Race Report: Tom King Classic 5k – March 7, 2015

Originally, this was supposed to be my first goal half of the year. This was the race where I was going to try for that 2:15 goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

But then I ran 2:13 at Cedars Frostbite, so that goal was done.

I wondered what I should do about Tom King. Should I try to PR again? Just run it for fun? I couldn’t decide.

So the weather decided for me.

Nashville got its first snowdome-busting (over 1″) snowfall in over four years on the Wednesday night/Thursday morning before the race. The Shelby greenway, which the Tom King half runs down, would not be in any shape to run on by Saturday morning. So the race officials made the hard decision and cancelled the half.

They reconfigured the 5k (no more running through the stadium and finishing on the Jumbotron) and invited everyone to run that instead. So that’s what I decided to do, despite that I’m not really in 5k shape and I knew this would probably hurt.

Race Day

The time had also gotten pushed back to 9am, so there was not a super-early wake-up, which was nice. I even managed to convince Jonathan to get up and come spectate, with the promises of a yummy post-race breakfast.

We arrived a little before 8:30. I grabbed my bib and shirt and then met up with some of the Flyers that were running the race for a quick photo.

mt juliet flyers

I probably should have warmed up in the remaining time, but I didn’t.

We got lined up at the start and I turned my watch on. Except it had some major problems finding a signal and didn’t finally start reporting distance and pace until over half a mile in. I have no idea how fast my first mile actually was, other than it was probably too fast and may have been the fastest mile I’ve ever run. All I know is after we completed a loop around the stadium (which Strava tells me is 0.9 miles), the clock at the start said 7-something, and the time difference between my finish time and the time my watch said I was moving is 3:51 (for approximately half a mile – my fastest half mile before this was 4:12). Thus I figure I was running at a sub-8 pace for the first half mile and probably averaged 8-something overall for the first mile.

It should come as no surprise to you then that I ended up taking some walk breaks. I just absolutely wore myself out at the start. I ended up taking three. There were no water stations, so these were just I-need-air breaks.

I started really trying to push when I knew there was only a quarter mile or so left. Ugh, it was rough. I was pushing as hard as I absolutely could but felt like I was crawling. In reality, I was pushing an 8:30-8:40 pace, although I seemingly slowed down right before the finish.

I know I say this every race, but I have never been so happy to finish a race before. I got my medal (that says half marathon on it) and then found Jonathan. I didn’t know my official time, but I knew it was a PR. A very rough-won PR.

We went up to the breakfast buffet and loaded up our plates with eggs (which I didn’t think were very good but I’m not a big egg fan), muffins (which were absolutely delicious), and biscuits. After eating, I went and found the printout with the results.

Official Time: 28:43

A 31 second PR. I was happy with this, but I was not entirely happy with my performance. I do not like going out too fast. I like finishing fast and feeling strong. With an average pace of 9:16 overall, I think I could have done this race with no walk breaks if I had just managed to hold that pace from the beginning instead of flying out of the gate. But with my watch not responding at first, there was no way I knew that I was going that fast. I need to work on pacing some more, I guess.

Race Review

While I was disappointed they had to cancel the half, so far I have been pleased with how they handled the situation. We will be receiving a discount to next year’s race, but right now the details of that are still being worked out, so I’m not sure how much of a discount.

I have a couple of complaints, but I’m sure they were related to having to change everything around last minute.

The first is that I did not see any mile markers on the course. This would have been super helpful when my watch wasn’t working (as I could have hit the lap button at the end of the first mile and then been able to keep up with how much was left after that). If they were there, they were not obvious.

The second is that the race photographer cancelled, so there’s no official photos. Boo.

Also, some suggestions for the breakfast buffet. Meat! Some bacon or sausage would have been nice. I love carbs (and I had two of those delicious muffins), but I want a little bit of protein after I race. There was also no chocolate milk, which was disappointing.

That’s really it. Everything else was well put together. As a spectator, Jonathan liked that we looped the start once so that he was able to see me a few times without having to move locations. I always like having him spectate because he takes videos so I can take notes on my form!

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