RunSLC 15K Recap

Another weekend another race……

2015 has been race-packed so far – three down and it’s only April (not counting the one that I had to sit out back in February) – way more than I’d normally consider this early in the racing season. Saturday was the final race of the RUNSLC series. This year is the inaugural event and designed to get you half marathon ready (the SLC half is on April 18th) by building up to 5, 10 and 15K. I didn’t run the 5K on doctor’s orders but decided to volunteer instead and still managed to come away with some swag. The 10K was my first race post mid-injury, and was my first taste of a return to fitness. Since then I’ve run a 10.5 mile long run, the Canyonlands half marathon and a 15 miler last weekend. Plus, my calf was feeling a million times better. So, in this race I was planning to avoid the sufferfest of the previous two.

Packet pickup was Friday at the running store (which is also where the races start and finish). It was quick and easy.  The only bad thing was the chance of getting sidetracked by all the essential things that I absolutely need to buy in the store. New shoes! New clothes! Yes please! Luckily, I managed to survive with my credit cards intact.

So following on from my “Tell me it’s OK for me to run a marathon in 6 weeks time” post last week I decided I would do a Salt. In my case run to the start, do the race, and then run home. The race was scheduled to start at 8 AM, so I set my alarm for 6.40 AM, got dressed – including my new vest which I wore for the first time and loved – and had some water. I left the house at 7.10 AM and headed for a nice and easy 3 mile run to the start line. I forced myself to go as slow as I could but surprised myself by averaging a 9.13 min/mile pace. I arrived 20 minutes early so had time to eat my Gu (chocolate outrage, do some stretching and soak up some pre-race excitement.

More purple. I loved this vest. But handed it in at bag check so I wouldn't have to race in it.

More purple. I loved this vest. But handed it in at bag check so I wouldn’t have to race in it.

Beautiful morning.

Beautiful morning.

Start/finish line.

Start/finish line.

I checked my gloves (which I regretted for the first two miles), North Face running jacket (right decision) and vest at the bag check – which is great option to have at such a small race. The courses for all of these races follows the same basic route – running along a quiet residential street to one of our local parks and then some loops or out and backs to add up to the distance. Not the most scenic route but flat and encompassing some of the actual route of the salt lake half marathon. I decided to go out comfortably and try to remember that I would have to run home afterwards so finish with something left in the tank.

Pre-race pap shot. Taken from RUNSLC facebook page.

Pre-race pap shot. Taken from RUNSLC facebook page.

Can you spot me? Taken from the RUNSLC facebook page.

Can you spot me? Taken from the RUNSLC facebook page.

One thing that I have been working on for the last year or so is getting better at pacing myself. I usually run by feel and only really look at my Garmin at the end of a mile to see what that equates to in minutes. My last two road races (my full in October and my last half in May) were both pretty evenly paced with negative splits. Trail races are still a sh*t show. My first mile ticked over at exactly eight minutes. I think that after all of the long runs I did as part of marathon training that I’m finally getting a better idea of how I should be feeling during the first mile of a race.

The race actually felt pretty comfortable for the whole way around – which was both a huge surprise and confidence boost. I was running side by side with an older lady who kept me on my toes for most of the race. We never actually spoke (hello weird social anxiety) but I felt that we had an unspoken acknowledgement that we were pushing each other to the finish. My splits were pretty even (8.00/8.09/8.08/8.02/7.54/7.52/7.55/8.15/7.59) and I finished in 1.13.20 (average 8.00 min/mile) which would be a new 15K PR if the race measured 15K. According to my Garmin it was only 9.15 miles which was a bit of a bummer, but I couldn’t be too mad given how well the race had gone for me.

As soon as I finished I was given another mug – yay something else to carry on my run home – and took some water and a donut hole for refueling. I stretched a little before going for a cool-down jog to bring that distance up to 10.00. They posted the results pretty speedily and amazingly I managed to come 9th woman overall and 3rd in my age group! So, I decided to stick around for the awards.

Cha- ching!

Cha- ching

Posing with the 30-34 ladies. Even my running jacket is purple!

Posing with the 30-34 ladies. Even my running jacket is purple!

Then it was time to head home. And I’m not going to lie – getting started again was pretty hard. My body was a little tired – although my calf was quiet for the entire race – just a tight hip flexor that I’m keeping a close eye on. Three miles in the sunshine carrying my bag-o-tricks with a little hill right at the end. My mind was ready to be done but I made it to an even 16.0 miles for the day – those last three at 9.23 min/mile pace and with the entire distance at 8.44 min/mile. A good start to the weekend. And a good way to prepare for non-stop Easter eating and drinking!

I also carried this home in my bag as my post race treat.

I also carried this home in my bag as my post race treat.

How is your running going? Anyone race this weekend?

26 thoughts on “RunSLC 15K Recap

  1. Martha B says:

    Congrats on your super speedy race, sneaky long run, and mostly feeling great while doing it 🙂 glad you had such a delicious Easter weekend.

    • Thanks Martha! I hope it’s a taste of things to come. I think if I had to do it over again I would run all my miles before the race – it was so hard to get moving again although knowing I had that donut waiting for me helped a lot!

  2. Boo on the short course, but still a phenomenal race for you! Congrats on a job well done! Haha I totally used my long run as an excuse to stuff my face yesterday. That donut looks delish. 🙂

    • It was a little annoying because it seemed like it would be super easy to add on an extra 0.2 miles and I would have PRed. Oh well – at least the donuts were awesome. And long runs are definitely an excuse to eat everything in sight!

  3. Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA says:

    yum I love donuts that have tons of sprinkles.!!
    and good job on racing and than running home. that’s intense, after races I just want to lay around the rest of the day. lol.
    and good job on your race 🙂

  4. Congrats on the AG award! I admire your mental strength in being able to run home after the race. I probably would have just called my husband to come pick me up!

  5. charissarunning says:

    Awesome awesome race, lady! You paced yourself quite perfectly throughout your long run and the race. Hopefully I can say the same next week when I follow up my 10 mile run with a 6.2 mile race 🙂
    I’m so glad to see your season shaping up for you after all!

    • Thanks Charissa! Excited to see how your race goes. I think doing all the miles before the race is the better way to go. And I finally feel as if I can leave this injury behind me now. Roll on shorts, summer and trails!

  6. FLRunnerBoy says:

    Awesome sauce!! Another amazing job irish! Oh those blasted poorly measured race courses!!!! They drive me crazy so I feel your pain. Despite that you still rocked it! And yes … I could totally pick you out in that picture … that hat of yours is a dead giveaway haha!

    • You know I don’t think I ever run without some kind a head gear! I was a little disappointed because I think this would have netted me a 15K PR but I can’t be too mad because I just felt so great throughout the whole race and that was enough to make it awesome.

  7. Nice running! Congrats on a great race! I so wanted to buy that vest instead of the one I did. Mine was cheaper and I wasn’t sure how often I was actually going to use it but one day I would love to get the Ultimate Direction one. Congrats on the AG award and getting the mug home in one piece! 🙂

    • My husband bought it for me for Christmas and it was the first chance I had to use it. It fit so well although I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I’m hoping to use if for longer runs and for trail running in the summer. But so far I think it’s amazing!

  8. Woohoo! Congrats on the AG, that’s awesome. Jesse and I ran the North Face Park City Half in October and absolutely loved running those trails. We hope to be back! No races this past weekend for me, but I’m running the Presidio 10 miler in SF this upcoming weekend.

    • Fun! 10 miles sounds like a great distance. My husband is planning on running the 50 miler in Park City this year. The vertical is a little intimidating for me but I’m hoping to run those trails a lot more this summer. Park City is such a great place to run in – maybe not so much fun if you live at sea level?

      • It was a really fun race and absolutely gorgeous course, but the elevation was definitely trying (both the race’s elevation gain and the race being at 6K elevation – us sea levels had to adjust!)

  9. What?! Congrats that is totally awesome. Super, super happy for you. It is so nice to have a strong race as you come back, definitely lifts the spirits. And those splits were fantastic. I like the idea of pulling a Salt.

    • Thank you Sarah! I guess it was my confidence-boosting tune-up race. I think next time I would recommend getting all of those extra miles done before the race starts. But I did like running a race as part of a long run especially if you ever wanted to do a race-paced section.

    • Thanks Lisa! I had never done it before. Last summer I did a couple of shorter trail races on Saturday but would use them to have tired legs for my long runs on Sunday. I have to say though I think it’s a fun way to distract yourself and have some fun on a long run.

  10. Well done! Those splits look beautiful 🙂

    I did a half in February that I ran 3 miles to the start, and I was really pleased at how I did. It’s still mentally tough to get my head around doing that for a goal race, though. Reading that it worked for you too may bolster me to do it.

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