Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oldham County Grand Slam Race #4, Apple Patch 5K race and series recap

This morning was the final 5K in the Oldham County Grand Slam 5K. Going into this race, I was pretty well cemented in second place for the series.  Roberta had finished ahead of me in every race, despite not being the OA winner in all of them.  A woman named Shannon won the second race, the OC YMCA race.  Shannon did not run here today, because she was busy winning the Pure Tap 5K to kick off the Fall Runathon.

When I went to bed last night, it was pouring.  I actually had lined up my friend Ginger to watch my kids so that Ryan could do a group ride this morning, but with the amount of rain we were getting, and what was forecasted, it was doubtful he would be able to ride in the am.  Figures.  Usually I am really stressing to find someone to watch the kids for these shorter 5Ks so that Ryan can do a group ride.  With his work schedule the way it is, I really hate to encroach on his Saturday rides, especially for such a short race, since this is one of the few times per week he can get together with friends to ride.  Before going to bed, there were not any group ride emails (on account of the weather), but we figured we would decide in the morning if the kids would go to a friends' house or stay home.

"I woke up to the sound of pouring rain"  Haha.  It wasn't pouring, but it was raining when I woke up at 6:30.  Keira was already up, dressed, and watching TV, so I debated taking her to Ginger's, but I knew it wasn't really necessary, so I texted her and let her know that the kids would be at home, but if it did dry out while I was gone, Ryan may contact her, although with the group rides off, waiting an hour or so to start didn't make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.  With such a busy weekend last weekend, we were all ready for some relaxation. 

It did stop raining, and I arrived to the race scene and there was no one there.  Then I realized I was at the finish and needed to be further down by one drive.  It seems like all the grand slam races have a short walk from the parking to the finish, not a big deal at all.  I moved down one drive, and parked my mazda in a field.  I was really glad I made the last minute decision to wear my old shoes today for two reasons, 1 they are lighter, 2, I didn't want to get my new Mizuno's all dirty, 3 I had worn them for all the other races in the series.  My feet were getting wet from the grass and a bit muddy.  Good call on the old shoes.  I got my packet and peeled off my jacket and pants before walking down to the start.  It was actually cool for a race.  The first 2 races had been really hot, the 3rd was hot and muggy, and this one was cool and humid.  I kept reminding myself that 60 degrees was not cold for running, and that 40 degrees was short weather when it came to a marathon, so I would be fine.  It was just a tad chilly waiting to start, but I met up with Bishop Saxey and the Wayland family.  I was happy I chose to go with my short sleeve shirt and black shorts.  I think I wore a slightly different outfit each race, for a variety of reasons.  Today was just because I knew I would be dirty when I finished up.

I felt a little like a slacker when I started the race.  I knew I couldn't keep my pace with Roberta, because last race I tried to stay with her and ended up feeling miserable as a result.  I wasn't as familiar with the course, but Bishop had told me about it, and it didn't seem to bad from the description, but I knew I really just wanted to run my own race.  It was rolling enough that I didn't think a PR was in reach, but I just wanted to run fast as I could, especially considering I did my long run already this week on Thursday (15 miles).  I was feeling it for sure at the start, but as I got going, I felt better.  I did slow a bit on the middle, and picked it up a little more in the final mile.  This is sort of typical for me in a 5K, really fast mile 1, slow mile 2, and then middle mile 3.  Maybe it was because it was finally typical (or what I know) running weather for me.  I sort of missed the finish, because I thought we had to turn into the drive, so I'm not really sure what my time should be, but I think it was about 22:34.  I was in a solid second place female, so it didn't really make a huge difference in anything.  The race isn't chip timed either, and I was behind Roberta every race, so it wasn't like anything was going to change from my mistake.  A lot of people actually did this too.  It was sort of funny.  They had cones around the clock that made it look like a turn, but also additional cones extending past it. 

Bishop did a great job.  He was 5th overall, and Courtney wasn't that far behind me.  She ran with Grace, who is the younger of the two daughters that ran.  Emma was ahead of both of them, and did a fantastic job.

The awards were funny for this race.  They announced the overall series winner first, and Roberta took that easily.  Then, they announced the overall winner for today's race, and they had ME.  Wait?  Why? Roberta was confused why she didn't get the OA win from today's race too.  That seemed to make sense to me, because if Shannon  had been there today, she would have taken the OA win for the 5K, and Roberta still taken OA series winner.  Right?  The awards were cute little shiny apple medals, and I was worried that I wouldn't get a cute apple medal, which is actually easier for me to display than a winner's plaque, but I thought Courtney would get the AG win then, since we are both in the same AG.  However, it got more strange.  They called me as the AG winner, so I took both the AG and the OA winners for this race.  It didn't seem right.  Roberta got her AG win too, and Courtney got second.  So basically I have an extra plaque.  Here we are with our awards.  Emma and Grace went 1-2 in the 15 and under category, so we all got the cute apples. 
I don't think Roberta will do the series next year.  I asked to see her prize, which was a super cool Louisville Slugger bat that was personalized with "OC Grand Slam winner".  She said I could win it next year.  She lives a bit away, and said it was an awful lot of work for a bat.  However, those bats are not cheap!  They start around $60 or so, and the race entry for the series if you did it up front was $70.  That seems pretty good to me too.  I signed up one at a time, but paid early registration for each of them, so my series cost me $80 ($20/race).  Late registration was $25/race.  I got 5 tee shirts as part of the series too. (the shape on the series shirt is the outline of Oldham County)

Also, here are all the awards I earned from the series, all for placing.  None of the races gave finisher's medals.  I would have to say that I got my money's worth out of the series.  It was fun and I had friends at each race too.  It's been a long time since I have been excited about paying money for a 5K, but when using them as my speedwork, they fit nicely into my plan.  I'm sure I could have done a little better at today's race had I not had a hard really long run on Thursday, but looking at the big picture, that was more important, and I wasn't going to miraculously take 6 minutes off my 5K time for the series win.
Will I do this series again next year and win?  I have no idea.  It is so hard to set a goal to win a race, because you never know who will show up.  I will probably attempt it again, because none of the races were on Sunday, and they all fit pretty well into our schedule.  I hope it does work out for me to do it next year because it is fun.  These races are on tough courses, and are just about running without a lot of the bells and whistles that make races so costly these days.  Plus I am supporting charities close to my home.

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