Benson Healthy Harvest 5K

I am going to forgo Ten for Tuesday this week, but I have a good excuse. I promise. I wanted to and had planned on writing my race recap yesterday, but I had a semi-emergency at work.

On Saturday morning, Ben and I participated in the Benson Healthy Harvest 5K. We had heard of it only because we saw a sign on the freeway (definitely a first for me). Along with the 5K, the small city of Benson was hosting a one mile walk and a city bazaare, I guess you would call it. A bunch of local vendors came out and set up tables of their wares and sold them or gave out samples.

I didn't really have any expections for this race considering the minimal training I had put in for it. I was 6 weeks out from Cedar Point. I did not run or work out at all for the first three weeks, and I ran a grand total of 5 days the last three weeks and swam once. Thus concludes the extent of my training. I was merely hoping that I could average under 9 min/mile, which seemed completely doable considering I am a master of running in the cold. I felt like the 50 degrees and windy race day weather gave me an advantage over the North Carolina runners as that's practically summer time up North, and I run year round as long as the ground isn't too icy. The only thing I don't like about cold races is the pre-race. I want to wear enough clothes that I'm not completely frozen and stiff come race time, but I tend to heat up quickly once I start moving, so I don't want to have to strip off layers if I don't have to. I ended up wearing a long sleeve tech shirt, running tights (the thin variety, not the "to be worn in the dead of winter" variety) and running shorts on top. I wish I had brought my running gloves though. In solid 50 degree weather, they would have been fine, but in windy 50 degree weather, it took them about half the race to thaw out.

Ben and I picked up our packets that morning. Let me just say that I was not expecting much in that area either considering that we only paid $20 for the entry fee, but they totally blew us away. Ben got a tech t-shirt (they only had XXL by the time they got to me, so I passed on that considering that I have way too many tech shirts anyways). I sarcastically told Ben that its alright. I'll just win my prize. And we both got sweet potatoes (Yes, you read that right. They are kind of a big deal here in NC...and its harvest time to boot), sweet potato recipes, pens, a plastic cup, recovery drink powder samples, chap stick, anti-bacterial soap and a bunch of those usual ads you get like free chicken nuggets from Chik-fil-a and free oatmeal from McDonald's. Also for the entry fee, the race was chip timed and had a water station that was conveniently located so you passed it twice on the course.

The course was almost a straight out and back with a few in and out's  through neighborhoods to get the extra mileage in. The out portion of the run had a strong headwind. There were also a couple of rolling hills for an added challenge. For the first half mile, I was able to maintain just under 8min/mile. For the next 1 1/2 miles, I really struggled and was floating around between 9 and 9:30min/mile. As the front of the pack came back around, I tried to see how many seemed to be in my age group. It was hard to tell, but there were at least a couple. I decided in the last mile that I was going to try to pick them off. My first victim was a girl who was wearing sweat pant capris (complete with elastic drawstring on the bottom of the legs) and Converse-esque shoes. I still can't believe I let her be ahead of me for that long. I then picked off another girl who was pre-occupied with high-fiving her friends who were still on their way out. I didn't feel bad at all. This was a race and I was in it for all the beans.

I looked at my Garmin and saw I had a quarter mile left. Time to kick it into high gear. I started chasing down the next girl, using "Barefoot Guy" as my pacer (so sue me USATF). I could see the finish line ahead, but it didn't seem to be getting any closer. As I neared, my legs just died. I started my kick way too soon and "Barefoot Guy" and the girl with the green shirt beat me. According to my Garmin, the race was a tenth of a mile long. Had I started my kick a tenth of a mile later, I probably would have been fine.

The awards were (supposedly) not until 1PM (the race had started at 11AM), so Ben and I went to grab a bite to eat before the awards. We stopped at a local diner and had Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches and then perused the vendors on our way back. We went to the stage where the awards were supposed to be presented a little before 1PM and as it turned out, they were just finishing the ceremony. We went up to the man to ask for official times and places. My time was 26:28 (not my fastest 5K ever, but not my slowest either) which was good enough for first in my AG! I was shocked. The way I struggled with the race, I was hopefully to even place. The girls I ended up beating in the last mile were actually an age group up from me, but the extra motiviation didn't hurt. For my award, I got a medal and a box of recovery drink powder. Again, not too shabby for a $20 5K.

AG: 1 of 10
Gender: 6 of 79
OA: 34 of 145

Sorry, there weren't any pictures! I'll try to remember to get one of the medal tonight.


Colleen said...

WOO HOO! Gotta love winning your AG at a race that you found out about from a sign on the highway! :) Great job!!!

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