Haddonfield Adrenaline Run 5K Race Recap (21:12)

This morning’s 5K race was so. much. fun.

I went into today’s 5K with two goals:

1. Race a PR

2. Break 21 minutes

I only accomplished my first goal but I am totally okay with that.

There were a number of factors working against me today:

1. The roads were slushy and riddled with potholes after all the snow we received.

2. I only got two hours of sleep the night before.

3. It was freezing cold.

4. It had been 6 weeks since my last race. (Racing is basically my main source of speed work, so if it’s been more than a month between races, I can expect to run a relatively much slower time.)

Regardless, I wasn’t racing for any kind of prize today. For perspective: The first male finisher completed the course in 14:30 and the first female finisher completed the course in 16:52. Obviously this is one of the most competitive 5K road races in the state of New Jersey. The event attracts top high school/collegiate athletes and even a few Olympians with almost a thousand runners in total. First and foremost, I went into this race with the expectation of getting a great workout plus a rare, exciting opportunity to race with some of the fastest runners in the state. I’d run this race three times before and I never felt more prepared than I did today.

crazy calf muscle photo bomb

I’ve decided that I need to stop racing with my iPhone. I think for me, personally, it is too clunky, cumbersome, and unnecessary for a 5K race. I realized that, if I truly want to improve as a runner, I need to stop relying on music to propel me through a race. I want to train myself to get my head in the game. So today I just ran with my humble Garmin. The starting line was actually not too freezing, since I was sandwiched in with almost 1,000 other excited runners.

I was completely prepared when the siren went off. I really missed my favorite 5K playlist for about the first 30 seconds of the race. And then I got over it.

My goal pace for this race was 6:45. I hit my first mile in 6:38 which was a perfect split. I was feeling pretty good and running with a really nice pack (a few men in their 30s/40s and several female high school runners). I lost a disappointing amount of speed in my second mile, which turned out to be a 7:00 even split. Once I made it over the course’s lone hill, I really threw myself into my third mile. And then I threw up (four times).

I hate when I get sick, but it’s completely unavoidable when it happens. The best I can do is slow down and just puke while trying my best not to get any on myself or (God forbid) any other runners. I lost about 20 seconds in the final stretch of the race when my pace slowed to around 7:30, but I still finished relatively strong with a third mile split of 6:49 and a final time of 21:12, which is a thirteen second 5K PR.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 1.45.07 PM

I obviously have a lot of room for improvement here when it comes to holding it together throughout the middle of a race. If I had hit that 2 mile split as planned, I would have easily broken 21 minutes. Next time I race, I’m really going to hone in on that second mile.

checking out the results
SNOW

Overall, I finished 179th out of 893 total runners. I was 32nd out of 467 female runners and 8th out of 42 runners in my age group. There was a lot of snow stuck to the tree branches in town; it was melting and splattering runners left and right, which made for a rather lovely distraction. The community energy at this race is first rate. I’m so lucky I got to experience this kind of event with such a huge, dedicated group of runners. Of course, I also appreciate the sweet finisher’s medal, which doubles as a bottle opener.

Questions for the Internets:

Do you race with or without music?

What’s your 5K race strategy? (positive or negative splits?)

What’s the most unique race medal/award you’ve ever received?

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8 Comments

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  1. Congratulations on your new PR! And an awesome time too, even if you didn’t break 21 that’s a great finish time. It’s fun to race against faster people because it does help you run faster than in a small race where you know you’re probably going to get an age group award, etc. Not that I don’t like those races (I do), but if you’re going more for a PR, fast fields are the best!

    My 5Ks are always positive splits! I have gotten a bit better about them but really, it is only 3 miles so it’s hard to gauge splits. My last one was really positive but that was due to the wind on the way back. Sometimes you’re racing conditions like that so it’s out of your control. Plus, I would feel weird racing with negative splits, almost like you are leaving time on the course. At least with a 5K, you can go out a little fast and not die later in the race (or by the time you do fizzle out, the race is almost over). Something like a half, if you go out too fast it’s really horrible in the last few miles :(.

    I do music in longer races like 10Ks and halfs. 5Ks I usually don’t, it seems like it slows me down…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I completely agree with you about not wanting to “leave time on the course.” That’s a perfect way of putting it. I always go out super fast (about 5:20 pace for the first minute or so) – just to set a high standard; otherwise I will slack the rest of the race! I think I will continue to listen to music during longer races, but I believe music may have been slowing me down during 5K races, too!

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  2. woah that’s crazy about the competition in that race.!!
    and you threw up.!!?? that is so intense. but I hope you feel better now.

    and most importantly, Congrats on the PR.!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh sorry to hear you got sick but I’m glad you had a great Pr, that is incredible (especially in that weather). I actually don’t race with music. At a race a while back, my ipod just stopped working..since then I don’t race with music at all.

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  4. AHH you threw up four times my GOD that is insane. I probably would too if I were running that fast..haha. Way to get that PR though, this sounds like such an awesome race.

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