When we set out to do CIM, Steve and I agreed that I needed to race at least a few times. I would have the Indy Monumental Half on November 5th, but we needed at least one other race.
My friend Tim had been working hard to set up a new event in Lexington, an event that focused on running fast, and making people race to the best of their ability, and it happened to coincide nicely with one of the weekends we could do a race.
The Kentucky 5k was setting up to be a great event, but we could not afford to miss a long run, especially with the Indy Half being just a few weeks away (and we want to taper a little), so Steve decided I would do the 5k AND my long run on the same day.
So yeah, this weekend, not only did I have a 24 mile run, but I sandwiched a 5k right in the middle of it AND at the end of a 100+ mile week.
And you know what?
It actually wasn’t that bad!
I had been dreading it all week, as the idea of running a 10 mile warm up, followed by a 3 mile race, and then an 11 mile cool down, well….I think even the most committed of runners can agree that sounds pretty nasty.
Of course there was also the part about it being a RACE, yet completely unknown of how I was going to handle it.
I usually run 4-5 miles as a warm up for my workout, but not 10, and certainly not before a race, but I tried to approach it in my mind that I am good at progression runs, and those do not normally start until about 10 miles in, so it is possible to run well.
I arrived at the horse park at 6:15am on Saturday, and they were already hard at work setting up. I began my 10 mile warm up, and tried to think about how I was going to approach this, especially if any of the Kenyan athletes showed up (which they did on the mens side), as they would likely be racing hard for the win.
Tim had broken the race up into a qualifier section and an open section. Runners could qualify for the faster race by breaking 20:00 in the 5k for women, and breaking 18:00 for men. There were around 25 total (I think), and we were set off around 10 minutes after the open field…..which of course did mean there was quite a lot of weaving in and out during the race.
I decided I was just going to ignore my watch (surprise surprise!), and just see what I could do off tired legs (over 100 in there this week!).
The course was really fun, and unique, including running through one of the giant barns, and passing horses in the field. It really was the best of Kentucky, and I would be proud to show friends from out-of-town this course. The only problem was that there were a lot of turns, which made it tough to negotiate, especially when combined with passing other runners.
That being said, it made for a great atmosphere, and was a lot of fun to chase down people, rather than being in no mans land like I usually would be.
I finished in 17:07, a minute slower than my PR (my Garmin said I went through the 5k in 16:51), but considering everything, I was happy with it.
I then proceeded to run my 11 mile cool down along the Legacy trail. I did part of it with the overall winner, Kevin Castille, who used to live in Lexington, and had flown in for the race, and then I did the remaining 9 on my own.
It went by reasonably quick, but I did listen to music, which is a true luxury for me, and I just focused on getting it done.
This is an event I definitely intend on doing again, and if you live anywhere near the Lexington area, it is a must 🙂 I actually would also consider doing a race as part of a long run again in the future, it made it easier to handle mentally as you can break it up into three runs in your mind, and just focus on each part, rather than the long run as a whole.
Oh, and I won $250 for first female, so that’s always a good thing, right 🙂
Ever raced as part of your long run?