2008 Flag Day 5k

On Tuesday I received an email out of the blue from one of my really good high school friends. MP was an exchange student from Montreal my senior year and we spent a lot of time together on and off the cross country course that year. In college I visited MP twice in Montreal but it has been 7 or so years since we have really chatted. So I was surprised to hear from her and more surprised to find that she was going to be in Sandusky Wednesday and heading back to Montreal Thursday afternoon. Of course I made arrangements to get out to Sandusky to see her… And then remembered that I was signed up for the Flag Day 5k that evening. Yeah I am not the best with the whole calendar thing. So I emailed her back to see if we could work something out so I wouldn’t have to miss the race but still see her and was pleasantly surprised to hear back that she would do the race with me. Most of the girls I ran with in High School no longer run so I was excited to hear that MP has been running casually about 10k 4 or 5 times a week and wasn’t opposed to doing the race with me. While I obviously would have bailed on it to go visit with her it was just nice that I could do both!

So Wednesday afternoon I left work early to go to Sandusky and pick up MP. We chatted a bit and grabbed a quick bite to eat then drove back to Mentor to get ready to race. Obviously we had lots to talk about and the 90 minute drive worked out fine for catching up on each others lives. Got to the race site about an hour early and we got MP registered and chatted with some locals before heading out for a warm up. We did just shy of 25 minutes before hitting the restrooms and lining up at the start. I introduced MP to Salty in hopes that Salty might push MP and that MP would keep Salty from being too competitive in the high heat that we had! I had some time goals going into the race but I had pretty much thrown those out and was just going to try and have a good strong race with hopes of coming in 3rd overall. (Two serious speedsters toeing the line so I figured 3rd was the best I could hope for)

Old Friends Ready to Race

I tried to go out relaxed and just latch on to Evie since I knew that last year she ran under 19 here. I figured she would kick my butt but I wanted to try and stay relatively close to hold onto 3rd and hopefully another sub 20. (First girl is a local stud, consistently running sub 17s, I don’t even know what I would do with myself if I was that fast)

First mile was perfect at 6:06. Toying with sub 19 here but the first mile had a large downhill and I knew there were some hairpin turns and uphills to deal with that would probably shoot that down. Got a little complacent the second mile, falling back into my old ways. Fell back a bit from Evie but still pushing. High fived MP and cheered for her and Salty as they came up the hill I was heading down. I think it was around here last year that I missed Salty coming downhill. It felt good to be in her shoes this time around.

Second mile was slower than I intended around 6:26 and I heard my hubby cheering a few seconds too late as I passed and headed into a turn and up the last long hill. During the warm up we ran the hill and it didn't seem too bad, but my legs have just felt tapped lately on the uphills and I could feel the energy drain towards the top as we wound through the woods. Last year I had toyed with this girl through the woods trying to pass her at every attempt but this time around Evie had a good gap on me and there weren't even any men to pass so I just picked up my pace and hammered as best I could. Once again I forgot that we head back into the woods and not straight down the hill but I stepped up the effort trying to close the gap on Evie. Got to the last downhill stretch and I was pushing hard, but felt strong. Evie had too much of a gap on me to catch her and I knew from a glance over my shoulder after mile 2 that there weren't any girls close to me.

My sights on the clock I watched as a PR and my Mom's Day 5k time passed and I clocked a 19:34 pumping my arms as hard as I could in response to my husbands cheers. I was a bit disappointed not to beat my Mom's Day 5k time as I felt I ran a better race but with the heat, hills, and turns this is probably a slightly slower course. And I was very happy to place 3rd overall and go sub 20 for the 3rd time.

Chatted with my hubby then headed back to pick up MP and Salty but didn't have to wait long as they both came cruising in before I could even get to the hill. MP was crushing it, running about 3 minutes faster than her high school times and Salty was making all baby mommas proud kicking it in and out sprinting 3rd in her age group.

We hung around for the awards and hooted and hollered. Unfortunately Allanjel had a bad night, but I tell you what, chick is fierce and I have no doubt she will be heading for a BQ in Richmond this fall. My friend MP snagged second in age group and I picked up Salty's second in age group plaque for her. A good night for the gals.

Waiting for the Awards

3rd Overall Female (Plaque actually said Male so I had to peel it and trade with the Male 3rd overall!)

2nd in Age group!

Awards are fun!

Then it was off to Baker's Square for dinner and back to Sandusky. A night very well spent!

I am pretty happy with my race. I wasn't exactly 100% focused and I am boosting mileage right now so I can't expect to race extremely well, especially at short distances. I ran over 60 seconds faster than last year (granted last year I was coming off the GMR relay) and I was able to go sub 20 relatively pain free. In the future I want to get the second mile faster, it's something I have always struggled with and it is my new goal to run my second mile much closer to my 1st mile (although at mom's day 5k I did that and died, so we will see). 5ks are rough, go out too fast and you burn out, too slow and there isn't time to make it up. You'd think since I have been doing this for about 12 years I'd have it figured out by now, but I guess that is the thrill of it!

All in all a great night. It was great to catch up with my friend and awesome to share our joint love of running by doing the race. Also cool to share it with all my new Cleveland friends. It was a year ago this race that I first met Salty and I am so excited that we are now close friends. I've got such a great group of girlfriends in Cleveland and I guess seeing MP made me realize that although I have moved far away from most of my high school and college friends I am still blessed with many great relationships, old and new.


Brian said...

"We chatted a bit". Oh come on. When did you only chat a bit. :)

Nice job.

Steve Hawthorne said...

Lizzy, we should plan a SERC trip to Montreal. What do you say :-)

Nice run today!

duchossois said...

Very cool story. Its great to catch up with an old friend, and managing to work a nice little race into the mix makes it even better.

Josh said...

sub 20 for a 5k is wicked good.

Congrats on a mighty strong finish.

Irene said...

Congratulations! Trophies and prizes are always great!

Wonderful pictures!

Laura Lohr : My Beautiful Life said...

That is AWESOME! Congratulations! A sub 20 is incredible fast!

I came across your blog from Runner Susan's blog BTW.

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice hardware!! Great job!! And your long-lost friend is totally cute!


Rae said...

Wow!! Awesome job!!! You have had one amazing year!

Anonymous said...

congratulations! i was wondering why the post looked familiar but was still marked as unread. facebook! i had already seen them on FB. i'm so easily confused.

i have no doubt that you're a friend magnet.