Thursday, January 3, 2013

DCRR New Year's Day 5k: Age Group WIN

When our coach outlined our training plan for the Myrtle Beach Marathon, she tagged January 1 as a good day to run a 5k. True, there are many 5ks around the DC area on New Year’s Day, and it was a Tuesday, which put it far enough away from a weekend long run to prevent interference. Still, we dithered for weeks about which 5k to do, or whether or not to do one at all. We weren’t enthralled with the idea of shelling out $30-40 and driving out to the far-out suburbs in Virginia or Maryland to race for 20-some minutes, but finally, stumbled upon a $5 race sponsored by the DC Road Runners. The race started in Rosslyn and looked simple and low key.

A chance to run fast? For $5? At noon? OK. Let’s go.

I was hoping for a PR, and thought maybe I could get a good read on my marathon prep to date with my time at this race.

Then, Monday happened. I swam 10,065 yards, which is clearly a great way to rest. Then, having declared a moratorium on my medically-ordered low-carbohydrate, no-sugar diet, I ate a ton of Swedish Fish and M&Ms after the swim…and stayed up at Sarah’s house until 2 am eating even more M&Ms.

I discovered that sugar f***s up my entire body something fierce. And basically didn’t sleep more than 30 minutes at a time Monday night. I finally rolled out of bed at 9 am, moaned about how I was NEVER TOUCHING SUGAR AGAIN and whined about the 27:xx that I might be lucky to pull out at the race.

We got ourselves to the starting line to pick up our chips around 11:30 am, jogged about a mile including 3x100m strides, and then lined up along the staring line for the “race course” – or, the Mount Vernon Trail near the Rosslyn entrance. A guy gave a brief overview of the course - run that way, turn around at the cone and continue to run until you are back here – and then said, “Runners ready? GO!”

Bare-bones racing at its finest. I’m a fan.

Mia and Sarah and I took off together for the first mile, and we started out at a 7:19, at least partially thanks to the severe downhill start, which, on an out and back course, means that a severe UPHILL finish awaits you. I tried to ignore that, while hanging on to Mia’s shoulder and continuing to feel the ill effects of indulging in too much sugar.

Mile 2 clocked in at 7:42, and I kept pushing to keep up with Mia AND finish under 24 minutes, which meant holding a pretty swift pace given the uphill finish I knew we had waiting for us. As I climbed through the last quarter mile, Mia pulled a few seconds ahead, and mile 3 registered in 7:50 before I struggled up the very steep hill to finish at 23:51, a 1:27 improvement over my PR from 1/1/2012.

We hung out at the finish line and declared that neither of us would ever touch M&Ms ever again. Seriously, we felt THAT terrible, even after our PRs.

Of course, one of the first things I had to do was figure out what McMillian, the very wise running predictor, says about my marathon potential given this 5k time.



Sweet! WAY under 4 hours.

I checked on my final results online, since my watch isn’t always perfectly synched up with the race timing system, and found something truly surprising.






That last column? That’s my age group rank. That 1? That means that I WON MY AGE GROUP.*

WHAT?

A PR. A predicted marathon finish time in the low 3:50s. And an age group win. All on almost no sleep and with a severe sugar hangover.

Best $5 ever spent.



*Obviously, a 23:51 is not an elite-level time, or even remotely respectable for a local race in DC, and I basically won because the faster 30-39 women didn't show up to that race that day. Still, I had to run faster than the 34 other women in my age group, and as they say, you have to play to win. So, if you are thinking "damn, she's slow and I could have run faster than that and won that age group," well, you should have shown up and raced. 

**OK, but really, I do still recognize that I'm not fast, and that this will probably be my only age group win EVER.

23 comments:

  1. Maybe the lesson is that you should actually eat m&ms before all races as they clearly gave you a sugar boost... :)

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    Replies
    1. NOOOOOOOOO. I finally feel OK this morning. It took THAT long.

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  2. Sugar does that to me too. What you need to do is eat it earlier in the Amy and build up a tolerance. I find a 3pm sugar binge is optimal.

    Congrats on the big win, PR, and sub 4 marathon equivalency. Happy 2013!

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  3. Awesome! Great way to start off 2013! If it was me, I might retire on top!

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  4. i'm thinking that is totally worth celebrating :) looks like 2013 is off to a good start!

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  5. That's a freaking awesome way to ring in 2013! I don't care what you say, I consider that a fast 5K time, especially on New Year's Day. I expect 3:50 or less at MB.

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  6. WOW--2013 is officially the year of kicking butt and taking names! :)

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  7. This is awesome. A win is a win and exactly if anyone has anything to say, they didn't show up. Great job!

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  8. Winner winner M&M dinner? Congrats!

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  9. I am NEVER eating that much sugar again. EVER. Also - you forgot to mention that we totally set a record for amount of gross that we spit out during that run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gallons. It was GALLONS. Never again. EVER.

      Delete
  10. Having mised this before, I hereby say CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Congratulations, Victoria!! And for the record, I think 23:51 is very fast :)

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  13. You are welcome. I paid off all of your competition. How was the 4 day confidence high that I just shattered?

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    Replies
    1. Next time, just give me the money instead.

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  14. Maybe it was a belated glucose boost ;) Haha, as if I know what I'm talking about when it comes to that kind of thing.

    Huge congrats on the PR - who cares if it was a small race? You're still the winner, and a 'winner' in general in my book.

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks! Maybe if I keep getting faster, I'll be a sub 3:30 marathoner like you.

      I still don't suggest M&M loading prior to races. Ouch.

      Delete
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