Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Switching gears at the CCRR

We've long established as part of this blog that I have issues knowing when to slow down and knowing my limits. I get it - I'm viciously stubborn and extremely motivated. It's quite the combination. But last weekend I did it - recognized my limits and switched to the 5k of the Capital City River Run here in Lansing instead of running the half for the third straight year.

On Saturday I made my way down to the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing to pick up my packet. I work in downtown Lansing maybe half a mile from the Lansing Center, so I'm really familiar with downtown. But on packet pick-up day all of the available parking nearby is marked "event parking" and it's a total cluster getting down there and finding someplace to park. The expo is not one of my favorites. It seems disjointed and really loud. My husband asked if I wanted to look around, and I just didn't. I just want to get out of there.

The race, on the other hand, I've always loved. It's the perfect time of year for a race, and the weather held true to form in the low 60s. It was gorgeous. The 5k and half marathon had simultaneous starts at 8:30 but going in different directions on Michigan Avenue. The 5k ran west down Michigan Avenue towards the Capitol building and run down Ottawa to the north of the building. I LOVE the view of the Capitol as you come up Michigan Avenue. It's my favorite view in Lansing, and it never gets old.

At the start and runners heading toward the Capitol Building
After running the first mile in 7:53, I realized I had done the same trick I've been guilty of all summer - going out too quickly and then fizzling out at the end. The course cut in front of the Hall of Justice that is home to Michigan's Supreme Court and east on Allegan on the other side of the Capitol. It's a familiar course in that I am downtown every day, and it's also the same loop we did in the Capitol Bancorp 5k in June (only this time with much better weather).

Just past the two mile mark we headed down on Museum Drive and onto the Lansing River Trail, a familiar course because it's where I do the bulk of my training runs. The last mile was a struggle due to the aforementioned going out too fast in the first mile. My watch beeped to signal 25 minutes which has been my goal all summer. I knew I wouldn't make it to the finish in under a minute to beat my 26:00 PR.

I crossed the finish line in 27:01, more than a minute slower than my PR and about 40 seconds slower than I ran a three weeks ago in the Adoption Associates 5k. It just wasn't my day, but considering that I was in the hospital two weeks ago, I'll take it. When I saw the table with medals I found myself really sad that I wasn't running the half and getting another medal.

Later Sunday afternoon I was checking my chip time online and discovered I was second in my age group with over 50 participants. The best part - the top 5 in each age group receive a medal! So I headed over to Playmakers to get my medal. Even though my time wasn't my best, I was still excited to have finished so well in my age group.

The Murphster and me showing off my medal
I love the CCRR and will hopefully be back to running the half marathon next year. But for now, I'll get back into running more distance to prepare for the next long race. It turns out that sometimes switching gears unexpectedly pays off.

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