Race Report: Shoe House 5 Miler

Race information

Goals

Goal Description Completed?
A Consistent(ish) Pacing Sort of
B Sub 40 minutes Yes
C Place in/Win age group Yes

Splits

Mile Time
1 7:09
2 7:26
3 7:14
4 7:07
5 6:57

Training

What is training? I essentially forgot all about this race until about a week beforehand. I’ve been just concentrating on base building and increasing my mileage this summer, and this race just snuck up on me. I sort of tapered for a couple days beforehand, but that was mostly due to family events over the weekend that kept me from doing any runs longer than ~6 miles. I’ve been doing between 40-50 miles per week for the past month & a half leading up to this race, and I had just unofficially broken my old 5k PR by a couple minutes a month beforehand at a Fleet Feet Global Running Day local 5k. My whole game plan for this race was just to play it by feel and run “smart” for the first two miles before really hitting the gas on the last three, to try to avoid going out too fast and fading before the finish. I have no idea how you’re supposed to race 5 miles, so that’s the best I had.

Pre-race

I threw on as much red, white, and blue gear as I owned (special shoutout to the strange USA themed running crew socks I picked up at TJMaxx a couple weeks ago!) and drove the 30 minutes from my apartment to the race. Did a little half mile warm up jog just to wake myself up a bit but didn’t feel like doing much else and just kind of meandered over to the start and stared up at the hill we were going to be starting on.

Race

Gun goes off and suddenly we’re all lurching up this big hill. Of course I gunned it up the hill because of who I am as a person. I was able to enjoy being the 2nd place female for all of 0.5 of a mile before I was passed by a group of 3 women who I had seen pre-race, and who looked fast. They were. I decided to try to hang on to fifth place for as long as I could, and ended the first mile with a split of 7:09. This scared the hell out of me (that’s around my current 5k pace), so I tried to reign myself in during the next mile, where I had a split of 7:26. At this point, I was passed by another woman and was in 6th place. I mentally told myself, “screw it, you’re staying in fifth and you’re gonna deal with the pace”. The course is an out-and-back, with the turn around point being a literal house shaped like a shoe (hence the race name). I picked up the pace right before we hit the shoe, passing the woman ahead of me to get back to 5th place and getting a split of 7:14 for mile 3. Miles 4 (7:07) and 5 (6:57) were mostly a blur of “keep it up, go faster, she’s probably right behind you” being chanted over and over again in my head. Mile 5 ended with a charge up the big hill we started on, which was absolutely BRUTAL. I was 0:02 SECONDS from catching the woman ahead of me, but it’s okay because somehow I ended up faster than her on the Strava record so I hold the CR 🙂

Post-race

I finished with an overall time of 35:40, fifth overall woman and first in my age group 🙂 I’m hoping to run my third half marathon in September (just gotta pick which race), and based off the result of this race, I think I’m going to be targeting a time of around ~1:40. If I can manage to hit around that time in the HEAT and HUMIDITY that is Alabama in September, I think I’ll feel a lot more confident about my first marathon in February and be able to more realistically figure out what pace to aim for (Jack Daniels VDOT calculator is telling me I should be aiming for around an 8:00min/mi pace for the marathon which is just BONKERS to me).

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