Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Race Recap: Magnuson Halloween 5K

posted by Leila Z. on ,

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A few weekends ago I ran the Magnuson Series Halloween 5K, a rather spur of the moment decision that (somewhat surprisingly) paid off. In the weeks preceding the race, I went back and forth a number of times -- should I? shouldn't I? My goal race, the Green Lake Gobble 5K, isn't until late November. The Magnuson race could be a good fitness test, and it's a very cheap race. But: 5Ks hurt. The deadline to turn in my dissertation was a few short days later, and I was worried I might need the time for that instead.

Photo montage courtesy of Emily Brain
In the end it was the presence of the birds that swayed me -- the race was to be a Oiselle Volee meetup, and it looked like it would have a robust group of both racers and cheerers. I pulled the trigger the last day it was possible to register online and used the following 36 hours to mentally prepare myself. It wasn't easy. The forecast for the morning had us in the low 50s, with sometimes heavy rain, and up to 20mph winds. Ugh. This picture from fellow Volee teammate Rebecca Nelson was only a slight exaggeration:

Just a little windy, Rebecca?

Despite the weather, there were quite a few birds that turned out for the event, along with my loyal #1 fan/coach/husband, who ran around the course cheering in several places during the race. I warmed up, changed into my/Greg's racing flats, did a few quick strides, posed for a quick O photo, and we were off! I made a conscious effort to go out a bit harder than I had in recent races, trying to run a more even race. My effort felt hard but controlled, and having Greg and several cheering birds at the top of Kite Hill about 0.6 miles into the race gave me a great boost at a place where I have sometimes lost composure in the past.

After about the first mile, we came out of the sheltered woods and turned directly into the wind. Greg and I had talked about finding someone to draft off of in this stretch, but I was in a no man's land, and the only person around stopped to tie his shoe not long after. So I was on my own. I slowly started moving closer to the group ahead of me, and by mile 3, I was trying to gain contact with them despite that familiar 5K pain. :) I managed a slight kick in the last couple of tenths of a mile, and ended the race in 27:12 by my watch (the Magnuson series doesn't do chip timing, so I like to count my watch time as the "official" one). My Garmin had the course a bit short, but had splits of 8:53, 9:00, 8:55, and 0:24. I was happy with how even the splits were, especially given that mile 2 was almost entirely into the driving wind!

In the end, I was delighted to have a big 5K PR (45 seconds!) on such a cruddy day, and it gave me hope that I could do even better on a "normal" race day at the Green Lake Gobble 5K in a couple of weeks. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a great day despite the rain, wind, and cold, and I can't wait to race with #oisellevolee again soon!

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