Sunday, September 23, 2012


So this happened today:

Surprise! I raced ran a 5K! I kept this under wraps and didn’t tell a lot of people I had decided to register for this race last week. I didn’t want to jinx myself since my running has been so bi-polar lately. With the blessing of my coach and my body I decided to go for it. I had ZERO expectations. ZERO. I had texted my coach my 1200 splits from Wednesday night. He thought that it as realistic to run a pace of 7:00-7:30. I wasn’t so sure about that. The little running that I have completed since the end of June has been run/walk workouts. I hadn’t run for 3 miles without stopping since the end of May.

They had packet pick up Friday afternoon which is rant #1 about this race. Really, was it necessary to make us drive all the way out to the Valley on Friday afternoon to get a bib for a 5K?!  Really?! This isn’t a marathon people. It’s a 5K. Race day packet pick up should be sufficient. I had pre-registered and instead of having a sticker label pre-assigned to bib #s they wrote my corresponding bib # on a word document next to my name. Doesn't that create more work for them? Isn't the idea of preregistration so that all of that leg work is taken care of? Then they said that they had run out of small t-shirts. Really?! Again I had pre-registered people! Not that I really cared about the ugly cotton t-shirt, but still, seriously.

I had to laugh at the volunteer because she obviously had no clue what she was doing as someone asked her where about the 5K turnaround was. She responded with "you run out about 2.5 miles and then turn around and run back". Really?! It is a 5K not a 5 MILE race. I should have known at that point that I should probably just skip the race. More rants to come.

Ready to run :-)

I woke up around 7:00 am on Sunday. Giving me time to enjoy one cup of coffee and my oatmeal before I had to head out the door by 7:30. The race start is only about a 10 minute drive from my house, but I wasn’t sure how bad it would be to find parking so I wanted to give myself some extra time. The race was scheduled to start at 8:30. I found easy parking and did a short warm up of about 1 mile. As I started to run the course, I wasn't feeling very positive about the race. Even during my warm up my 8:50-9:00 min pace seemed tough. I was wondering if I should have just skipped it. The air quality in Spokane is awful right now with all of the fires in the area. I was already coughing before the race started.

The start of the race was incredibly disorganized which leads me to another rant. They didn't have a megaphone and they were trying to do a staggered start with letting the 10K runners go first and it was just chaos. Considering this isn't the first year they have done this race, you would have thought that they would have been more prepared.

Once the 5K started I zoomed off and then looked at my watch and saw I was running a 6:35 pace. I slowed myself down and just told myself to relax and focus on my form (standing tall, forefoot strike, etc.). I felt pretty good physically through the whole race. Towards the end I felt pretty fatigued, but I didn't compromise my form or slide back into bad habits (heel strike, etc.).

I finished as the first place female with a time of 22:35.

I was pretty ecstatic that I ran that well for my first 5K. I have had ZERO speed work since the beginning of April and I haven't ran a consecutive mile without stopping since May. This time is nowhere near my PR, but it is a starting point. Considering what I have been dealt with this last year it is a very positive step in the right direction. I am optimistic that once I can start doing some speed drills and tempo runs that I will be back as even better and stronger runner.

With that I will end with my last rants for the race. The finish line was a freaking cluster! They had no idea what they were doing. Runners were finishing and the volunteers weren't tearing off the bottom of their race bibs. Since it wasn't chip timed they should have done a better job with making sure the volunteers knew what they needed to do. I am sure that they results will be messed up.

My last BIG, HUGE RANT: They had no awards! I can understand not doing age group awards, but at least the overall or top three individuals should have been recognized. When I walked over to the finish line to inquire about an awards ceremony the lady I spoke to rudely responded that there was no awards and that I could just celebrate by myself later when they posted the times on their website. Really?! I was speechless. Needless to say I will be writing an email to the race director and I will not be participating in the Valley Fest 5K again.

Javier and I: 1st place male and female 5K finishers

Questions for you:
Have you ever wrote a letter to a race director to complain about their event? Should I just let it go?


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