Thursday, September 19, 2013

St. Michael Oktoberfest 5k: Race Recap

This was the first race that the entire Wurst Running Club Ever participated in. Even Declan who is crushing his marathon workouts and took a pass on the 5k, showed up with his entire family to cheer us on.

Pre Race:
I left my house at 5:30pm and after a quick 20 minute drive, found a spot about 1/2 mile north of the start line along Stockton.  After I picked up my t-shirt, we all stood around and chatted for about 20 minutes then I checked my backpack. Then I did about a two minute warm-up in the soupy humid air and started getting hot so I decided to cut my warm-up short. I jumped in near the front of the pack in the start corral. After the U.S. national anthem, and a german themed costume contest, the gun sounded.

Before I go over how I did, here's a photo dump of the evening:
Anne giving the thumbs up!
Some of the WRCE gang pre-race in our "dirndls" (picture taken by a giant Red Eye box)

Mo at the finish line doing her patented
 "Mo Bot" as her fans go crazy (sorry about the blur, the finish line was in the dark)

The Red Eye Box near the finish. He took the WRCE group picture above.
 Man, he must have been hot and sweaty!
Mo showing off her cool "Run for Beer" headband
Erin and Anne near the finish (again it was dark)
Declan with the Wurst Running Sign Ever. Way to spell. "WURS"?
Declan and the happiest kid on earth!
Chillng post race with free Oktoberfest beer and food at Rocco Ranalli.
That's Eric and Jennifer on the right.

The Race:
I wanted to use this race as a marathon pace predictor for the Chicago Marathon, which is in three weeks. However, there were some factors that would potentially slow me down. First of all, it was going to be hot and muggy as the forecast was for 88 degrees at 6pm. On top of that Eric informed me that the paths were full of rain water and mud. On top of that, I had not tapered at all for this race. This was my second run of the day and I have been doing double runs every single day this week (hey, I'm training for a marathon). So, obviously these things would likely prevent me for going super fast.

Mile 1: Everyone in the front pack shot off fast. I glanced at my watch and we were going at a 5:45/mile pace the first 300 yards. Erin's husband took my picture and Erica, who was running just behind me sidled up to me and asked me what I thought my race pace was, and I said I didn't know, since I was training for a marathon. I then told her I guessed about a 6:05 pace. She said that would be a PR pace for her so she wished me luck, and I sped forward. I set my sights on just trying not to overdo it in mile one. We came upon quite a few large puddles and I had to swerve around them and other runners who were running just to the side of the water. Hey, at least the wind was to our backs. 6:18/mile.

Mile 2: This is where I started to get over-heated and my shirt was getting soaked. We swerved around a couple more puddles before the turnaround and then headed back south. The wind was in our faces now, but provided little relief. Some runners ahead of me went OVER Fullerton instead of under it. There wasn't anyone at the split in the path to direct them. I think they were mad.  6:21/mile.

Mile 3: At this point I was just trying to hang on. The heat, my tired legs, and my soaked dirndl shirt were all dragging me down. Luckily Declan and his family were there to provide cheers of support. A couple of random girls told me they liked my "halter top" shirt. 6:26/mile.
Pic that Declan's wife got of me just before the finish (source)

Mile 3.1 I could see the finish line clock up ahead as it was nearing 20:00, so I used up what little fumes I had left and sprinted passed the finish line just so I could finish sub-20.  5:31/mile.

Official Time: 19:54
Official Pace: 6:25
Overall Place: 16/501
Age Group Place: n/a (race does not have age groups)

As far as a pace predictor, a 19:54 5k translates to a 3:10:45 marathon.

I think that a 3:10:45 is attainable for me. That is, if the weather conditions are cool on race day and my marathon training continues on the trajectory it is on. Coincidentally, I ran a 3:10:40 at last year's Chicago Marathon. So that would be wild if I ran the same exact time as last year! Of course, there are lots of variables to factor in, but I do actually feel that I am at least as good as shape as I was at this time last year. I will make a final pace decision in the next couple of weeks, but this gives me a good indication of what fitness level I have now.

Conclusion:  A fun race, even if the conditions weren't ideal. Nice after party with free beer and food. I am happy with the progress I'm making with my marathon training and this race validated that I am at a good spot right now.


  1. I was just messaging you to see if you had the photos up yet! I think you are due for a sub 3:10, the weather and breathing was a ****. Fun times!

    1. Yup, this was posted last night before I went to bed - otherwise known as the time you are waking up! I need to punish the legs a little more over the next two weeks so my leg fitness matches my current lung fitness a little more.

  2. Nice job on the Race! I had no idea some people went over Fullerton... Yikes!

    1. Thanks! Yes, one runner who went the wrong way and had to turn around was began to yell at a man near the fork in the trail at Fullerton. The man who got yelled at turned out not to be a race official! I guess it's always a good idea to really study the course map well beforehand in case there is any question.

  3. I think we have very different versions of Jack Daniels :)

    You're right that it was a fun race, but it was a surprisingly hard race! All of the puddles and mud in the first mile were tricky to get around, and it could have been less hot/humid for sure. But even at that, your time was awesome! So that said, do you think you could go any faster than 3:10 if the weather is better for the marathon?

    Thanks for documenting things, as always, and for the ride home!

    1. Yes, your version of JD obviously means a bottle with a black label and some amber liquid inside. :) I am hesitant to say that I could go sub 3:10, unless I have a "breakthrough" in the next two weeks. According to running theory it takes about four weeks of a certain mileage for your body to adapt to that mileage. In two weeks I will have four straight weeks of high mileage. So, we shall see if there is a breakthrough. No problem on the ride, any time! :)

  4. All I can think reading this is, damn, you are so fast :) Hee hee. I am happy it has you on target for the Chicago Marathon pace!

  5. Great race! I agree with Kim, you're so fast! I also think you'll go sub 3:10 is the weather is better for the marathon :).

    1. Thanks. Yes, here's hoping for a cool marathon!

  6. Hopefully by the time I get into my 40s I have magical speed powers like you. Last night was a lot of fun, even if it was hot and sticky and we had to weave all over the course.

    1. Yup, if you keep running into your 40s all of your magical speed will appear! Agree: The weaving, which meant also running in the wet grass wasn't fun. But overall I had a great time. :)

  7. I love Declan's kid and her cheesy smile. She is so cute.

    You crushed it yesterday! Dang. I'm impressed.

    1. Yeah, she's such a happy little kid! Thanks, hope I can continue to "crush it"! :)

  8. Can wait for marathon day when you can CRUSH IT.

    1. Funny video. I've heard a lot of good things about that show.
      And yes, I am going to try and CRUSH IT! :)

  9. Looks like it was fun - I gotta get out and join you guys in the neighborhood - it seems like you guys are always having the absolute WURST time ever.

  10. This was the first race that the entire Wurst Running Club Ever participated in. Even Declan who is crushing his marathon workouts and took a ...