Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shawsville 5K Fourth of July Brick Workout!

I did my second Shawsville 5K - a 4th of July tradition for many local runners that offers a flat (flat by SW VA standards) and fast course. This was the 34th annual running of this race! (photo above of some of us who ran in red, white and blue; photo from Marion Childress - far left - of C & C runners)

This year I told Coach Jim I was fine incorporating the race into a normal training day, so he had me do the race as part of a brick workout - a 1:10/20 mile bike, followed by the 5K, followed by a two-mile run cooldown.

I wasn't preregistered, so I drove my bike to the race site, registered right at 6:30 am when they opened, and was on the bike by 6:41 am. I was already pressed for time so I figured I'd get as close to the 20 miles in as I could, planning to arrive back at the car by 7:45 for a quick transition and jog to the 8 am race start that was less than 1/4 mile away. I didn't want to cut it too close.

Roo carried a small flag

I wore the only patriotic thing I had - my Team USA suit that it turns out I will get to recycle for Chicago this year. Yay for saving a pile of money there!

I managed 19.4 miles on the bike, coming in at 7:44 am after 1:03. As much as it pained me to fall short of the 1:10/20 miles I figured it was close enough and gave me enough time to not feel panicked.

finishing the bike as speedsters Ignatio and Jordan warm up. 
(thanks Kristen Chang for the pic!)

It was nice to have that bike warmup to take the pressure off the 5K so I went into it with zero nervousness. RD Marvin Ballard, a history teacher at Eastern Montgomery High School, made introductory remarks from the back of a pickup truck. He talked about the importance of our flag and invited one of the runners and her daughters up to sing the Star Spangled Banner (beautifully done, I might add). The crowd joined in the singing, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance (he is a school teacher after all!), shook hands with a neighbor, wiped tears from our eyes, and got ready to race! It sure put things into perspective!

photos above and below from Marion Childress

We start in a cul-de-sac on a street near the Shawsville Middle School

Coach Jim challenged me to negative split the race. I used my watch to stay throttled back in the first half mile or so, then just went by feel, producing mile splits of 6:52, 6:49, 6:48 (total time 21:03). So it wasn't a big negative split, but it WAS one. (Funny how race pace can feel SO easy the first mile and SO not easy in the last!). Just like the last 5K, it felt pretty relaxed and flowing, so now the challenge is to restore that feeling in my triathlon runs.

The open back tri suit begins to resemble a ladder by the time you add a heart rate strap
and a race belt. (thanks Kristen Chang for the pic!)

I have been told I don't have much in the way of a finishing kick, and yeah it's true. So I spotted a girl ahead of me in the last bit and decided to try to catch her. I thought of Eric Lagerstrom's amazing Escape from Alcatraz finish a few weeks ago, passing Andy Potts in the finishing chute, and went for it, passing my opponent with maybe 10m to go. It was pretty fun to find another gear!

I snuck past runner 365 at the end  (thanks Kristen Chang for the pic!)

It may be a local race, but it's not a slow race. Some of the fastest area runners turn out for it. The winner, Patrick Woodford, ran a 15:22, and on the women's side, Mina Demarco won in some super fast time (results not available as of this writing).

I finished up with my two extra miles, and having hardly ever done that after a race, was surprised to see how many other runners were out there adding mileage and having some social time with friends.

This was one of my most fun race mornings, a solid workout, and a great way to start a holiday!!

I hope you all had an enjoyable Independence Day!