Race Report: Triangle Run for Autism 5K

Or: my fastest 5K of the year.

[Insert yaysies here]

The weather: perfect, at 50 degrees and sunny. The course: hilly, as always…but not as punishing as it could have been, I suppose.

Coming off of the start line, we climbed a two-block incline and then began a gradual descent into one of the pretty historic neighborhoods north of downtown. I’d positioned myself three people deep at the start and had a lot of company during that first quarter mile. Even though I’d taken a good three-mile warm-up, I felt like I was running in slow motion among the throngs of sprinting kiddos. Finally the crowd thinned out and I took in the scene.

I knew I wasn’t going to be a contender for an overall place at this race, but it was still nice to see that there only appeared to be a half-dozen women ahead of me.

Downhill all the way to the first mile marker: 6:28.

Another little two-block incline. I was finally starting to feel like my legs were warmed up.  I passed one of the girls in front of me as we crested the little hill and began a long, steep descent that would drop us down and around the far curve of the U-shaped course.

At the bottom of that hill was a “YOU’RE HALFWAY THERE!” sign. My watch read 9:58. Sub-20 pace! Um…if the rest of the course were downhill.

Unfortunately, we had to climb back up the other side of the hellish thing that we just descended. I tried to focus on passing people instead of fretting about how much ground I was losing on that 20-minute mark. I passed a couple of guys as we continued to wind our way up out of the neighborhood.

Second mile marker: 13:22. (6:54 split…not as bad as it sounds, considering the terrain.)

I knew the big hills were out of the way, and the last mile, while net uphill, would be gentler rollercoasters. I tried to pick up my pace. I knew breaking 20 was unrealistic, but I sure as hell could get under 21.

A chick in a pink matchy-matchy running skirt outfit passed me. Humiliating. I tried to hang with her, but damn, she was moving. Seething about this must have distracted me for most of the last mile because before I knew it, I was coming up on another helpful sign: “1/4 MILE TO GO!”

My watch read 19:30.

Translation: You have ninety effing seconds to get your ass across that finish line.

Thankfully, it only took me eighty-two.

Finish time: 20:52 (7:30 for the last 1.1, 6:45 pace)

Good enough for seventh woman overall and, as it turns out, an age group win.

I feel pretty positive about this. Last spring, I ran 21:04 on a very similar course. It’s only 12 seconds, but improvement is improvement, right?

After the race, I literally kept on running, settling for an inadequate half-mile cool down, as that was the distance back to my apartment. I kicked off my flats and ran straight in to the shower as I had about six minutes to get ready for work.

Scurrying around all afternoon must have been a fair replacement for a proper warm down, though, because my legs actually feel pretty good today.

That, or the enormous plate of pulled pork nachos I ate for dinner last night was more than adequate recovery fuel. (Carbs + protein!)

I guess we’ll see when I attempt my long(ish) run later this afternoon….

29 responses to “Race Report: Triangle Run for Autism 5K

  1. That’s awesome! You are so fast

  2. Holy schnikeys, you’re fast. Jeez, woman!

  3. Wow, that’s really awesome and sometimes age is a plus. Congratulations on the win. So let me get this straight? You entered a race and won and then ran again later instead of celebrating with a handful of beers and football on TV? I don’t get you runners. And damn you are fast.

    • Oh no, the race was Saturday. I had to work after or else I definitely would have spent the day on the couch drinking beer! I made up for it that night though…our local BBQ place has an amazing draft selection… :)

  4. Congrats hun…you are awesome!

  5. It took me approximately 20:52 to tie my shoes this morning.

    • I’m impressed you still have tie shoes. I’d totally go velcro if I had a spawn belly in the way!

  6. These are the kinda race reports I like, good story and race A good race and no unnecessary photos. Congrats. Seems like your speed training paid off.

  7. Congrats on the age group win! Great finish time and sounds like you were in control the entire race. A 12 second improvement is bug time for a 5k, especially for a seasoned runner like yourself.

  8. Big, bug… You know what I meant! Nice race

    • Haha, I understood what you meant! And thanks. I’m still hoping to get under 20 at some point here…if the stars aligned (good weather, flat course, strong day) it might happen. But you’re so right that when you’ve been running for years and years, you’ve gotta appreciate the small gains. I have to remind myself of this often.

  9. I have my first 5k since my August PR, at WAY slower than yours, coming up on the 15 and am going to convince myself that your awesome time will magically, via cyber-osmosis, bring me luck. You freaking rock!

  10. Awesome job! I wish I could have channeled some of your speediness today.

  11. I can’t really focus on much besides the pulled pork nachos right now (OMG THAT SOUNDS AMAZING)…

    heh, but in all seriousness – congrats! that is a speedy time and i’m excited to see what else you have in store for us this fall :)

    • They are AMAZING. Fresh house-made tortilla chips, tangy pulled pork, lots of sour cream and tomato chunks and jalapenos….seriously unreal.

      I’ve think managed to get myself right back to where I was when I moved away from NYC, fitness-wise. The summer kinda killed me. I guess I’ll see what I can do with it from here, though!

  12. Awesome race! 12 seconds is huge!

  13. Way to go!! Great race, and great story about the race. :) I think you definitely owe it to yourself to find a nice flat 5K course to race later this fall when the weather should be cool. I’m certain you can shave off some more time & maybe even hit your sub-20.

  14. I am writing this comment in Seattle, slightly inebriated after a good dinner of wine, asparagus, and halibut from Pike’s Place celebrating my bf’s birthday. Thought you’d appreciate. (I undercooked the halibut though how embarrassing).

    But that is not going to stop me from saying AWESOME JOB ON THE 5k girl!!!! 5ks are so freaking hard, and with any luck we’ll both crush 20 (for you again) in the next few months.
    Way to go :).

  15. Wow – congrats speedster!

  16. Woo! Great job on your race Shelby!! You are mad fast! :-)

  17. YAYSIESSSSSSS!!!! Congrats on a great race and getting your fastest 5k of the year!!! Great way to kick off the fall 😉

  18. Yaaaaaay! Runs for Autism! FAST runs for Autism! (My son’s autistic.) Congrats, girl!

  19. yay to-the- sies. YAYSIES! And thank you for sharing your wealth of running shoe knowledge. I’m still undecided on whether the Asics Nimbus will be my “marathon” shoe….I’m going to search your blog for a shoe post. I must learn.