Saturday, June 2, 2012

Holy Hills 5K

Holy Hills 5K- Not the name of the race I ran this weekend, but one they should definitely consider for next year. 

On Saturday I ran the Harding Bison Stampede 5K in Rogers, Arkansas around Lake Atalanta. I had lofty goals for this 5K. With my triathlon training going surprisingly well, my "speedy" legs were hoping for a sub-26:00 5K. That equates to approximately a 8:26 pace.

I figured that would be a completely bearable pace for 3.1 miles since I've been easily completing longer workouts at a 8:45 pace. That was until I discovered what the course actually consisted of:
Not drawn to scale. Obviously.

Yes. You are interpreting that amazing drawing correctly. That is a dirt/gravel road on crazy (for me) hills. 

Um, excuse me Harding University, I love being able to give back to my Alma Mater by running this race, but how about you cut me some slack and go easy on the hills. Capish? 

This race was the smallest I've ever run. By my rough counting in the picture below, looks like about 25 people toed the start line. Can you spot me? I was unknowing going for a patriotic theme.
A little after 8 o'clock, we had a briefing of the course (very important for a few miles later...), a prayer, then we were off.
I smoked that big-haired boy to my left and that little girl to my right. Suckers.

Josh won the best-husband award and came along to take photos cheer me on. He was stationed at the start and finish spots along the course, hence not much variation of scenery in the pics. 
Thumbs up for smelly trash cans and heel strikes!

We first looped around the park for a couple of laps before we headed around the lake- aka: where the dirt/gravel road started. I've got to say, I've never ran on trails before, but if it was anything like this course then I never want to do it again. I was constantly having to watch my footing and on the downhills I couldn't gain too much speed in fear of tripping on my face. 

Despite being out of my comfort zone, my first mile was right on pace. Mile 1- 8:23

After the crazy climb at Mile 1 (please refer to amazing drawing above) I was exhausted! {Insert whiney excuse of how terrible hills are and how much I suck at them} My legs were already feeling the beating and my pace was slowing up a bit. Mile 2- 8:53

Although my pace wasn't ideal during mile two I knew if I could pick it up I would still be able to reach my time goal. Then began the quick, but steep climb after the two mile mark. I did not dominate that hill. While I didn't walk, I was trucking along at a snails pace. And to make matters worse, at the top of the hill two volunteers were sending runners the wrong way! After some breathless conversations and me recalling the course briefing before the start, I finally headed down the correct path. 

At this point I was starting to feel mentally defeated knowing I wasn't going to reach a sub 26. The hills were sucky. The road was sucky. The direction-givers were sucky. Complain, complain, complain! I allowed myself to walk for 30 seconds then looked down at something I had written on my hand. 

"You only have this one chance to do this"

This was it. This was my one chance to give it all I got. So I lit a figurative fire under my booty and started to high tail it for one last lap around the park and then onto the finish. Mile 3- 9:26
I'm sure I was saying corny running mantras at this point.

Mile .20- 7:55 (<--A little extra mileage due to some course confusion)

Total (unofficial/Garmin) time: 27:38

A new PR! And 2:57 off my old 5K time! Considering the conditions, I'll take it! 

My goal now is to start training on some dadgum hills and stomp being such a wimp. And also to find a flat, fast course so I can kick some booty.

1 comment:

  1. Bahahahah laughing so hard at this post- you are too funny! Glad you made it and air high five for some time off! Sucks to be the big hair boy and little bitty girl!