Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

June Magnuson Series 5K Race Recap

posted by Leila Z. on ,

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I never got around to writing a recap of the Magnuson Series 5K that I ran in June, even though I wanted to. I was mostly stumped by my lack of planning, photo-wide: I failed to take a picture pre- or post-race, and the race photos didn't capture me somehow [Note: the Magnuson Series is a great bare-bones but CHEAP series that focuses on being able to track your progress from one month to the next, so I don't blame them at all for this!]. So I'll pad the race recap with some non-running photos of me, and running photos of not-me. :)

I'm a fake fake doctor!
Running the Magnuson 5K was actually a spur-of-the-moment decision; my family was in town for my graduation (the fake one -- I won't defend my dissertation until December) and I was looking for something active for my brother and me to do. A tempo run earlier in the week had me feeling good and I was wondering if I could challenge my PR of 28:55. So we jumped in the race. My goals for the race were: A) break 28:00, B) score a PR, and C) race smart and negative split the race.

We arrived at Magnuson Park in plenty of time for me to do my mile warmup and a few strides to boot. The morning was beautiful: sunny but cool, with temperatures in the low 60's. It's a small race series, so even after the gun went off there wasn't much maneuvering necessary. Gunning for a PR, I went out at a comfortably hard pace, and went through Mile 1 in 9:17. Looking back, it was a bit slower than I really wanted, but I wanted to save some (mental and physical) energy for the hill at about 0.6 miles. It's not a huge hill, but looms large in my head after feeling extremely defeated by it on the second lap of a 10K I ran there last year.

Once over the hill, I started to squeeze down bit by bit. I saw fastie Greg at several points on the course shouting encouragement, but didn't have much breath to waste telling him how I felt. By about the middle of Mile 2, I started feeling a little foggy and couldn't do much except try to maintain contact with the woman in front of me. I knew we had picked up the pace, but didn't know by how much. At certain points I tried to summon the energy to pass her, but I couldn't. I grimly hung on until the last couple of tenths of a mile, when I tried to kick but lost her by a few yards as I didn't have much left. Still, as I clicked off my watch crossing the finish line, I saw that I had run 27:57! The race was only gun timed so my official gun time was 28:03, but I'm counting it by watch time... ;) After catching my breath, I walked over and thanked the woman who I had followed for pulling me through, and she in turn thanked me for pushing her (she said she had heard my footsteps through most of the race).

Happily, my brother Murray also scored a PR (25:27), too: as evidenced by the pain face photo below!
Murph hangs on for a PR; cheers from Mama Z in the background!
Overall, I was quite pleased with the day. I had a race plan and executed it to good effect. I still don't claim to have a lot of mental toughness when things start to hurt, but I was able to hang on and accomplish all three goals that I had for the day. And a PR in at least one race distance was on my list of goals for 2015, so I'm happy to have checked that one off! Next up: I'll be running the Women of Wonder 10K on September 13, where I'll try to put some of these same racing lessons to the test in a longer format.

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