Saturday, September 10, 2011

New 5k PR!

I need to post about my long run yet this weekend, but this is far more interesting.  I ran the Defenders Dash this morning here in town.  I went into today's run with no plans to PR, I wanted to run a strong but cautious race and knew that the course had some decent hills.  I told Tommy that I was hoping to finish at about 25:30 or 26:00 - that would have been considered a success for me.

Instead:  I finished in 23:43.7 - 7:36 min/mile - holy crap where did that speed come from?!?!
4th woman to finish
13th person overall to finish (of 127ish?)

I ran this race in honor of my dad, who served our country for roughly 20 years in the US ARMY.  I honestly think he will be a soldier at heart for life though.  Since retiring, he has been doing contract work for the military.   This race was called the Defenders Dash.  It was done in memory of  September 11th.   You could purchase signs for people you wished to honor and all proceeds will go to a charity to help those in the military.  I decided to buy a sign in honor of my dad. It was neat to run the beginning and end of the race and to see all of the signs of those who have served or are currently serving in the military, fire department, police department, etc. At the right is a picture of me and my baby girl with the sign.

I lined up at the beginning of the pack because I noticed there weren't mats to start the timing chips so I knew that I would lose time if I didn't start right at the front.  I went out too fast and I knew it, but no matter how much I told myself I needed to slow down I hated feeling people pass me.  So, I kept it up as long as I could. The first mile felt easy especially given the pace I was running at.  At one point I passed an older gentleman and he looked over and said "there goes #4 and #5... woman #3 is up there... go get her."  This was extremely motivational for me, so I pulled ahead of the other girl I was running with and set my sights on woman #3.

I feel like I look fierce here - does that make me cocky?

However, the hills on Covington were less than friendly and I was feeling like I was going to die by the time I hit Homestead.  But, seeing my time at the halfway mark kept me moving forward.  Instead of walking (which I wanted to badly), I put my head down and tried to keep moving my legs as fast as I could.  I wanted that PR, I could taste it!  Woman #3 was getting further and further ahead of me but I didn't have anything left to give so I just kept plugging along.  Seriously, I was SO glad to see the corner of Aboite and Covington - I tried to put it into high gear.  Not that high gear was as fast as usual by this point, but I pushed as fast as I could and even "skirted" a guy right before I crossed the finish line!  I loved that they had it set up to run under an American flag to finish!

As mentioned above - I placed first in my age group. I had won overall female once before but wasn't proud of that run and it was such a small race, so this "win" meant alot more to me. Sorry that means you guys have to suffer through more pictures! hah

As per usual, my elevation/pace chart and splits are below.  I was disappointed by the fact that these splits were exactly the opposite of negative splits, but I can't be too mad given my slowest mile was still sub 8:00.  Unfortunately though, it wasn't the race plan I had in my mind - hopefully I will be able to hold back at the beginning for Fort 4 Fitness.

And now, miscellaneous pictures from the race.  But first, I need to give credit to my Mom, Lora, over at Notes from the Scrapbooklady for creating the image that I used on my shirt for this race.  She actually created the image to cut with her new cutting machine, but I decided after seeing it that it would make the perfect addition to my race ensemble so I borrowed it and made a t-shirt transfer out of it.  She is way more crafty than I will ever be, so definitely check her out if you are the crafty type! 

Last but not least, I feel like it is absolutely necessary that I review the race since it was the first year they held this race.  I have to say that the race was very well organized.  It took less than 2 minutes to pick up my packet and goody bag.  They also had race day registration (with plenty of t-shirts).  I was also able to buy the sign for my dad this morning, took all of 2-3 minutes to do that.  All of the volunteers were very friendly.  The race did start a few minutes late, but that doesn't bother me at all.  They had the military guys blocking off the streets which us which was neat.  In addition they played the National Anthem before the race which I have never seen before, I LOVED that!  And last but not least, they played "Eye of the Tiger" just as we started the race which was a great motivator for me... that song always makes me run faster!

 There was a water station and a clock stationed halfway through the race.  They had PLENTY of water, gatorade and food at the end of the race - they never ran out, which I hear can happen frequently. They had bananas, mini bagels and peanut butter, and these really yummy nature valley granola thins (they had peanut butter and chocolate varieties, I tried the peanut butter but I am sure the chocolate are equally fantastic).

Last but not least, let's talk about the race swag.  The t-shirt is a lovely women's cut tech tee.  The color is a very light grey - I might have made it darker grey because it almost looks like dingy white, but I LOVE the shirt anyways.  In addition, we got back sacks, they are super high quality camo fabric and even have the race logo printed on them - score.  And of course there were the usual papers for future races, etc.  But, the best part?  (Or at least per hubby...) There was  a whole package of 10 cookies in the swag bag - made by a local bakery - Ellison's bakery. The flavor was apple raisan, they were soft and smelled phenomenal.  Hubby said they were awesome!

I would DEFINITELY recommend this race to everyone I know - they announced at the race that the 2nd annual Defenders Dash will take place September 8, 2012 - so if you local to the Fort Wayne area keep your eyes open for registration for this race for an awesome cause!   If I can fit it on my schedule I will be there!

ETA:  "I'm famous!"   Well, not really, but the local news station covered the race and one of the pictures they used has me in it! Check it out.


  1. Congrats again on your 1st in age group, PR, finish! You keep going and you'll be up there competing for 1st place woman overall!

    Thanks for the shout-out regarding the logo - glad that it was helpful!

  2. You are awesome! Unbelievable - you CRUSHED this race. It sounds like an incredible race in every aspect. Way to go to!!!! Awesome recap and even more awesome run!!!!
    You're famous - will you be singing autographs so I say "I knew her when . . . " SMILE!
    Way to go - what a fantastic fantastic fantastic race. Huge confidence boost for you going into the F4F - you know that you can bring it!!!
    Great job - great post!

  3. Amazing job! How awesome that you placed, but more importantly--you CRUSHED your expectations! Awesome!

  4. Thank you everyone for your comments, they mean a lot to me! :)