Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Maybe Offroad 5 Milers are My Sweet Spot

For the sake of efficiency, I'm combining race reports for my last two races: The NERC Autumn Leaves 5 Miler and the Twinsburg Turkey Trot 5 Miler. Both races went well for me and I am thinking that this distance is a good sweet spot for me in terms of effort.

Race # 1 - NERC Autumn Leaves 5 Miler 

The Autumn Leaves race took place on Sunday, 11/3 at the Lake Farmpark in Kirtland. It had rained all day and night beforehand so it was a slippery, muddy mess but it was a blast. Steve and I both ran it. I felt pretty crappy on our 1 mile warm up so I wasn't sure what kind of day I would have out there. I heard the course was going to be challenging so I went into with the mindset of just wanting to finish and challenge myself. The women's field was actually pretty competitive at this race including a couple of outstanding younger girls.

Running along one of the scenic trails
The race included some gravel trail, a good bit of muddy pasture running, some horse barns, some paved asphalt trails and a very muddy and slippery corn maze! Needless to say it was NOT a boring race at all. It was very scenic with the colors of fall and just a very fun race.

I definitely pushed myself but it was not a day to PR with the conditions. I held on pretty strong for the duration of the race but did get passed by 2 ladies to finish at 39 minutes (10th overall and 2nd in my age group). Steve also did well running under 34 mins and placing 2nd in his age group as well! NERC did a nice job with the race and the awards and gave us all huge trophies for the effort. I will definitely look forward to running this one again!
Post race celebrating with Steve 

Race # 2 - Twinsburg Turkey Trot 5 Miler

Prerace with Steve
The Turkey Trot was this past Saturday, 11/9. This is always a fun fall race. It combines road and trails so it it more challenging terrain than your average 5 mile road race. Last year I had run it but didn't really have a great day. This year was another story! I just felt better this week. Again my husband raced too and we both felt pretty good on our mile warm up.

It was chilly but I opted to race in shorts with a baseball cap, long sleeve and my gloves. This turned out to be just right although it was very windy and cold for a few minutes waiting for the race start. The first mile of this race is always very fast and this year was no exception. I felt like I was going to be in trouble going out in the low 6's but luckily I was able to hold on and slow my tempo as we hit the trail for some climbing. There were a couple of younger girls who were ahead of me but I passed one before we exited the trail. The other girl and I went back and forth for maybe a mile before I passed her. At that time I thought maybe I was in second or first as I wasn't 100% if there was another woman ahead of me or not. I did my best to just hang on and push.

My first 1st place finish!
As I hit the homestretch I reached down to adjust my bib and tore my number so I was running across the finish line holding it. I could see/hear Steve cheering. I didn't see a ribbon so I assumed I was in second place. I was a little out of it but heard my name and Steve came over to see me and I asked him what place I was I was in and he said FIRST! I was excited and surprised to have been first overall female! This was the first race I've ever won first in (officially).  My time of 36:22 (7:16 pace) was not a PR for this distance but it was for this race and this course.
Post race celebrating with my #1 fan!

I won a trophy and a turkey for my hard work! Steve also had a great race placing 5th overall and 1st in his AG! I am looking forward to seeing what I can do in this race in the years to come. Thanks to Northcoast Multisport and Champ Racing for helping out with this race.

Special thanks to sponsors: Rev3 and Powerbar Team Elite for keeping me fueled and ready to go all season!

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