Sunday, April 10, 2011

Race Recap: Athleta IronGirl 5K

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Today was the day I was supposed to run my first half-marathon. It was a race I was not totally prepared for and shouldn’t have signed up for in the first place. After a bout with shingles, I dropped down to the 5K and I must say, it’s probably one of the better decisions I’ve made this year. I felt nothing but relief and happiness with my decision, even while witnessing all the half runners getting ready for their race. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to tackle a half-marathon but not just yet.
So today was the day. Last year, I participated in the IronGirl 5K while my mom did the 15K. I haven’t been running much lately. Right now, I’m focusing on running short distances (like 1 mile short) and I’m going to slowly work my way up from there. I’m no longer putting a time limit on how far I should be running by a certain point. By taking that pressure off, running has become less of a stress-inducer and more of a stress-reliever.
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My goal was just to beat last year’s time of 44:54 and I had a secret goal of PR-ing. The fact that I hadn’t been running much didn’t make me positive this would happen. So, at the very least, I wanted to run as much as I could.
I’m not quite sure of my times, but I do know I finished my first mile in about 11 minutes, give or take a few seconds. I don’t run 11-minute miles. Right now, I’m just shooting to run a mile in 12 minutes, so this is big for me.
I took a few walking breaks during the race. I took a 3-minute break after I ran the first mile, a short 1-minute break during the water station, and then another 3-minute break after I ran the second mile. Around Mile 2, my side began cramping up, right around my ribcage. I have such a problem with side cramps while running and haven’t found anything to help them. Usually, taking big gulps of breath and massaging the area helps a little. Luckily, I hit 2 miles and took a walking break before the pain got too bad and was just determined to finish this race. I desperately wanted to PR.
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When my last mile started, I took it at a super slow pace. I didn’t want to go out too fast and have the cramping flare up again or get too tired to finish the race running. And while I swear that last mile was more like 4 miles than 1.1, I pushed through it and pushed myself to finish strong. This was actually one of the first races where I had to push myself to keep going. My mom left me in the dust about half a mile in and it was all up to me this time.
I crossed the finish line in 41:07, with a pace of 13:17. I took 1 minute, 7 seconds off my previous PR.
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Umm…AMAZING! I was so incredibly proud of myself for getting another PR, especially since I haven’t been running much. I think by taking the pressure off me to run a certain distance at a certain pace by a certain time, I’ve grown to like running a little bit more. (I’m still not sure I want to say I love it.) I think I took on too much too soon and it burned me out.
IronGirl is a race you must do if you can. They have them all over the U.S. and it’s just such a fun atmosphere to be a part in. It’s all women of all age groups and fitness levels. The event was well organized and the energy is electric. As soon as I got over my pre-race jitters, I became excited to run this race and push myself, surrounded by women doing the same thing.
And I have to give a special shout-out to Katy whom I met last night! Awesome blogger, awesome girl, and a crazy-fast runner. I think I had just passed the Mile 1 marker when I saw her on the other side, closing in on Mile 2. Yeah. She’s fast. (And she placed 4th in our age group…while I placed 121st, ha.)
Oh, and a shout-out to my mom, who crushed her previous PR by 5 minutes. Incredible.

24 comments:

  1. Yay Steph! SO proud of you! You're a rockstar :)

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  2. What an amazing accomplishment that you took that much time off of your personal record! Yay! Sounds like a wonderful day and race overall. (Congrats also to your mom for taking 5 minutes off her time - wow!)

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  3. CONGRATS! Getting a PR is such a great feeling. And hooray for your mom's huge PR! Nice work, you two!

    Can't wait to hear more about the blogger dinner!

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  4. Great job to both you and mama! That medal was pretty sweet too.

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  5. I am SO proud of you..for the PR, of course, but for having such a good attitude about your journey in getting there. This course was one of the most difficult I've ever run, and doing it unprepared would have set you up for injury and MAJOR mental defeat.

    Your medal is gorgeous and I am so excited that you had a great run!

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  6. CONGRATS!! This is awesome :) You look so cute and happy in your picture. PR - YOU GO GIRL!

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  7. Good work!
    Also you're looking pretty trim there.

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  8. Congratulations girl! Awesome job setting a new PR! :D
    I am so happy that we were finally able to meet last night! Definitely need to do it again! :D

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  9. WHOOOO!!! Way to go lady! Awesome job on that PR. Clearly dropping down to the 5K was 100% the right choice for you!!

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  10. Way to go Stephany! Congrats on the PR (for you and your mom). And it's wonderful that you've found a way to enjoy running (even a little bit).

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  11. congrats!!! that's awesomesauce all around :)

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  12. Rock on, Steph! So proud of you :-) I love that picture of you and your medal. You totally deserve it!

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  13. Awesome, congratulations!!!!! :) I just did my first 5K this weekend. Like I said, some day we should do a race together!

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  14. Congrats!! You should be proud of yourself!

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  15. You are awesome, congratulations!!

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  16. AWW!!! Awesome awesome awesome! I am so proud of you! Congrats on the PR! :)

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  17. Congrats on the new PR! Awesome job :)
    Iron Girl definitely put on good event, plus the medals are super cute!

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  18. Amazing!!! So very very proud of you!! :)

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  19. Congrats! Looks like a super succesful day to me! :)

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  20. Congratulations! I wish I had found your blog before this weekend - I was going to run the Iron Girl this weekend but I lost my running partner and couldn't find anyone else willing to go! I'm doing Miles for Moffitt next month ... are you doing that one?

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  21. Awesome job!!! Way to go girl!!! What a great accomplishment!

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