Sunday, May 22, 2011

Medved Lilac 5k PR

I am not a 5k runner by nature. I have actually done as many 5ks (6) as I've done marathons. But, in my quest to work on my speed, I am working on my shorter distance racing. And today was the Lilac 10k/5k, and thanks to some good friends weighing in, I opted for the 5k in my hopes to break 21.
I did my 3.4 mile shakeout run yesterday and 1 mile warmup this morning, and as always during the warmup, wondered how I could run minutes per mile faster than I was during my warm-up. I also met Bill Rodgers, who was so nice (he was running the 10k).
We had a nice little chat, and I asked him what he thought about Boston this year, and he said he thought it was a mistake, which made me laugh, because I did too! It put me in a good mood before the start.
I think trying to find a good starting position can be tough in a small race - is it cocky to stand at the fro
nt? Should I be in front? I knew I was at least somewhat deserving, because there were a couple of kids to my right saying the fastest they could go was 6 MPH (10:00 miles). But to my right were a bunch of really fast looking guys - guys who I've seen win races in Rochester. To heck with it, I'm going to get toward the front.
And then, bang!
Oh my goodness, 6:25 for the first mile. Holy cow, not ready to run at that fast yet for more than one mile. But it went by so fast - I could hear them calling out 5:50s, and the pace felt comfortable as 6:25 clicked by. And then it was time to be real: keep going, try to pass people, and hold on for dear life. I knew I could potentially finish in the top 10, so I needed to make sure to try and pass as many women as possible. I got a few during mile 2, and then I was just sitting pretty, trying to just keep the pace going. Went through mile 2 13:05, so clearly was not able to sustain 6:25s, which is okay.
I passed a couple of kids, and then was going back and forth with a few guys
. Was hanging on and just couldn't wait to see the mile 3 marker. And lo and behold, it finally appeared. By the way - this picture is the proof that I totally need to work on my form. Heel striking, hands swinging - hopefully I can fix this at some point. Anyways...
One of the joys of running in Rochester is that I know a ton of people in the running community. Lot of friends from my hometown, and people whom I've met through running. And as I was going through that final stretch, the last .1, I was so uncomfortable and tired, but there were numerous cheers of "Go Vanessa" that just kept me going.
20:45 (6:42 pace - see, I knew I couldn't do 3 6:25s)
A PR by over a minute! Was so happy - it was tough, but it felt great. And I even came in 8th out of women, 43rd overall (out of 1010), and I won my age group! My mom and I had a nice morning together, and she got to watch the award ceremony. Overall, the race was a great feeling and a terrific way to kick off the short distance racing season.


  1. Vanessa! Holy Smokes! You totally rocked this race homeslice.

    Congratulations on a awesome race. When you work on some form issues, you're going to be even faster.... scary!

  2. Great job!! You can no longer say that you don't have speed ... 20:45 is FAST!!!