Saturday, November 19, 2011

RACE REPORT: Turkey Trot 5K | Finally a sub-25

Las Vegas Running TEAM 31st  "Turkey Trot" 10k, 5k and 1 mile Walk was this morning at the Las Vegas Premium Mall Outlets, just south of Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.

I registered for this 5K so I could attempt (again) to sub25. It’s been a finish time that has eluded me since this past May. It was the same course as my son’s first 5K back in August. I knew it was flat and I could break that barrier.

Unfortunately, since Snow Canyon Half – I have been dealing with back/side spasms (from a bad hotel bed, not from running). I have been under great chiropractic care and this week, I started to feel an improvement. But, I was not even at 75%. It hurts worse when I breathe heavy. Yea, it hurts when I breathe.

I decided on Wednesday this was just going to be a good race and no PR. On Thursday and Friday, I felt REALLY good. No pain whatsoever. Until Friday night when I went to bed and I let out a big sneeze. ARGH, the pain came back with a VENGEANCE. In fact, it woke me up several times during the night.

I chuckled when I woke up, knowing I had very little sleep. All my previous 5K PR’s were raced the day after a sleepless night. It became a pattern last Spring. So, jokingly, I thought – “I am going to PR”

I decided to wear shorts. I had worn my bicycle length shorts at Snow Canyon and the Veterans Day 11K and I felt it slowed me down. I feel I run stronger and freer (is that a word?) in short. So, I put on my warm up pants over my shorts and hoped I could survive the cold.

The air was no more than 50 degrees and it was breezy. Yea, it’s good training for the Vegas Half.

Arrived with enough time to warm up, use the restroom and then get to the start. I stood at the start with my jacket and my pants ready to peel off. With only a moment to spare, I strip them off and I thought I wanted to die! Charlene doesn’t do cold (thus, the reason she moved to the desert!)

The gun went off and I focused to get into my sprint pace as quickly as I could. My Garmin said I was running at a 7:10 pace. I slowed it down. I know myself, I can’t run THAT fast the entire time and I wasn’t going to boink. I brought it down to a 7:45 and knew if I could keep it to a sub8:00/pace – I could break 25:00.

Turned on Lenny Kravitz and just keep my head and eyes up and kept running.

Strategy is all I was thinking. Save some gas for the end, I might need it. I was grateful I was able to get into my running mental zone, quickly.

I kept that pace of 7:45-7:55 until the turn around, and then picked back up.

Everything was going good. I could feel my side/back have some twangs of pain, but I had applied KT Tape on those areas. Thank God I did, I felt a big difference. 

Turning the corner for the final stretch at 2.8 I glanced at my Garmin and I was at 22:00ish. I tried to figure out if I would make it or not. I couldn’t figure it out!

So, I went into my Finish Zone mindset and just kept pushing. I don’t even remember seeing any friends or my sons. All I saw was that finish line time clock at 24:35…36…37…38…39…40…41…42…43…44

I did it. Somehow, once again – I had managed another 5K PR.

24:44 – pace 7:59

The good thing is that I didn’t feel my asthma come on at all. Oh, what a blessing that is!

After mingling with many of my fellow runners from the Las Vegas Track Club. It was Awards Time. In my head, I figured I had won my Age Division.

Once I saw there were Master Division Awards – I knew I would earn one of those! But, what place?

What award did I win? 1st Place Women’s Master’s Division Overall. I received a nice LARGE plaque. Another unexpected perk to running a nice race. I missed 3rd place Overall by 16 seconds. I was 33rd out of 319 racers. No Finisher Medal. 

With Ladybug's Ball and my now, customary unintentional, but customary SQUINTY smile, 
holding my 1st Place Plaque

My thanks to my good friend, Casey Cherneski for meeting me at the Finish Line. I am so blessed to have such supportive friends who have shared in these special moments with me. You may recall, she is the same friend who was cheering me and Rob Erekson on to a sub2 at the Hoover Dam Half.

Good news, Casey ran the 10K this morning and she also PR’d! Her first 10K PR since 2008.

Nice morning. I have another Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day morning at my favorite location, 6 Tunnels. Which will be my last race before I turn 50 years old.

Hope everyone gets out to run a Turkey Trot in your area.

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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