Hewitt Pumpkin Run race recap (2012)

I believe this is the third year I’ve run this race.  If memory serves, I skipped 2010 due to pregnancy.  Which means that I think this is the third year Jaden has done the kid’s race too.

Jaden is always ready with a ‘thumb’s up’ before his races.  He gets pretty excited.  I wish more events would include a kids race.  I think it is important for the kids to get their own taste of how much fun running can be.

This is the kid’s start line.  They basically went around the block…running three sides.  Jaden started out too fast (I have no idea where he gets that from).

I’m so bummed that this one got blurry…Jaden is in the blue hat.  Pastor Preston went and ran part of the home stretch with him.  Jaden was so excited.  He thought that was awesome.  Apparently, Preston kept telling him to run faster!

He finished his (roughly) half mile race in 5:07.  I am so proud of him.  He was happy to get a ribbon and says that he can’t wait until his next kid’s race.  Although I’m secretly hoping that next year he’ll be ready for the 5K.

My race went pretty well too.  I was kinda hoping to be able to set a new PR.  My 5K PR has been falling all year.  In fact, this was my third 5K this year…and my third 5K PR.  I knew the course was flat and that there wouldn’t be a huge crowd, so I wouldn’t have to jostle for position.

I started out too fast (my downfall every time).  At one point in the first half mile, I looked at my watch and saw that I was funning a 7:19 pace.  Seriously, who does that?!?  I tried to slow myself down a bit because I knew I was going to need my legs later and I didn’t want to completely trash them so early.

As a side note, my feet were frozen.  I may have been running faster than normal to try to return some circulation to my toes.  I felt like I was running on blocks.  I couldn’t really feel the ground under me.

First mile: 8:09

I consciously tried to slow myself down during the second mile.  I wanted to just be steady.  I ended up passing a few people, which was pretty good for my confidence.

Preston and I had been catching and passing each other for most of the race.  Not because we run anywhere close to the same pace, because he is stinkin’ fast!  He was running with some other people and enjoying the social aspect of the day.  But, it was nice to get a thumb’s up from him every time we passed each other.  Toward the end of the race, I realized that he had pretty much been dialing it in for three miles.  If he wanted to, he could have probably run a 20 minute 5K.  (grumble grumble natural talent grumble)

Toward the end of the second mile, I could feel my legs start to burn.  I was thinking about my strategy for the last segment of the race.  I figured I could keep a steady pace until there was about a half mile left and then push with all I had for the last 800 meters.  But, then I got confused and momentarily forgot how far a 5K was.  I shouldn’t do math when I’m trying to run fast.  The blood is flowing to my legs and obviously not to my brain.

Second mile: 8:21

Somewhere in the beginning of the third mile, a lady with a dark ponytail passed me.  I tried to look at her bib to see if she was in my age group (color coded according to age.  I was in the ‘orange’ group).  I figured that if she wasn’t in my age group, I would just let her go.  Wouldn’t you know it?  She had an orange tag too.  Crap!  Why do I have to be so competitive?  Isn’t the race really about competing against myself?  Aren’t I just trying to do the best job I can do?

There was no way I was going to let her beat me!  I let her stay ahead of me for a little while, but I stuck right with her.  I knew I couldn’t let her get too far ahead of me.  I thought if I could at least keep her reigned in, I could out-sprint her at the end.  She may have started her kick too soon, because I moved ahead of her after about 1/3 of a mile.

I desperately wanted to know how far ahead of her I was, but I didn’t want to look back over my shoulder.  I didn’t want her to know that I was ‘racing’ her.  Yes, I know that it actually IS a race. When we rounded one of the last corners, I glanced to see that she was right on my heels.  I tried to pick up the pace a bit.

When we made the last turn, I gave it everything I had.  She was right next to me.  I made myself go even faster.  My legs were on fire.  But, I somehow out pushed her to the finish.  Thinking back on it now, we must have looked pretty silly.  A couple of 30-39 year old women straining to the finish line like we were running a high school championship race.

After we both caught our breath, I thanked her for pushing me at the end.  She said the same.

Mile 3: 8:09

Mile:  .1: 45 seconds

Overall: 25:25 (I think.  I forgot to turn my Garmin off when I crossed the finish line, so I subtracted a couple seconds from what it said.  I’m hoping to get an ‘official’ finish time from the race organizer.)

So, another PR.  My legs were shaky and I felt like I was going to puke.  It was pretty awesome.  Every time I finish with a new PR, I wonder if that was really the fastest I could have run.  Could I have shaved a couple seconds off if I hadn’t slowed down that second mile? Would I have had enough left in the tank at the end?  Will I ever run a sub-25 minute 5K?  I don’t know, but I think I am done with PRs for a while.  It’s exhausting!

The Pros:

*Great shirts.  Long sleeve T-shirts, and I’ve never gotten a white one.  (Grey, red and royal blue.)  The kids got the same style of long sleeve T.

*Cause.  The race benefits the local volunteer fire department.  Those guys really are heroes and they deserve a little recognition.  And they do a great job stationing at the intersections (with the fire trucks) in their gear and directing traffic.

*Course.  The course changed a little bit this year, but I think it was for the better.  They just added a half mile loop at the beginning and took it off at the end.  And the course is really flat.  It runs mainly on roads, but at the end we transition onto a trail.  Except that the trail resembles a gravel road and not really a trail.  The course is basically one big loop.

*Price.  Can’t really beat $17…especially when you throw in a long-sleeved T-shirt.

*Organization.  Picking up our shirts was a breeze.  They had the Lutheran church open for everyone to stay warm and use the bathrooms.  The directions were easy to hear for the start of the kids race and the 5K.

*Location.  I’ve done this race before, so I know where I’m going and how to get there.  I know where to park.  It is less than 45 minutes (barely) from my house.

*Kids race.  Jaden loved it!

The Cons:

*It was cold!  I think it was about 29 degrees.  I hate the cold.

*Tim.  This is the second year in a row that we’ve paid for Tim to do the event, and he hasn’t been able to do it.  Last year, he got sick.  This year, even though he put in for a vacation day, he ended up having to work.

*I didn’t get to enjoy the post-race goodies because I had to leave to get back in time to EMT at Colby’s playoff football game (they won!).

*Did I already mention it was cold?  I did?  Oh, I guess I don’t have any more cons.

Overall grade:

A-

Since I didn’t get to evaluate the post-race festivities, I can’t really give the event a solid A.  But, I will certainly do this race again (and again, and again….)

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4 thoughts on “Hewitt Pumpkin Run race recap (2012)

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