Sunday, April 13, 2014

Martian 5K Race Report

Remember how I said I needed to "renew" my 5K PR?  Well I did.  I decided Friday night to bust out a 5K Saturday morning, at the Martian Invasion of Races in Dearborn.  I love that race, I have done the half there 3 times.  They have awesome schwag and a fast course, and I know a ton of people that do that race every year.  I went into it to try and PR a 5K on my marathon training, without having to "focus" on the 5K distance.  Basically, I just wanted to get it out of the way if it was doable so I can move on to more fun things (halfs!!), or, if it wasn't doable, at least I would have an idea of where I'm at and how much work I had to do to get to a PR.  My PR to beat was 24:39, which is a 7:57 min/mile pace, set in December 2012 after a loooong time of trying.

I was pretty skeptical about being able to do it because I had up to that point only done one 6 mile run since my marathon, AND I did a heavy leg strength routine at the gym Friday evening (deadlifts, single leg squats, weighted box step ups, etc etc etc), but I know I'm faster than I've ever been so I figured there was still a chance I could PR even under non-optimal conditions.  My friend A even agreed to pace me, which was amazing because it was a $45 registration fee.  That's a lot for a 5K!!

Pre-race.  Love the martian theme! 

We got there by like 7am for the 8am race start and registered on site.  Our goal/plan was 7:40 per mile and sub 24:00.  I did 1 mile warmup before the race and my legs still felt tight/heavy so I was still not that optimistic, but planning to try my best.  I put on my music and just followed A's lead on the pace.  The first mile felt great and we came in at 7:19.  I yelled at A for being a shitty pacer, but not too much because I felt okay :)  Mile 2 was 7:30 because I consciously held back a bit because I wasn't very confident about holding 7:20 the whole way.  Then the 3rd mile came in at 7:18 again.  But the 3rd mile came at the exact time as the finish line.  Meaning.....the course was short.

My Garmin registered 3.00 for the race.  A's read 3.02.  Either way, less than 3.11/5K.  We did run the tangents pretty aggressively, but we never "cheated" (ie cut corners or ran over a curb or anything like that).  Usually my Garmin reads long, never short, which is to be expected when you don't run perfect tangents as the course is measured.  I was kinda bummed because my chip time came in at 22:07 which would be a 7:08 min/mile pace, which is absolutely NOT what I did.  My Garmin average pace was 7:22 min/mile, which would translate to a 22:53 5K time if I had had to run that "extra" 0.1 miles.  So....yeah.  Definitely a HUGE PR either way, but I don't really count the 22:07 as my "real" time.  It might be a while til that "PR" will fall, since I only actually ran 7:22 pace, not 7:07!  The whole thing really sucks because now of course I'm feeling obligated to do another one that isn't short!  UGH!  So even though I just PR'ed both my marathon and my 5K, I still need to do another of each anyway.  (Marathon because it was really hilly and hence I think a "soft" PR, and 5K because I think the course was short.  Doh.)

On the bright side, I did get 1st place out of 129 in my age group (female 30-34), and 5th place female overall out of 989.  That's not too shabby.  We all ran the same short course!  Of course, all the fast people ran the longer distances since this event also had a 10K, half marathon, and full marathon, and the 5K was chock full of walkers, but, you know, still counts :)

Ultimately I'm thrilled with how the race went.  The course was flat and fast.   I exceeded every possibly goal I had for myself, and on tired legs no less.  And I felt great.  I never felt like death like I usually do in 5Ks.  A and I even ran 2.7 miles after the race to cool down and log some more miles.   And I got some awesome goodies and had fun with some great running buddies.  A good day all around.  The Martian still stands as one of my favorite races!  (2006, 2012, 2013, 2014, and counting!)  Hmmm, random thought, just realized that all my PRs at the "major" distances (5k, 10k, HM, M) have occurred in the past 5 months (since November 2013).  Dang it feels good.  :)

Post race poses with our age group awards!  A even squeaked in a 5th place AG despite being "stuck" pacing me! 

Sweet 5K finisher's medal,  race shirt, age group award (red), UFO bib! 

And of course I updated my wall o' bling! 


  1. Way to go!!! See, that's what happens when you donate to Runwell. Good things. What a great day for a race.

  2. Wow, congrats! I'd be pretty annoyed by running short too. I would definitely expect Martian to have it right. Oh well - you still ran an awesome pace. The fact that you didn't feel like death at the end means you definitely could have kept it up for that last .1. It should definitely be a big boost for your confidence.

    By the way, I'm still curious to hear more about that indoor tri you did... ;)

  3. I was there again too, doing the half. I wanted to catch you 5Kers, but we got there way too late. Congrats on kicking butt and getting an age grouper. What the heck is that AG award, though? Is it alien Jell-O?


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