Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A race series in review

This summer I decided instead of focusing on long races I'd instead run the Playmakers Race Series. I ran six 5ks and a ten-miler over the course of the summer as part of the series in addition to one other 5k, 10k and a half marathon that weren't part of the race series. 

Celebrating my final 5k of the series
While running a 5k is a different challenge than a longer race, I found consistent racing to be demanding. My 5k PR of 26:00 (set in June of 2011) remains unbroken although I came close several times. On Sunday I ran my final race of the series, and it was a fantastic summer.

I started the series in May at the Mason State Bank 5k. This was a Friday evening race on a warm day, and I posted one of my best times of the series at 26:33.  

In June I ran the Capitol Bancorp 5k in downtown Lansing in a time of 27:19. Still a solid effort on a very warm and sunny day, but a little further from where I wanted to be. I start going in the right direction the following weekend by running my best time of the series - 26:32 in Max's Race in East Lansing.

The only 5k I did in July, due to our travel schedule, was the race for Ele's Place. This was the one that ran around the Jackson National parking lot in Okemos, MI, and it was my least favorite race of the series. Another warm day, and another 27:19.

I hopped into the Mint City 10-miler the first weekend in August without training. I ran a respectable (for me) 1:38:27 or 9:51/mile pace. It was another warm day in one of the warmest summers on record, so considering my lack of training and the heat, I didn't feel terrible about the effort.

In September I ran the Capitol City River Run 5k in 27:01 while being disappointed about switching from the half marathon for health reasons. Surprisingly my time was good for second in my age group, so I excitedly snagged a medal anyway.

This past weekend I ran the Dino Dash 5k on Michigan State's campus - the last race of the 2012 Race Series. It was a beautiful course along the river on a chilly fall morning. It was flawless running weather. The race had time waves, and I ran in the under 30 minute group which helped keep traffic to a minimum on a narrow course. It was a fast, flat course, and I finished in 27:18, relatively consistent with my other times.

At the start
Just before mile 2
Focus at the finish
Michigan State's campus is beautiful this time of year. The trees are just beginning their fall color change, and the Red Cedar River is perfect scenery for a race. It was very similar to the route we ran during Max's race, only this time the weather cooperated so I enjoyed the view.     

The Red Cedar River
The race series was really fun. It kept me challenged and motivated throughout the summer, and I would definitely do it again. Now fall is officially upon us (I'm wearing wool coats and tights), and the race schedule becomes more sparse. But I'm riding the race series high into the season for a few more exciting races over the next few months.   

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