While up in New York during a bridal retreat for one of my best friends, Christi, we decided to run a local 5k. You may have seen Christi pop up here in there in my other race recaps like the Cooper River Bridge Run, Wando Hearts & Sole 5k, and the Old Village Harbor 5k.
When planning our trip, Christi noticed there was a 5k/10k race in Rochester taking place that benefited a local animal shelter, the Verona Street Animal Society. Christi and I are both huge dog lovers making this race perfect for all of us to participate in. All of the other girls that were on the bridal retreat with us joined in on the fun of the race as well.
Race morning I decided to just give it all I have. As you’ve been reading recently, I’m still dealing with some weird calf issues that I just can’t explain. I probably should be going back to the doctor to talk to them more about it but at this point, I’m just dealing with it. I just wanted to go as hard as I could for as long as possible before my calves seized up and then when they did I wanted to try hard to push through it. I didn’t do a warm up because I wanted to give my calves as much time as possible during the race before they gave up on me.
The 10k group went out first and we cheered them on. It was awesome to see how many kids were out there doing the 10k. A few minutes later the 5k group set up to head out. The fun of this race was that there were dogs everywhere. There were pups participating in the race with their owners and there was a dog walk that occurred after the races were over with. I set up at the front of the pack with a few girls that I wanted to try to pace around and was freaking out about how nice the weather was. (I even considered running in my long sleeve!)
Mile 1: 7:04 The event organizers warned us that we would be racing through some construction areas but that next year they promised it would be better. I didn’t hear any complaints from those who were participating so my assumption was that this race has always done a good job of keeping their racers happy. The construction really wasn’t a big deal and it was kind of fun to run around the men working in their hard hats. I was pretty proud of my first mile split because I haven’t been racing well lately and its been a huge struggle to hit close to 7 minute pace for me.
Mile 2: 7:18 I was again pleasantly surprised by this mile. I was waiting for the inevitable of my calves siezing up but they were holding on strong through mile 2. At this point I was in 6th place and could see the 5th place female directly ahead of me. I had gained some ground on her and tried to keep her in my sights. I was hoping I could just hold on through the final mile.
Mile 3: 7:57 Welcome to the pain train, party of 2 seizing calf muscles. It didn’t hit till about half way through the mile but it’s like an immediate thing that happens and my legs just can not go any faster. Even when I try to imagine doing speed work, I’ll look down and I’m not going any faster. This is extremely frustrating because this pace right here, should be my easy pace. I’ve done an entire half marathon at a pace faster than this mile. *side eye* Shit needs to start getting better before I start freaking out.
.1 sprint: 7:39 pace. I managed to hold onto my 6th place finish but I never was able to catch the 5th place gal. She gained a decent amount of distance when I hit the struggle in the final mile. I was just glad no one was able to pass me at the end and make it hurt even worse.
My final time was 23:27 which at this point I’m very happy to take. It could have been the cooler weather of New York but that has been my best 5k time this year with all my calf issues, so I’m going to take it as improvement. I’m going to keep working on the issue and attempt to figure out what my demise is, until then I’ll keep plugging the miles away.
The after race was great. There were tons of free goodies for the racers including flavored water, water, oranges, bananas, muffins, and granola bars. I loaded myself up and then proceeded to take videos of all the other girls coming into the finish! They all did fantastic and we had so much fun. The best part about this race was that it was all about dogs. They had tons of vendors set up with free dog treats, doggy poop bags, dog shampoo, and more. I found this adorable stand where this lady made the cutest dog treats and told me she even makes doggy birthday cakes! We walked around and then listened to music while we waited for the awards ceremony. There were also lots of food trucks there with brunch items but we had plans for sushi for lunch and I didn’t want to kill my appetite.
My 6th place finish was good enough for second place in my age group and a nice medal. I was really happy with this race and I will absolutely participate again if I’m in Rochester for it. Rochester Fleet Feet & Yellowjacket Racing never fail to exceed expectations with their races.