Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunflower State Games Governor's Cup 5K Race Report

Two weeks ago, I completed my first 5K race (after my first Half Ironman this summer, I figured I had the fitness to complete it...)!  It was the shortest race I've done to date, and probably one of the more painful ones.  I did the Governor's Cup 5K race, which was part of the Sunflower State Games.  The State Games are basically an Olympic-style event held each year in Topeka and offers tons of different sports.  It's kinda a big deal.  Well, maybe if you are from Topeka (Rach had no idea...).  

Rach and I were both doing the race, and I was lucky enough to race with the Kansas Beef Endurance Team!  I got to meet a few team members before the run, but unfortunately didn't bump into everyone.  Oh well, there's still plenty of races!

Rach and I got to the race about 45 minutes prior to the start to check in and wonder around aimlessly (my pre-race routine).  Temps were in the high 90s, and I was starting to wonder if hydration would be an issue.  Regardless, I assumed I could tough it out for 3.1 miles.

After a quick 1/2 mile warm up, I got nestled into the starting line, nowhere near the front where I probably should have been.  I made a mental note to try to get to the front of the pack before the start, but  it just didn't happen.  After a brief 5 minute delay, the race was off and running!  Literally!

The plan for the race was to go out at a 7:10/mi pace, and pick it up as I went.  As I've stated I've never done a 5k officially as a race, but I do "time trial 5ks" frequently as a benchmark in training.  I knew 7:10 wouldn't be a problem, but I didn't want to overheat too early.

Well this didn't happen...  After the first quarter mile I was averaging a 5:50/mi pace, which one, is an insane pace for me, and two, is kinda amazing because I had to keep weaving around people.  The adrenaline was hard to control, I guess.  I immediately tried to slow it down, but was going downhill slightly and felt good with my leg turnover.  Before I knew it my heart rate was reading something I thought was impossible, and I hoped I hadn't dug myself a painful hole to get out of.  
Mile 1: 6:39

Pacing is a term I need to learn and understand...

Mile 2 started with an aid station, and a gradual uphill grinder.  The water went on top of my head, as I was beginning to feel like dying.  I didn't have a hard time slowing my pace a bit during the second mile.  In fact, I had a hard time keeping pace with other runners around me.  I just focused on leg turnover and not how bad I wanted to stop.  Eventually we reached the turn around and headed back to the finish.
Mile 2: 7:11

Mile 3 was an all-out sufferfest.  I was dying, my heart rate was reading "infinity", but I was still reeling in other runners. I made a point to stick with a 15 year old right in front of me, and caught up with him during the last quarter mile, and made a point to blow by him. After passing him, there were no more runners in sight, so I just sucked it up and hauled ass to the finish line, trying to ignore my pain.
Mile 3: 6:55

Hot and nasty

I definitely think I underperformed and could have done a bit better if I raced smarter, but considering the heat I was fine with the results.  Overall, though, I had a lot of fun at the event. The State Games are a great event for Topeka and the State of Kansas, and it was clear that everyone participating was having fun.  It wasn't by any means the most competitive race, but it was still a good time (and sufferfest!).  I was happy with 2nd in my AG (1st did this race a week before Ironman Lake Placid and still had 6:00/mi speed! Crazy impressive!), but more impressed with Rach and her 2nd placement in her AG, as well!!!

Time: 21:04
Distance: 3.10 miles (5 kilometers)
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 11/72

Big thanks to my parents for coming and watching on a very warm evening, and to the Kansas Beef Council for all the support!!!

Next up, the Cowboy Up! Triathlon this coming Sunday at Smithville Lake, MO!!!

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