Sorry for the brief report ahead of time, just super busy! (And having a blast!)
When I met my husband I entered into a life that include the Blossom Festival in Chagrin Falls every Memorial Day weekend. This is the big event in town, alum from the town come back each year for the carnival, parade, and many class reunions. In addition to all the festivities the towns Jaycee's also put on a 5.25 race each year. The race is usually relatively competitive and draws out a lot of runners. You have the staple of Fred Kieser winning the men's race most years and the women's race usually draws a local up and coming stud and sometimes a handful of local "ringers." It's competitive enough to give you some competition but is still a bit of a "small pond" for those of us up and comers.
Past reports from this race can be seen here:
I went in to this race with the goal of running the same pace as the Cleveland 10k or better. The course is hilly and it is hot so even though a little shorter than a 10k I thought 6:03 pace would be a good hard effort. On top of that depending on who showed I was hoping to be the first female. I wanted to run competitively and try to get out of my comfort zone a bit.
Stayed at the in laws the night before (this will be the last year in their house as they are moving to Phoenix, so another reason to try and bring home the win) and walked to the pre race packet pickup. Relaxed and chatted with friends before getting in my warm up and some dynamic stretching and strides. It was warm out but better than last year.
The first two miles of the course are rolling uphill so I figured I would be a little slow the first two miles then start picking things up to the finish.
The gun was shot and we were off and I pushed my way towards the front. I had my eye on MB because I knew last year he finished just ahead of the first woman. I know he is a good steady racer and I knew we'd be shooting for around the same time.
Waved at my husband on my way to the first mile marker in 5:59. A little quick but I was fine with that and ready to settle in a bit. Clipping away but I was sure I was slowing down a hair. I was fine with that as we were still heading uphill. As I neared the second mile marker SG scolded me for going out too fast, saying I had lost about 12 seconds in the 2nd mile (he was right 6:14). I picked it up and closed in on him and MB to try and get back in a groove and take advantage of the rolling downhill in this mile.
Normally I wouldn't take water in a race this short but it was pretty warm so I did opt to take water at the 3 water stops. I was so paranoid any females behind me would see this as a weakness but decided if SG was taking water I certainly needed to!
Around the 3rd mile one of the guys I was with asked what kind of mileage I was running and I replied with about 70 mpw. He retorted that he obviously wasn't doing enough. Thanks I think?
I got back into my groove on mile 3 with a 5:55. The rest of the course headed out of the shade and I just continue to push. Tried to focus on relaxing my breathing and staying close to MB. I was getting nervous that someone would catch me at this point. I knew I was pretty much pushing as hard as I could so I knew if someone came by it wouldn't be pretty. Mile 4 I hit in 6:05 and I started to up the effort and close in on MB.
The last mile you have an uphill near the cemetery before you get to hammer down and then flat to the finish straight ahead. Cheers of first lady in my head became "go ladies" and I thought for sure some one was catching me. I just kept driving in my paranoia, catching up to MB at mile 5 where I could hear my coach yelling out the 5 mile time. Hit that mile in 6:03 and I swear coach said something like 30:15. I knew that was slower than Cleveland but I was running the best I could. The crowds started to cheer and I decided I better suck it up and give them a show, I could hear my husband cheering, so I drove as hard as I could to the finish, I wasn't quite on my toes but that is pretty much the closest to a sprint I could come at that point finishing out the last .25 in 1:20 for a 31:38 finish and sealing first place for the females. I threw my hands up in victory and was promptly bear hugged by my father in law waiting at the finish.
Once the adrenaline wore off a bit my head did get a bit foggy so I am sure I was a bit dehydrated, but I was stoked to have run another race well and met my goals.
Spent the rest of the day celebrating with friends and family. It was fantastic!