I went into the Sertoma Duck Waddle 5K feeling very unsure of myself, then surprised myself with an 18:29 for the overall female win. I haven't run speed work since May, so I'm crediting the weather for my ability to still run sub-6:00 pace (it was around 65* and only 45% humidity -- amazing for June in Missouri)! Maybe Mother Nature doesn't hate me after all! Official results are here.
I came pretty close to not running this race. I'd been feeling "off" all week, probably catching up from our power-packed vacation, and Dam to Dam sure did a number on my running confidence. The Duck Waddle was never intended to be a goal race, plus Albani and I were already registered, so I ended up deciding that I would go for the win and if my time was 20:00 (where my confidence was) then so what? I know it sounds crazy that I felt incapable of running 6:25 pace for 3.1 miles when I recently averaged 6:31 pace for 13.1 while struggling the entire way, but something about that half made me feel like every race I ran was bound to get slower and slower from here on and there was nothing I could do about it.
I ran this race last year, and based on that experience I didn't expect it would be competitive. I did my usual warm-up jog, uptempo running, drills, and strides, then met Albani and Jon on the starting line. Albani was running the 1 mile, and the two races started together. I'd seen the 1 mile turn-around sign while running my warm-up, and I was nervous about her missing it and continuing on with the 5K runners because it was on the side of the road and not very prominent, so I told her about it several times!
At the start, as usual several runners shot out fast, but about a quarter mile in when we sorted out I found myself behind three college-aged guys, a man around my age who I knew was faster than me, and a woman. I pulled up behind her and figured I'd pace off her and see what happened. She pressed on, looking strong. I felt like we were running 6:15-6:20 pace, so I was a mix of surprised and terrified when I saw our first mile split of 6:05. At that point I realized that I was going to have to work for the win; I wasn't sure if I had it in me, but I will fight with all I have when competing! I was also getting more worried about Albani seeing the 1 mile turn-around, because there hadn't been anyone standing at it, or a cone, or anything aside from the little sign in the grass beside the road.
I stayed right with the lady until we went up an incline, probably around the halfway point. I could feel that I was stronger going up that hill than she was, and in a moment I had a few steps on her, so I went ahead and threw in a surge to try to take a more dominating lead. I went through mile 2 in 6:02. Shortly after mile 2 the course had a hairpin turn, so I was able to assess my lead and it was minimal. I ran the final mile terrified that she was coming for me (my split was 5:52). I finished in 18:29, and she came in in 18:57, but most of my lead came during the final mile.
As soon as I crossed the line, Albani came running over to me to tell me she won the mile race! She beat all of the boys and girls! Since the 5K and 1 mile started together, she was the first across the finish line period. I was so relieved that she'd seen the mile turn-around sign; when I asked her about it she told me that she saw it just fine, her tone suggesting that I was crazy for being so concerned. She ended up wearing her medal and bib number for the entire day, and then slept in both on race night!
Although an 18:29 5K isn't a relatively strong performance for me (my PR 10K was run with splits of 18:34/18:35, so almost the exact same pace as this race for twice the distance), it's still one of my best 5Ks ever so I was quite pleased. It also further reminded me what a big factor the weather is, as 65* without high humidity was pretty much the best weather we could have had at 8:00 a.m. at the end of June in Missouri! I think the humidity gets me more than the warmth, so 45% humidity instead of 95% humidity made all of the difference.
Now I return to The Summer of Base plus once a month 5K races. What brilliant person thought up this combination?!
|Awards (I also won a gift card)|
|Clock shot + truck|
|Multisporting for the day|