Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stopping to enjoy my town, 5k style

I've already discussed that this is the year for me to run the Playmakers Race Series. I'm giving the half marathons a little break to focus on my goal of breaking a 25 minute 5k. This weekend I ran the Capitol Bancorp 5k in downtown Lansing. The race started just a few miles from my house and literally steps from my office. My husband and I got there early...too early. I have a tendency to do this - I get anxious on race day, and we end up wandering around for a while before the race. 

The clock on Boji Tower. At this point we were still a half an hour early for the race.
We walked around a bit downtown. We're down there every day for work and frequently for socializing as well, but somehow just walking slowly and really looking at downtown was interesting. I noticed just how beautiful Downtown Lansing's architecture is.  I appreciated that there are significantly fewer empty store fronts than there were when I moved here six years ago. It was like I was seeing downtown for the first time instead of just rushing through it to the next destination.  It turns out Downtown Lansing is charming. It may not be perfect, but it's definitely made (and is continuing to make) huge strides.

Downtown Lansing architecture
I do a lot of races all over Michigan and elsewhere including Lansing. I ran Lansing's Capital City River Run the last few years and the inaugural Lansing Marathon half marathon in April. But something about being downtown before this race made me appreciate our downtown and the great running culture that exists in mid-Michigan. When I look for races on our travels I'm sometimes hard pressed to find out. In the summer in mid-Michigan you can have your pick of races in any given weekend.

Posing in front of the Capitol before the start
After warming up with our little walk I made my way over to the start line. It was a warm morning, although at the start I didn't think it seemed too bad. I started out quickly, and the race turned down Capitol Avenue in front of Michigan's beautiful Capitol Building.  

The first stretch of the race was shady and comfortable on Capitol Ave. Then we turned onto Washtenaw Street, and that's where this race got real.  There was no shade on Washtenaw or the rest of the course until we looped back onto Capitol (the race did the same loop twice). It was sunny and brutal. My first mile I ran in 7:50, a very fast mile for me. The second two miles were not so fast.

A half hearted/exhausted wave when I saw my husband.

Look at that view (the Capitol - not me)
This was my second race of the Playmakers Race Series, and I love that they have clocks at each mile. It also helped me realize how much time I dropped between mile one and mile 3.1. Ouch. I really need to work on some speed training to figure out how to reach my goal of running a sub-25 minute 5k. I finished in 27:19, which is a 8:48 mile. That's not too shabby, but it does show how much I slowed down in the last two miles.

I'm enjoying running some 5ks and getting better at a shorter distance. It's also quite fun to do a race and not feel sore and tired afterward. I do enjoy doing a race in Downtown Lansing, but I wish the course had explored more of downtown instead of doing the same loop twice. I find loops to be tedious and kind of boring. 

This race did help me realize it's always important to take a little time to enjoy the place you live. Look into the windows of shops in your downtown. Frequent the restaurants. Have a cocktail. Visit festivals and other events. And if you have a 5k, run it. Bring your kids, your spouse and your dog(s). It's your town. If you don't enjoy it, how can you expect anyone else to? 



1 comment:

  1. If you ever want to feel good about your 5k time, I will run one with you. And I will wear sunscreen.