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Monday, May 13, 2013

RACE RECAP: Journey's 5K

The Start/Finish
This weekend we drove back across the cheddar curtain so I could run the Journey's 5K in Eagle River, Wisconsin.  I first completed this race back in 2011 and again last year.  I was very excited to get back out on this course.  I was especially delighted to have Mom, Dad and Dan all there to cheer me on.  I awoke to a cool 30ish degrees and strong winds.  I knew it'd warm up a little bit and once I started running I would warm up so I dressed in shorts, t-shirt and my Team Challenge singlet.  Then I threw on a sweatshirt to stay warm.

Here we go!

Once we got to Eagle River I jogged over to pick up my packet.  I love small town races where I can walk up a half hour before the race and pick up my packet without having to stand in line forever (same with the port-a-potty lines).  Though I was disappointed when they said that the only size shirts they had were large and extra large.  If you're going to ask me what size shirt I want during registration then you should be able to provide me that size when I pick up my packet.  Oh well...

Course Map
My plan was to wear my sweatshirt before the race and then hand it off to Dan but as I started to run I decided to keep it on because I was still cold and worried about the wind.  The narrowest part of the race is the start and while I tried to line up in the middle of the pack but I still spent a lot of energy (and time) trying to get around walkers and slower runners.  I got to see Mom, Dad and Dan before turning to head back into the woods.

As I headed up the first "hill" (total elevation gain/loss was about 20-28 feet) I remember thinking that in 2011 I hated these "hills" and that today I barely noticed the inclines!  I still had a lot of bobbing and weaving to do and I nearly got punched in the face by a little kid who'd suddenly stopped and threw her arms up in the air.

I would randomly check my watch and I felt like my pace was adequately difficult for this being a race.  There was a part of my brain that told me to slow down.  First, because I was running MUCH faster than I'd anticipated and I figured that I wouldn't be able to maintain this pace for the duration, even if it is only 3 miles!  Secondly, even if I did maintain the pace that everyone would be in the coffee shop when I crossed the finish line (it happened to my sister in 2011) so I'd slow down (for about 2-3 breaths) and then I was right back at the same pace.

Mile 1:  8:50
Mile 2:  8:52

I neared the half way point/water stop and realized that I still hadn't seen anyone on the way back yet.  This made me feel awesome!!  I made the turn and started heading back and I felt great.  I was looking ahead of me and picking people that I wanted to pass and I'd drop my arms and pull past them.  It felt absolutely amazing and as soon as I saw that we were headed down the straightaway to the final turn I took off my sweatshirt.  I figured that in case Mom, Dad and Dan missed my finish that the official photographer would capture me crossing the finish line (my bib was covered up with my sweatshirt) so I kept running and tied the shirt around my waist.

Then I made that final turn and started to head across the bridge when I saw Dan - but he was walking away from me so I yelled to him.  He turned around and said "Oh Sh!t, you're going too fast!" but he managed to get a few photos.  I tried to find a good solid kick for the finish.  I crossed the finish line, crossed my hand over my heart and knew that I left it all out there.

Mile 3:  8:41
Mile .1:  7:19

This was the first year they offered space blankets - which was REALLY nice given how cold it was.  I took the blanket, my medal and had Dan snap a few finish line photos before grabbing water and snacks.  I stopped to check if they posted results and saw that unofficially I'd finished 6th in my division!

Official Race Results
Overall:  69 out of 330
Division:  6 out of 24
Gender: 27 out of 217
Time:  27:52
Pace:  8:58


  1. wow! Great job on finishing so strong and placing great in your division! Keep up the hard work, it's paying off!

    1. Thanks! I blew my own mind on this one because I don't think I've ever kept up a pace that fast for that length of time. It felt amazing to finish and to have family there supporting me.

  2. good work on your 69 out of 330 finish. Keep up the good runs.

    Kelly Picko