Posted by: rl4man | August 15, 2011

Up, Up & Away 5k Version 2011

Saturday morning dawned somewhat overcast and a slight bit cool. Perfect for a race! I got up about 6:00 so I could take my time getting ready and out the door by 6:45. (They changed to time to an hour earlier this year which was a good thing.) I was doing this race completely solo–letting Kevin sleep in with the boys and so he wouldn’t be tasked with wrangling them while they waited on me to finish. (Although they would have enjoyed watching the balloons fly this year and it wasn’t so hot.) On the way into town, I stopped to get a newspaper and a few gallons of gas. I got to the balloon festival and race site by 7:20, so I had a few minutes to sit in the car to wait. I found a parking place quite a bit closer than last year since I knew where the gathering area was. I read a bit of the paper and then headed over to the registration area around 7:45. I couldn’t find my running sunglasses and finally located them on the floor in the back seat… in two pieces! How that happened I have no idea. So I was stuck with my regular driving sunglasses which slip down my nose when I’m sweaty. But at least I had those since the sun was starting to come out.

I saw my friend, Cassie, when I got closer to the registration table and since she didn’t have anyone with her at the time, we hung out together until it was time to start. Since the race is held in conjunction with the annual Findlay balloon festival, it was so neat to see the balloons flying overhead, taking off and landing. We got the signal to go to the starting line which is a little walk from the registration area and headed over there. We lined up in the middle somewhere around the 9:00 and 8:30 pace area and chatted until suddenly we heard the horn signalling that the race was starting. It took a few seconds to get to the starting line, I pushed my Garmin button, and we were off. Cassie pulled away from me fairly quickly, but I didn’t want to start too fast and burn up like I did at the race two weeks before. I was feeling good at a 1/2 mile, but by the mile mark was breathing heavier. Mile two was starting to be a struggle, although I finally caught and passed Cassie. I really had to push myself the last mile. A good distraction was seeing all the balloons fly overhead. They were really coming in during the middle. I knew I was doing better than the last race, but I also knew I wasn’t going to break 28:00, however 29:00 wasn’t out of the picture yet. As we headed back around the field, the sun was coming out and starting to get warm. I crossed the bridge and the rest was a short downhill to the finish line. I remembered to stop my Garmin and glanced at the clock and saw I was just under 29:00. Not bad for me! My Garmin read just about 28:39 which compared to last year was just about 4 minutes faster.

Later that day, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from the race director with all my stats. This is what it said:

Rachel, congratulations on finishing the Up, Up and Away 5K
on August 13, 2011!   There were 487 finishers.

Your overall place was 251 and you
finished 4 out of 16 in the Female 40 to 44 age
group.

Your time of 28:54 gave you a pace
of  9:19 per mile.

Bib # 1103

I was very surprised I was 4th place (out of more than 4) in my age group.

Overall, it was a very good race, well run with a nice tech shirt this year. Two things I wish they had, 1) why don’t they have chip timing in a race this large–almost 500 runners? and 2) I wish they had medals. But you can’t have everything. Chip timing would be nice though. I also don’t have any pictures, so hopefully they will post pictures on their website like they did last year and I’ll post mine here if they do.

Best picture of several from the Up, Up & Away photographers.

I’m contemplating a 1/2 marathon in Bowling Green on September 4th (so I’ve been ramping up my long run mileage just in case I do) and then I have my October 1/2 marathons already lined up. Findlay will actually have a turkey trot this year on Thanksgiving Day, so I will be running that. And of course there’s the Midnight Special 5k New Year’s Eve race (my dental hygienist and her friend said they’d be interested in that–Yay! If I don’ t have to wait all by myself this year). There may be a few other 5k’s in the fall, but those are my “for sure” races. I’m still working on my speed and hoping to get closer to a sub-28:00 5k soon. Kevin will be home in the evenings starting next week, so I’m hoping to be getting more “road” time in which I believe is crucial to me getting faster outside. The treadmill just isn’t the same. It seems my treadmill times translate to about 1 minute faster than my outside times. I got a broken up 12-miler in yesterday which was a struggle. 10k (6.2 miles) outside and then another 6 miles on the treadmill. I had lots of interruptions once I got inside though. It was still a tough one and just barely managed to keep my overall pace under 11:00. I’m hoping for an 11:00 average pace for my next half.

So there you have it. One more 5k done.

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