Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's 5K Season!!!!

Finish line photo
With the completion of the big goal ultra in October, I was ready to start back into running with low mileage, and the kids were winding down with fall sports.  We have so many great 5Ks in our area in the fall so we call the start of November the start of our 5K season.
Pumped up for 5K season

November 2 was our debut 5K at the Road Runner 5K  for the 2014 fall season.  Zach and I had done this race last year so we knew that it was challenging.  Nic did the kid's race last year, but he was ready to step up to the challenge of a good cross country course.  Zach hadn't done much running in the fall due to his baseball schedule, but Nic was in pretty good running shape due to his soccer training. This race is fun because it's at the site of Virginia Gold Cup plus all of the proceeds go towards new playground equipment for a local elementary school.
Love this course!

It was really windy and pretty cold last Sunday morning, but we were ready to tough it out and run hard.  Zach had 31:34 there last year, and he really wanted to do under 30 minutes.  Nicolas said that he would like to try for under 30 minutes as well so Zach said that he would pace him.  We got out of the car and got our bibs pinned on and did a warm up jog with about 15 minutes to go before race time and then huddled in the paddock to block the wind until they called us to the start. 
Getting ready to run!

Zach lined himself up at the front with the eventual winner while Nic and I were a little more conservative and lined up towards the middle.  This course is basically small rolling hills and open meadow running pretty much the whole way with the exception of about .25 miles on gravel road to get us started.  Zach took off with the leader and hung off the back of him for about .1 of a mile.  Nic took off too so it took me a little while to catch them, but I did catch them by the end of the first mile.  They were working really well together with Zach leading and checking back sometimes to offer encouragement to Nic. 

You can see them taking off without me!

They went through the first mile at 8:51 which really surprised me because we were getting some wicked wind gusts.  The second mile was better as we had made a turn on the course and had the wind at our back.  It was a bit hillier, but they ended up with an 8:50 split for the second mile.  Nic started to struggle a bit in the last mile as we were back running into the wind, there was a tough hill, and he got a stitch.  Zach turned back and told him to hang in there, and I was running with him encouraging him to keep going because he was really close to a sub-30 finish.  He was feeling pretty rough in the last 1/4 mile, but the kid who won had run back to cheer on finishers so Nic got a big boost from him.  He pushed himself really hard on that last stretch and ended up finishing in 29:50. 

Strong finish for Nic!

Zach got a 29:46 finish so a huge personal course record under some tough conditions. Average pace was 9:33 so you can see how they faded a bit in that last mile.

Great pacing work by Zach!
 I was so proud of both of them for going sub-30 minutes on this course.    They placed 19 and 20 out of 89 runners and 15 and 16 out of 39 males.  Pacing them was actually fast enough to put me in top 5 out of 50 females (2nd in the 40+ group).

Mom just happy that her legs are coming back after the 100K. (and wishing that I hadn't worn the jacket because I got overheated)
 Since the race was small, there were no age group awards, but it was a fun start to 5K season. 

Still highly recommend this race. They had great post-race food from Panera, nice long sleeve cotton tees, gorgeous course, great announcer at the end, reliable timing, free race photos, and much improved course marking this year. 

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