Today was the first race in a series of 5 races that make up the Striders Winter Racing Circuit. The races all get gradually longer in length and are designed/timed with those doing the Ogden Marathon to fit into their training and serve as practice runs. Even though I am not doing the Ogden Marathon this year, several of my Tribuddies are doing the Circuit, so I signed up as well. I think that they will put me in a great position for my first A race of the year, the Salt Lake City Half on April 21.
Anyhow, I was totally unaware of what this race was like. I have not done the Circuit in the past and am not familiar with the area the race was done in. Turns out I was in for a surprise! This is the toughest 5k in the state of Utah due to the hills. Well...there goes any thoughts of a PR right there! As I was talking to other runners around me who had done this, I quickly realized this was going to be a difficult run, and I decided that my strategy would be to simply run as comfortably hard as I could, but also NO WALKING at all, even with the hills.
This started at Dee Events Center in Ogden and encompasses the neighborhoods around Weber State University on the benches there. The course got hilly immediately and would go from one bad hill, to a steep down hill, to yet another up hill. I ran the best I could and at the end there was another slight increase as we hit the finish, and I literally thought that I was going to puke! I had to immediately put my head down between my legs to avoid doing so. I had jokingly told Ken on last night's date that I was going to go hard since it was a shorter race and "just run till I puke". Well, mission accomplished! I said that before I knew how hard this was going to be!
It was a good race as far as how well it was organized. I loved seeing my friends from Tribuddies that I haven't seen since our weekly open water swims ended in the early fall. The weather cooperated as well, with sunshine and mid 20s!
My final time for this race was 29:23. I came in 50 seconds past my current 5k PR and this was a TON harder of a course! That means I ran a pace of 9:28/mile, which is great! I love how I am continuing to see progress on my runs! They have always been the weakest of the 3 sports in triathlon, and so seeing more progress is encouraging!
I heard from others that the next two races in the circuit, the 10k and the 10 miler are brutal. More of the same as far as hills go. I am going to go into it like I did today, and just do my best. I am excited though, only two weeks left till the 10k! In the meantime....
Happy Training all!