Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 Ravenswood Run 5k Race Recap

My 5k PR was getting dusty. In fact it was due to turn five years old this morning, since I last PR'd at the Ravenswood Run in 2010 (18:15). As I woke up this morning to prepare for this year's version of the race, I had made a deal with myself - if my first mile was sub-6:00/mile then I would go for a PR. If I was slower than that, I would still run fast, but not kill myself, since I would have had to magically change into Usain Bolt to hit some ultra fast paces over the last two miles to get an 18:14. Because I wouldn't run the tangents perfectly, I also had to factor in the plan that the eleven turns on the course would add at least an extra 10 seconds to my time. So, my plan was to run the mile splits something like this:


 5:55, 5:45, 5:40, 5:40

The numbers looked daunting, but I decided to just relax in the initial stages, then make my "break for it" over the final 2.15.

Pre-Race:
I woke up at 6am for a two and a half mile shakeout run around Welles Park.  When I returned home, I had my standard pre-race fare: a cup of coffee, and a bagel with peanut butter. I packed my backpack, slung it over my shoulders and ran a little over a mile to the start area.

Dreaming of the finish line before the race!
I checked my bag and jumped into the corral where I spotted Eric. We chatted a bit about our PR goals, then I ran a couple of pickups to loosen my legs. Upon returning to the corral, I spotted John and Annabelle. The national anthem happened and we were off!
Me (in orange) at the 2011 Ravenswood Run (just to show what the start looks like)
The Race:
Mile 1:  Despite starting at least seven rows back, I was immediately passed by about 50 runners. I could hardly imagine that the 100+ runners that were in front of me (at that point) could hold the 5:30/mile pace we all shot out of the gate at. Once I realized how fast we were going, I slowed down to a 6:00/mile pace. That speed seemed comfortable at the time, so I stayed there. About a half a mile in, I saw Lynton and his dog who cheered me on. Last year, they were cheering next to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. Unfortunately, Mr. Mayor did not make an appearance. Determined to get below 6:00/mile, I sped up slightly before I hit the Mile 1 marker. 5:52/mile.

Mile 2: Since I successfully hit the first mile within goal pace, my PR attempt was officially on! We made our way through the lovely Ravenswood/North Center neighborhood. Suddenly, I found myself just a few steps behind a fast runner in my age group, who finished first last year, so I figured if I simply stayed behind him a few steps, I would have a good shot at age group award. 5:49/mile.

Mile 3: This is the "showcase" mile of the race, because the course winds through the ultra-quaint Lincoln Square shopping area right in front of the Chicago Brauhaus and Gene's Sausage Shop. My lungs were starting to red line, so I dialed back just slightly as we headed into the wind on Lawrence. I heard some running coaches yelling at their runners to keep their heads up and pump their arms, so I tried to focus on that and it actually helped to divert my attention from the suffering that was creeping in. The fast runner that I had been following took off ahead of me, but I was still in contact with him. 5:46/mile.

Tera Moody at the 2013 Ravenswood 5k (in front of the
 Chicago Brauhaus)
Mile 3.15: My lungs and legs were completely red-lining, but a quick glance at the finish line clock told me that I was a few seconds ahead of PR pace - so that was all the motivation I needed to keep hauling booty and run super-duper fast!  4:51/mile.

Stats:
Official Finish Time: 18:10
Official Pace: 5:51/mile
Garmin Pace: 5:46/mile

Place Overall: 59th out of 3,176
Place Age Group: 3rd out of 162

Analysis:
PR Baby!! It was by five seconds, and I can throw my five-year-old PR in the dustbin! My splits were pretty close to what my "goal" scenario was. I ran a negative split, but still pretty even like a 5k should be run. By not cutting the tangents properly - I ran 3.15 miles - I added about 15 seconds to my time. If I had only run 3.10 miles I would have gone sub-18. So I simply need to find a straighter course to check the sub-18 goal off of my bucket list.

I have a half marathon in 6 days, so to determine my half pace, I plugged an 18:10 5k into the McMillan Calculator. This yields just about a 1:24:00 half marathon time, which is only a few seconds slower than my half PR. So if I run a smart race next weekend, and I get some favorable weather, I could flirt with a PR there as well.

Post Race:
I grabbed some water and walked back through the finishing chute in order to watch other bloggers/friends to finish, I high-fived Annabelle after she crossed. She had a super speedy time, which is awesome since she had run the Boston Marathon seven days ago! I then spotted Eric, who also had a PR! We walked together to bag check and then we met up with John, Annabelle and Lynton.
Eric, John, me and Annabelle post race (src)
We all walked over to breakfast at Glenn's Diner. Eric looked up my race results at Glenn's and told me I had finished third. So, after ordering my blueberry waffle (and sausage, of course), I ran back to the awards ceremony, just in time to get my medal and my first ever podium trip for a CARA race!
Top 3 Age Group!
Posing with Ravenswood medal at Glenn's
I made it back in plenty of time before my breakfast arrived. After breakfast we all went over to Fountainhead for beer and Annabelle made a toast to Eric and my PRs!
Cheers! (src)
What a great morning. Here's to not having to wait another five years for my next PR!

Next Up:
The Indy Mini Marathon in six days!

32 comments:

  1. Woo hoo! Great job Pete! I can't wait to see how you do on your half this weekend. I have one too, Great Western on Sunday. Had a crappy run today, so your guess is as good as mine how it's going to go.

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    1. Thanks Wendy, we shall see if I can keep up the positive energy from this race into next weekend! Good luck at the Great Western. Sorry to hear about your crappy run today. I wouldn't use it as an indicator of how you are going to do. It's probably just an outlier, so move on. You'll crush your race! :)

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  2. How awesome!! Man. Those are some damn fast splits. Holy moly. I am so happy for you! And doing that on a course with 11 turns only over 3.1 miles...man, you had to be turning almost once per minute you were running! That is so impressive. I can't turn for shit when I'm running fast, which is considerably slower than your fast! So awesome. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I had to try not to over-think how fast the splits were and just trust that once the race got underway, I would be able to hit them! Yeah, I guess your right that it almost averages out to a turn per minute. Thanks again!

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  3. I'm a little amused that you went back to get your award while waiting for your breakfast (with sausage, of course)! Congrats on the AG award and the PR! What an awesome race!!!!

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    1. Yeah, luckily we picked a spot that wasn't too far from the finish area so I was able to run there and back before the sausage (and waffle) was served! Thanks!

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  4. Congratulations! All those turns in the race ain't got nuthin' on you! :)

    Good luck at your half marathon this weekend!

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    1. Thanks. Yup those turns were begging for mercy by the end of the race! Thanks!

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  5. Fantastic race!!!! Congrats on the PR and negative/but close to even spit!!!! And your first CARA podium placement?! Schweet! Did you feel the a amount of red-lining in the lungs was appropriate for a 5K, after our "comfortable with uncomfortable" discussion on Friday? Sounds like it!

    Do you think you'll look for a straight line 5K this summer? Or wait until the fall? It's crazy when you look back and see how much you added on with not running the tangents perfectly at a 5K. It makes such a difference!

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    1. Thanks! I would say for mile 1, I felt comfortable comfortable, because I held back when the masses were flying by me. Mile 2 I felt comfortably uncomfortable because when I could feel the "red line" approaching, I backed off slightly. Mile 3 was mostly uncomfortable, but I actually crossed the finish line with a little left in the tank. I think I had been anticipating a rough last half mile with the headwinds, and it wasn't as bad as I had thought. So, I probably could have run a faster last mile if the winds weren't such a factor (at least in my head). Yes, I am very tempted to run a straight(er) 5k this summer. However, I will eventually have to begin my Chicago Marathon training, which means slower track intervals on marathon pace runs. Yes, I don't know how I could have run the tangents any better, however I did have to weave around a few people, so that might have added a tiny bit of mileage. :)

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  6. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, Pete!!! What an amazing honor to be recognized on the CARA podium! Way to time it perfectly so that it didn't affect your brunch plans, too. Blueberry waffle and sausage, yummmmm. That brunch must have tasted even better after your achievement. =) Good luck in Indy this weekend - you are going to do awesome!!!

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    1. Thanks Emily! Yes, it was fun to climb up onto the podium and soak it all in! Yes, it was nice to eat at a place so close to the awards ceremony! Thanks! :)

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  7. Nice job on the PR! An inspiration to us young'ins ;) With the right race you could definitely break 18.

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    1. Thanks man and congrats on your PR. Glad you young young whippersnappers inspired by me! You're right, I need to find another 5k, I need to break 18 and I need to stay on the PR train (as Xaarlin would say)!

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  8. Woohoo! What a great PR! I love your determination! Great job!

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  9. Great job on your 5K PR, great way to head into your half.

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  10. Congrats on the PR! I have been using that McMillian pace calculator a little too much lately... I can't wait to read how your half goes!

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    1. Yeah, the McMillan pace calculator seems to be pretty accurate predicting my times to a half marathon, after than it seems to be a little too optimistic! Thanks!

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  11. Looks like your calculations were spot on! What to keep the booty moving super fast to snag that awesome PR! Yay for Indy Mini! That was one of my first few halfs back in 2008.

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    1. Thanks. Hey, I ran the Indy Mini in 2008. The first time was 2007. It is one of my favorites as well!

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  12. Those darn tangents get me too! Another awesome race in the books. Congrats, Pete!

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    1. Yes. I had anticipated the extra distance the tangent would bring beforehand, which made me revise my goal pace to a lower pace per mile . Luckily I did that otherwise I might have missed the PR by a few seconds. Thanks Sara! :)

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  13. WOW you are awesome!! Great job and congrats on the PR!!!

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  14. A little late here but congrats!!

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  15. Late to the party on this but congratulations on busting that 5 year old PR!! Those splits were textbook perfect on how to execute a race! Your analysis paid off once again and you ran a smart race. Congrats on the 3rd AG too!! You're on fire lately!! :)

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    1. Thanks. It really feels good to get a shiny new PR after having the old one one for so long! I am also really happy with my splits, it is true that my best 5ks all have pretty much been run with (nearly) even splits. I missed 1st AG by 4 seconds if you can believe it! I hope to keep the fire burning! Ha, ha! :)

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