Monday, May 23, 2011

POTA Springfest 5K: race report

Or, how to not prepare for and then poorly execute running a 5K.


Friday afternoon we drove up to Philly.  We went to the Phillies game that night and the traffic was so bad that I had to drink 3 beers for medicinal purposes (stress relief) pretty quickly once we got to the game.
When we got home from the game, my dad was out drinking scotch on the porch, so of course I joined him for a glass (or 7).  I topped off the night with a Phillies cookie and went to bed.
When I woke up the next morning, I had a pretty powerful headache.  I had looked up local races earlier in the week, but we decided to make a morning-of call on whether or not to do one, and I actually didn't even bring any race gear with me because I figured I would be too hungover tired from the game to follow through.  It was a gorgeous morning, sunny and humid and hot, but at least not raining, so we found a 5K in Perkasie and headed out.  We got there pretty quickly, registered and I ran an easy warm-up.  
Check out my sweet non-dropping hip!
I felt like complete crap during the warm-up - I was sweating out scotch and had some excellent heartburn going on.  I sat in the car for a few minutes after warming up, and found a Gu in the center console that might have been 2 years old and ate it, washed down with some hot-water-fountain-water.  I figured I couldn't really make anything worse.


The race didn't start until 10am so it was full on hot and humid by the time we lined up to start.  Graham had decided to run with the poet to try and PR.  
I had no intentions of trying to PR, I just wanted to set a decent pace and hang on.  I didn't have a time goal in my mind, but I was hoping to run pretty even 8:30s.  The race wasn't being chip timed, so I lined up near the front.  I couldn't decide whether or not to run with music, but I grabbed my iPod shuffle at the last second and plugged it in.  There were only a few hundred people running the race, and the guy working the clock stood up and yelled, "Ready, set, go!"


Immediately a pack filled with mostly high-school-age-looking kids took off, plus a few more men.  I settled in behind the pack with two other men.  I'm pretty bad at judging my exertion levels when it's hot out, but the pace felt fine and I figured I would just draft off of them a bit.  I never trust my Garmin during a race for pace, but when I looked down the first time it said I had covered .38 and my pace was 7:11.  I freaked out and hit the brakes hard, letting the two men pull ahead.  My watch beeped 1 mile at 7:37, and I knew I was going to blow up.  My heartburn was back and I was already spitting a lot.  


The course went on a little trail, over some small bridges and out to a park, where we did two loops of the park and then headed back.  The mile markers on the course weren't even close - I ran past the 1-mile marker at .68 on my watch, and the 2-mile marker wasn't until roughly 2.2 - although the total mileage for the course ended up being right.  There was some shade in the park but the air was very thick and humid, and there were several places where the trail had been washed out and we had to run through deep puddles.  I got through the first loop and started the second when my stomach revolted and I had to pull over.  I didn't puke, just dry-heaved a few times and spat all over the ground.  I walked for about 15 seconds and then kept going.  My watch beeped for mile 2 at 8:26.


We wrapped around the back of the loop and a pack of teenage girls caught up with me.  I tried to hang with them but my stomach was in knots.  I ended up making two dry-heaving pit stops in mile 3. A guy ran past and asked if I was okay, and I just yelled, "HANGOVER!" and he laughed and kept going.


The course came out of a loop and the last .5 of a mile was on sidewalk in direct sunlight.  It was awful.  My watch beeped mile 3 at 8:38 (goddamn pit stops) and I started trying to do math in my head.  I somehow thought that I could still make it in under 25 minutes (race math fail, um no, I sadly can't run .1 in 19 seconds) but didn't really have much left in the tank.  When I rounded the corner and saw the clock showing 25:15 I just hauled ass towards the finish.  .1: 43 seconds, final time: 25:26 (8:12 pace).  Graham and the poet were pretty close behind me, finishing in 26:50, a big PR for Graham!
The finish line was stocked with orange slices and soft pretzels (Philly suburb, yesss) so we hung out and stuffed our faces for a while.
They were tearing off tags and posting them on a board, and when I looked at it, I realized I came in second in my age group (30-39).  Hooray for small local 5Ks!  I was pretty pumped to get a medal.
Okay, I was ridiculously excited to get a medal.  I never win anything!
I wore my bib and medal to the grocery store and Target and all day until I had get changed for a party.  I walked around all day saying, "I came in second!" in a loud voice and "In the women's 30-39 age group" in a much softer voice.  
I also had an incredibly hilarious text messaging conversation with my coach about running a 5K after 3 months of no speedwork at all and a broken butt (similar to the conversation we had last week about running 13.1 after 3 weeks of training; yes, I'm a complete disaster, sorry George!). However, this time makes me REALLY pumped to return to the track next week and see what I can do to some more short races this summer.  But until then, have a great week, friends!  I hope you really enjoy the guest posts this week as I think they are great topics being covered by some truly amazing women.  And as you read this, I'm probably drinking something with an umbrella in it (yes, at 9am, no judgement).  It's delicious!  

24 comments:

  1. THESE are some great race pictures - action shots or not ;) That pup looks tired, maybe next time he'll win something in his age group?? Cutie.

    Just reading about the night before + heat/humidity makes me feel a little nauseous...haha. Nice work, lady!

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  2. This is awesome. Hooray for the puke and rally! A hot marine once told me that was hardcore.

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  3. Man I would have for sure threw up all over the place running in the heat hungover! Great job getting second!! Thats so awesome!

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  4. That last photo is pure class.

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  5. Woohoo on placing! Awesome start to what I'm sure will be an awesome vacation.

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  6. This cracks me up. I'm super impressed with your speed and time considering.... everything.

    congrats to graham on his PR!!

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  7. hahah! love it...medals are serious...anyway you can get them! I would wear it all day too! That pup is sooo cute!

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  8. Nice job dry heaving your way into winning a medal! You go girl!

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  9. Hilarious! I've had a similar hungover 5k in the heat experience. I think I even PR'd. Way to wear that medal with pride!

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  10. beyond impressive time and finish due to the "condition" you were in :)
    2nd in age group - woohoo!!
    I was laughing out loud when I read your review.

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  11. Congrats on the AG place! If you can run that pace given all of the conditions, I bet you are going to have some seriously speedy times later this summer.

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  12. 1. Congrats on the 2nd place AG finish. That ROCKS!!

    2. *smacks hand* Don't you be doing anything to injure mah friend Katie.

    3. If you AREN'T drinking something with an umbrella in it by 9 am I will be judging you.

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  13. Looove your race pics. Congrats on a huge PR and getting 2nd in your AG. It's kinda funny though, the only time I've ever won an AG placement (and a medal) was also at a small local 5k a couple years back :).

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  14. Running hungover is no bueno-props to you for ROCKING IT!!

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  15. Congrats on the AG award! I love your comment about shouting 'i got 2nd place' and whispering the 'in my age group'. I would totally do the same thing!

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  16. Great post Katie, I love it. Is that a hangover PR? How would you like to have been the person getting third behind the dry heaving hungover chick? Too funny! Way to go Katie, congratulations on 2nd place AG, enjoy your vacation!

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  17. Congrats! You are well on your way to a comeback, I'd say.

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  18. This is the best race report ever!

    I love Bud Light Lime. Yum!

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  19. you are hilarious. and now you have a hangover PR. and they are separate from regular PR's. hopefully next hangover race you'll actually vomit! hooray!

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  20. Woohoo! I was totally waiting for the punchline to be that you didnt make your goal after how you introduced it, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how fantastic you did. Congrats!

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  21. Congrats! The best things with running often are the ones we least prepare for. Enjoy the medal!

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  22. I was at that race too. it was definitely brutal haha, so hot. and i think the 1 mile mark was too early, im not sure though since i didnt have my watch on. but i agree, that last half mile right out in the open was just killer. i thought i was gonna keel over haha. but hey, it was almost a PR for me, 17:34 =]. good job to you though, hopefully i'll see you at another race!

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  23. You rule!!! I love this. so hard to run in those conditions and you kicked butt (no pun!) COngrats!

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  24. You're so hardcore. Congrats on a great race (despite being hungover!)

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