasn't too far behind at the finish!  I think it really helped to have the "competition" to push me along.  

As for the course, I wasn't wrong about the start being a cluster, but it did open up pretty quickly.  Still, I'll say it again: put up pace signs!!  It makes the race better (and safer) for everyone! 

On the race webpage, it described the course as "silly and hilly", which was almost enough for me to not register.  Then I looked at the elevation profile, and the lowest point and highest point were only 70 ft apart, which sure didn't sound like much.  So I didn't really know what to expect.  Well, there were hills.  I felt them. 

I wore my Garmin, but wasn't planning on monitoring my pace.  I "accidentally" looked at after the first mile beeped off and saw 7:48, and that's when I was pretty sure I wouldn't PR, since I usually slow down after the first mile, and we hadn't even hit the worst part of the hills yet.  I didn't look at it again after that.  Running up the rest of those hills, I was sure my pace was shot, but I just kept doing the best I could.  It helped that I knew Rachelle hadn't passed me (yet) because she is strong on hills compared to me.  I think the hills may have actually helped?  It felt kind of like I was running intervals.  Hard for a couple minutes, then recover (on the downhill), rinse, repeat.  I never felt as tired as I did at the Turkey Trot a couple weeks ago, despite apparently running a faster pace and on a hillier course.  I'm not sure if it was the course, the "competition", or the fact that I wasn't staring down my watch, or some combination.  I did really struggle up that last hill, as you can tell by my pace (blue) in the plot below, where it approaches 10:00 min/mile.  And then it was a mad dash to the finish.  The last 0.13 mi was 6:54 pace.  I love me a good downhill finish.  :)

Course map, per Garmin.  Turn! Turn! Turn! I tried to run the tangents as best I could.  
And here are the splits.  Mile 2 is never faster than mile 1.  I don't know what that was about!  Especially if you refer back to the earlier elevation profile and look at the segment between 1.0 and 2.0.  Weird.  I guess it could be that mile 1 was dragged down a bit by the start congestion.   
This kind of makes me want to do 5Ks galore.  If I improve my stamina a bit I should be able to maintain my pace through the 3rd mile rather than dropping like I did today, and that would be another PR right there.  Not as meaningful as this one though.  This one stood a long time.  We'll see.  Maybe I can substitute a 20 min tempo run with a 5K over the next few weeks.  I know there is one next Sunday not too far away (probably too soon to be smart), and one New Year's Eve at Belle Isle which is on my radar, that I wouldn't even have to rearrange my schedule for since it falls on a speed day, AND it's in the evening, so I don't have to adjust my sleep either.  Which, by the way, was another HUGE perk to today's 4:30 pm race.  Morning for me!  I went out to the Dexter Pub after with a couple people from my running groups.  No need to rush home to get to bed.  I had all night free :).

I downloaded a new song last night to add to my 5K playlist.  I had heard it at one of my spinning classes.  It ended up being great.  It was my "MVS" for today.  I repeated it a couple times:

Fallout by Marianas Trench

I was so high on my PR that I took the scenic route home.  I got on 94W by mistake (I knew I needed to go east, but the signage was confusing.  I saw a turn right for 94E sign so I turned right, but apparently it was too soon, because I was on 94W).  So I had to take that to the next exit and then loop back.  Then at the 14/23 split I got on 23 N instead of 23 S / M14 E.  That split always confuses me.  So again, I had to go to the next exit and turn around.  That one was far.  Like 8 miles one way or something?  Eek.  I had the GPS on my phone on, but forgot to look at it when I was confused at that point.  I shouldn't have to.  That split is literally 1 mile from my exit.  My phone is new (got it at 4am last night in the parking lot of St. Joe via craigslist), and the speaker isn't as good as my old phone, so I didn't hear the navigation voice either.  Oh well.  Wasting gas like a champ.  My new phone does have flash for the camera and one of those screen-side self-portrait cameras, so those will be helpful for my blogging!

In summary:  MOTHER EFFING 5K PR.  Yay.


  1. Awesome PR Ty! I envision you knocking it down even more in the not-too-distant future. I want to see a big 5k goal achievement for next year!

    I am all about the pace signs for "bigger" races. I feel like I waste energy (whether it's true or not) dodging grannies, walkers, groups of teens, etc. at the start of the race and it throws me off. Don't get me wrong, all those groups and more are not unwelcome, just line them up in the back and keep 'em out of my way! :)

  2. Congrats on the PR....that's AWESOME!


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