On Saturday, June 1st I ran the Springfield 15K. I’m doing great with my goal of running at least 1 race per month, and I am halfway there! Here is my progress so far:
- January: Frozen 5K
- February: Sweethearts 4 Ever 4 Miler & Myrtle Beach Half Marathon
- March: Rock & Roll DC Half Marathon
- April: Nike Women’s Half Marathon
- May: Civitans 5K
- June: Springfield 15K
So, this was only my 2nd 15K, and the first one was pretty much an epic fail. I knew anything would be better than that! I signed up for this race because another one of my goals was to run different distances this year and I wanted to redeem my last experience in the 15K.
It was really hot on Saturday (in the 70s at 8 a.m.!) and I knew I pretty much had to throw all time expectations out the window in order to protect myself from the heat. I decided to start off at a faster comfortable pace and see how I felt, since at the start it didn’t feel too bad yet and there was a little breeze. The first 5K was on the road and then an awesome, shaded paved trail in a park. I loved this part of the course. I was feeling good, but I could feel myself getting really warm and my pace slowed with each mile.
- Mile 1 – 8:17
- Mile 2 – 8:32
- Mile 3 – 8:56
- Mile 4 – 9:14
After mile 4 we headed to a different part of the course where the terrain changed from paved blacktop to sand, and then all of a sudden I was in the woods running on a very hilly, rocky trail. At this point I just started laughing and decided I would take on this race as a challenge and have fun with it. My miles kept getting slower, and I wondered if this would end up being the ultimate regression run, with each mile being slower than the last.
- Mile 5 – 10:17 (<—trail!)
After I got out of the trail section my legs were beat. It has been a LONG time that I have run on terrain like that, and even though it was only about 1.25 miles of trail it was tough on my legs- especially in combination with the heat. Thankfully, the course had us continuing to run through a park that was shaded for the most part, which was nice since there was not a single cloud in the sky. I noticed my legs start to recover, and I slowly sped up again. I was thinking about how this was actually good practice for the OBX Marathon, because there are 3 miles of trail right in the middle of the race- which makes me very nervous!
- Mile 6 – 9:49
- Mile 7 – 9:34
At this point of the race I was seriously wondering if this race was all uphill because that’s what it felt like. We exited the park and started running in some residential areas that were not shaded at all. There were a lot of families out and one was even handing out ice pops. I didn’t take one and immediately regretted that decision! The spectators, police, volunteers, and other runners at this race were all awesome- they made the race so enjoyable! I had a good time talking to some runners around me as we focused on getting through the heat and hills and just surviving the race. I also had a little boy spray me with a hose, which felt AMAZING!
Somehow I started to feel stronger toward the end of the race and was able to pick my pace up even more. My mile splits got progressively faster after the mile I did on the trails, and I was able to finish strong.
- Mile 8 – 9:26
- Mile 9 – 9:01
The race ended at a high school, and I ran the last quarter mile on the track, which made me feel like I was important 🙂
Finish Time – 1:26:38 (9:18 average pace) <— 15 minute PR 🙂
After the race I was so happy, hot, and exhausted. I felt like I made the best of a challenging day and course and really had fun with it.
I found my two boys and we relaxed in the shade for a bit.
When I got up to get some more water, a man approached me from Run Washington (formerly Washington Running Report- remember when I was on the cover of that magazine?). He wanted to ask me what I thought of the race and how it went for me. He asked who I came to the race with and I told him about my two Kevins. We ended up talking for like 15 minutes about everything from races I’ve done to running while pregnant to running after pregnancy. He was really nice and interested in what I had to say. I found out later that he was the editor-in-chief of the magazine, and that he put some of what I had said in an article he had written.
You can check out the article here! Here is a little excerpt 🙂
Overall I had a really fun race and a new 15K PR- what more could I ask for?