I ran the Newnan’s Lake 15K this morning. I figured it would be a good test of my race pace on a longer distance. The race started at 8:30 and I got there around 8:00. Parking was a little crazy, but I found a nice spot on the grass right near the exit. I hopped in the line for the ladies’ room. It was a 10 minute wait, but that’s pretty normal for a race. Of course, the mens’ room had NO line at all.
It was cool, but not cold, so I had on my sparkletech skirt and a tank top. I put on my running sleeves which go from armpit to wrist and was still pretty chilly at the start (about 50 degrees). I lined up near the back of the pack at the start and we were off just a few minutes after the scheduled start.
I’ve had miserable races before from starting too fast, so I kept an eye on my watch (Garmin Forerunner 10) and tried to keep my pace between 10:30 and 11:00. I generally use 5 minute run and 1 minute walk intervals, but skipped my first walk interval because it was too crowded. I didn’t warm up well before the race, so I kept the first mile right at 11:00 minutes.
The race was about 95% on roads all of which were still open to traffic. After a short section on a major highway, we veered off onto a two lane rural road that meandered along the shore of the lake. It was very scenic. About three miles in, it got warm enough that I took the sleeves off and put them in my shorts pocket. That’s about the point that everyone started to get very spread out. I always had someone in front of me and behind me in sight, but I was running alone for a good part of the race, which was nice.
Around mile 4 I started getting worried that my hamstring/glute was going to act up and got a little mentally uncertain about the speed and distance. I’ve run further than that recently, but at a 12 minute mile training pace, so I was concerned that I was pushing too fast with the sub-11 minute mile pace. I just kept going and eventually got into a great zone where the half miles just kept slipping by.
I was able to pass a few people near the finish and I sped up for the last mile and skipped my final walking interval. I finished strong, feeling good in 1:40 as my clock time. Since I started at the back of the pack, my actual time was probably a little better, but this race didn’t do “chip time”.
I used Honey Stinger gellies for fuel during the run, eating one or two each mile for the first half and then every half mile for the last half. I had a little water bottle with me and had a cup of water at each of the three water stops. After the run I grabbed my two little milk boxes with chocolate almond milk for refueling. Then I met up with my mom and my toddler who were hanging out at the playground.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the race. The last 15k race I ran was 15 years ago and my time was 1:30, so this wasn’t a PR, but was an improvement on the 1:07 10K I ran two months ago. My glute/hamstring is a little tender, but held up well. I’ll be foam rolling tonight to try to work out any new kinks.