When I first started running, this race was one of my favorite 5ks. I ran it in 2008, 2009, 2010.
It’s funny how things have changed. AJH was trying to convince me to run a longer race. Since then I have completed 37 half marathons.
My 5k time back in 2010 was 29:34.
After 5 years off (from this race), I ran it again in 2015. And my time was 28:41. So things hadn’t changed that much (but I started to wear running skirts instead of shorts).
I enjoyed this race so much that I re-added it to my summer racing list and ran it again in 2016, 2017 and 2018, lowering my finish time each year. (28:27, 27:37, 27:28)
Would I again this year???
Here is the map for the course that I ran the past 3 years:
The race started at 8 am. That meant that I had to get up at 5:30. (And I was out late with friends the previous evening.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep well and woke up with a stiff neck, headache and nausea. I really didn’t feel like racing but I had told my friend Laurie that I would meet her there so I felt like I had to go.
I felt better after my coffee but still not great. But off I went around 6:15-30.
This being the opening weekend of the Saratoga Flat Track, believe it or not, there was already a lot of traffic at 7 am. I was glad to have left early and found parking in a nearby lot. (I was careful this year to park in the correct lot. A few years ago, I almost got towed.)
The pick-up area was behind the barn on the corner of Case & Mitchell. I picked up my bib and shirt and then went back to my car and watched the horses work out for a bit.
There were close to 500 runners at this race (I think there had been more in previous years.). So I bumped into quite a few familiar faces. This is one of things I enjoy most about racing…its social element.
The weather was warm … around 70 at the start but not quite as warm and humid as it has been earlier in the week. I just hung around and waited for Laurie. In the meantime, I bumped into another Skirt Sports ambassador and my neighbor.
Laurie eventually arrived and we headed to the start together.
We stood not too far back and waited.
And then we were off. Laurie took off fast. I did not.
It seemed like everyone was passing me by…because they were. My legs felt dead. Well I had run 6 miles on Wednesday and a hilly trail run on Thursday. Oops. My plan was to have negative splits anyway. Besides, I really felt lousy.
But my biggest problem was the SUN. There was very little if any shade on the course.
By the second mile, I was starting to struggle with my breathing. It was warm but I have run in higher temps. It was the sun. And it was sucking the life out of me. Plus, I felt like throwing up.
I tried to run in the shade when there was shade and run the tangents (all 15 of them). I had planned to walk at the one water stop at the halfway point. And I did but for probably too long. At this point, I knew that I was not having a great race. And it didn’t matter.
By mile 3, I was really fading. I walked one more time but only briefly.
I tried to get up enough energy to sprint through the finish line. My Freihofer and Turkey Trot coach was at the finish line (his company timed the race) and he would be expecting me to finish strong.
I crossed at 28: XX.
I felt very shaky and grabbed a bottle of water and sat down.
I was not even hungry (which is odd for me after a race).
They posted the results pretty quickly. I was shocked that I won in my age group (You know, it’s not speed but who shows up).
Laurie waited with me for the awards ceremony, I got a nice medal. It always feels great when you win an award (even if you didn’t run well.)
All in all, this was a fun race. Besides all the turns, the race course is pretty flat. It is well-organized. You get a free ticket to the race track (I hope to use it later this summer). Plus it raises money for a great cause (Special Olympics). So I plan to run this race again next summer.
mile 1- 8:46
mile 2 – 9:09
mile 3 – 9:19
.14 – 8:02
Positive splits. And almost a minute slower than last year.
After the race, I would normally have driven to Saratoga State Park and add some more miles for a long run. But as I mentioned, I had run my 6 mile long run on Wednesday so I drove to join my running friends at brunch (after their long run).
Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.
Happy Running! Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Please share.