Homecoming for Autism Run/Walk 5K- Oct. 25th Race Report

As far as races go, this was a good one. As far as my performance goes, it was low-keyed, but I’m happy with the promise it shows!

Race results: 21:52.137

When I logged this run, I rated myself 8/10 for quality and 4/10 for effort. The interval training I’ve been doing is really paying off.
I kept this at a very easy, reasonable pace. 6:42 for the first mile, 7:08 for the second and 7:09 for the third. The hard goal (the one I was really aiming for) was to end without injuring myself. The soft goal was to go sub 22. It’s too soon to tell with the hard goal (though I hope!!!), but the soft goal was well met. Considering that I did NOT do my best, I think the PR in November is definitely doable!!!
I can’t wait. I just need to keep myself under control, and keep getting that speed work in.
This race was held on my university’s campus, and students were permitted to run for free (which is the main reason I decided to run– a race after my regular long run). I didn’t think I would run the race, otherwise I would have planned the last two weeks differently. Since I only registered on Wednesday, I decided to stick to my plan and run the race for fun. This attitude helped me through traffic on I-95 and kept me calm despite arriving on location no earlier than 17:15. The race was scheduled for 17:30, so foregoing a warm-up I didn’t need (since the run was the only thing I planned to log today), I parked my car, jogged over to the bib and t-shirt pick-ups, jogged back to the car, dropped off the shirt and my ID, and jogged to the starting line. After five incredibly calm minutes, we were off.
Hard to believe I was only just watering the plants.
Given the amount of running energy I felt at the start, I was surprised to find myself with the top 25 people. I could see all the girls in front of me, and kept them in view for the first half mile.
I found a comfortable pace from the get-go, nothing too speedy but enough to have a turnover I only use in intervals. I kept that pace for the first mile and rolled through in 6:42. At that point, shortly before the first (and only “hill” of the course), I told myself to reel it in. I actually did not want to go faster, because I’d injured myself on the hill two years ago, and told myself to slow down. Instead, I focused my energy on seeing who was around me, encouraging the one girl who overtook me, and passing on words of encouragement for those whom I passed. One guy, who started walking with .6 miles left, I gave a pat on the back and encouraged him to “pick it up,” telling him “you’re almost there.” Because I was not concerned about my performance this race, I had a lot more to give to my fellow runners, meaning I really enjoyed the experience more myself.
Running wise, the last two miles were uninteresting near easy splits, and I was just keeping watch on my legs (particularly my left knee, which gave me a spot of pain and my calves, which got a bit tight) and keeping myself under control. I didn’t even go in for a final sprint and I ignored my watch after the second mile started (other than to look at distance… I admit, I was ready for the race to end with about .35 left).
The end was nice. The last .12 were on the school track and I’ve been doing a few interval workouts there, so it felt like a special workout session.
I came through with a 21:xx, and I was just happy to be in under 22 minutes.
I was handed water by a former cross country mate (she unfortunately has a stress fracture, I hope it heals in time for the indoor season!) who is a star on the team I had a (very) short stint on. It was nice to chat with her for a bit, but then I headed out. I did my cool down run to the library to pick up a book (yup- I’m an athlete and a nerd) and jogged back to the track to let the race administrators (some university officials) know that I wouldn’t be sticking around and to pass on my age group award to the next person. Then I left.
Not accepting my award was both because I was tight on time, but also because I felt guilty for placing. See, the race was free for students, but I’m technically no longer a student so… I bandited, but not really since I was still in the system as a student to register. Let’s say, I took advantage of the system. Because of that, I didn’t make this a goal race, I didn’t want to place, and I didn’t want an award if someone else should get it. This brings up full-circle to registering last minute, doing a 10 mile run yesterday, and using this race as a tune-up for a potential future PR race. Let’s just wait to see what happens.
I have no idea how this recap was just organized, but it’s out there now.
Cheers, and good job to all the runners racing today, training, or resting (like a good runner should! I haven’t decided yet, if I should rest tomorrow or Tuesday).
D
 p.s. in review, I’m afraid this post may come off a bit “woo, look at me! Aren’t I great?!” Please be assured that I’m only competing against myself and am just happy about where I seem to be heading in terms of my own goals. I know I’m faster than a lot of people, but I’m also slower than a lot of people. This was a fairly easy race, and it was incredibly well-organized (something I didn’t spare enough words on). South Florida times are generally slower, but I am also in awe of the 13 year old who won the women’s race in 19:xx. Go Rylee! That is all, for now.
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7 thoughts on “Homecoming for Autism Run/Walk 5K- Oct. 25th Race Report

  1. I don’t think any of your article makes you sound cocky at all!! In fact, just the opposite! It’s amazing you passed on your 2nd place award, highly commendable, regardless of circumstances!! And congratulations for that feat! You’re an amazing runner and I enjoy reading about what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Running Log: 10/19-10/25 in which I evaluate why I’m so 5K fixated right now | Running

  3. Congrats on a great race and like Paula said, your writing never comes across as cocky at all…you’re a great runner and it’s awesome to see those paces and times and read about your continued progress! Way to go!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: October 2015 Recap | Running

  5. Pingback: Running Log 11/2-11/8 in which I review a week of questionable training choices | Wanderwolf Running

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