This race and I have quite the history. In the 12 years that I have lived in the Las Vegas area, I have raced this event six times. In 2005 I was the 3rd woman overall with a time of 21:19. In 2007 my time of 21:07 was good enough for 5th place overall.
|In 2008 checking my watch in disbelief.|
|Also from 2008, I'm standing with the 3rd place finisher|
|Downtown Las Vegas Racing-How I love all of your 90|
In 2008 I ran my fastest time on this course with a 20:30. I remember thinking that the course had to have been short, I couldn't believe that I finally went sub 21 minutes (and by a lot), that day was good enough for 5th place again. In 2010, I ran a 20:55 and that was good enough for 6th place. I was just barley pregnant with my son Samuel, and I didn't know it yet. In 2012 I ran a 21:54 and I just barley cracked the top 10.
|From 2012, and I look like I'm ready to puke.|
Going into this race, I kind of had high expectations on where I would place overall. Sometimes this race brings out the big dogs. I would much rather run a faster time and place lower, than place higher and run a less competitive race. But, you never know what race day will bring.
Before the race
On Saturday morning. I woke up a little earlier than usual. I made my kids and husband breakfast, and then I got dressed. For my breakfast I had a slice of toast with butter, two eggs over medium, and coffee. I left my house at 6:45. The race started at 8:15 but, I wanted to find a good parking space and have plenty time to warm up.
For my warm up I jogged two miles very slowly and then I did some strides and form drills.. While warming up for my last race I noticed that my hips and groin had been feeling tight. I was worried that once I began to do my strides, that something would feel off. Fort the past two months I have been really trying to take it easy and layoff of the speed work. I have run a few tempo pace runs, and have done some fast finish runs, but I have been so paranoid about injuries lately. I was happy that my strides felt normal, and maybe a little sluggish.
It was a warm morning, I decided to wear a white shirt, but I wish I would have gone with a tank top. The temps were in the low 70's before the race even got started.
I moved into the corrals at about 7:45, I know that's pretty early, but this race has one of the craziest starts. They try to split up the walkers and runners. But, usually a few determined walkers will line up right front on the line.
|The 2010 Start Line|
It is always the best to see my runner friends in the corrals. I ran into Toshie, Erin, and Christina before the race.
|Me, Toshie, and Christina from last December's|
LVTC Holiday Half Marathon.
I took off and found my groove, I always take off way too, fast to try to get away from the crowds during the first 800 meters. I had wanted to negative split this race, but in reality a 5k goes by so fast, that you just try to run as hard as you can for 3.1 miles.
We turned the first corner and came upon a water station...... Now normally I wouldn't care about a water station so early in a race, but I was grateful to dump a cup of cold water on to my head.
During the first mile I tried to notice the females that were ahead of me. The lead pack was about 30 seconds ahead of me, and Erin and Toshie went by me during the first mile.
6:47 (right on)
I saw that first mile splitt, and I thought "okay now lets try to maintain this pace". The course had quite a few 90 degree turns, it is hard to keep your momentum with the turns...
During the 2nd mile my arch rival (I'm joking) James Alejandro and his son Evan, went cruising by me. I laugh because it never fails... James has dusted me on several occasions. We run around the same times, with him being the faster runner. He is very good at negative splitting races. But, getting back to the 5k.
I kept James and his son in my sights, they had caught up to Erin and Toshie, and we all began to run in a pack for about a quarter of a mile.
With a mile to go, I felt that I had some starch left in me, and I began to prepare for the final kick down. We were running down a street with a slight decline. I made my move and went around the pack that I was running with. I also grabbed another cup of water and I dumped it on my head.
The final turn down Fremont street is on a slight incline, I think I started to pick up the pace too early, because my final kick wasn't very strong at all. That slight incline felt like I was running in place uphill. James and Evan came hauling right by me, this time for good.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I think I just didn't want to hurt too badly, so I didn't force myself to run harder..... I'm kicking myself for not digging deeper. James and Evan finished over 20 seconds ahead of me.
.14- 59 seconds (6:51 pace)
Garmin Time 22:02 (3.14 miles)
Official Time 21:59
8th woman overall 2nd in my age group
|From Left to Right (Me, Toshie, Erin, James, Evan)|
|Erin, Me, Toshie. In my head I am worried about how bad|
I stink. I didn't want to hug Toshie too closely to me. lol.
After the race, I briefly chatted with friends, took a few pictures, and then it was time to hurry home. I didn't stay for the awards, they usually only announce the top three winners overall, and I knew that wasn't going to be me this year. However, My friend Christina placed 2nd overall!
I wish that my time had been faster.... But, you can't have it all. I remember how nervous I had been feeling during my warm-up. Even during the last mile of the race, I thought to myself "hey your hip isn't hurting", and that feeling of relief is priceless. I could begin to do speed work to gradually bring down my 5k time. But, I don't want to risk any injury right now. My goal is to make it to the start line of RNRLV marathon healthy and ready to race, and hopefully PR at the end of this year.
I have a few other thoughts about training that are rattling around in my brain, but I will save those for next time.
As always thank you for reading.