One of my goals for running in 2015 is to run a race every month of the year. For January I decided to do the Securian Winter Carnival Run at the 5K distance. Well, at least I thought I was doing the 5K. When I got to the packet pickup I was told I had actually signed up for the 10K. Considering that I had eaten too much food last night, and drank too much beer, I knew I’d be miserable if I tried the 10K, so I did a quick switch of my registration to the shorter race.
I was glad that I did for a couple of reasons. First, the obvious fact that I wasn’t feeling up to a 10K. More importantly though, this course is very hilly in the downtown area. Once you get onto the road by the river there’s long stretches of flat terrain, but if you’re just running the 5K portion you spend most of your time in downtown and going up and down hills. This made for a really nice hill workout run with some really long climbs up, as well as a couple very steep segments. It really helped to get me back into the mental mindset of just putting the head down, don’t focus on how long the hill is, and just get it done. So in retrospect, this was a great race to get me back into a better mental running mindset for the tough courses that are coming up.
I was also very pleased with my performance. I managed the 5K in 30 minutes flat, which put me sub-10 for speed. I went into this race just planning on getting it done, but I was really happy with how I was able to keep the momentum going through the hilly parts and focus on a nice consistent breathing and cadence. Since this was a small race I even came in 11/25 in my division :).
As far as the Securian race goes, it was a really great experience. It’s a smaller race, but it’s put on quite well. Because it’s in downtown, there are buildings with large indoor plazas that you can stay out of the cold in. Because it’s also a part of the Winter Carnival there are lots of fun things going on around the area as well. Although, the mini-doughnut trucks around mile 2 were cruel taunting. I might make this race a winter tradition. Something to kick my butt back into the swing of things for the new year. My next race is one that I’m doing with my wife, the Valentine’s Day 5K. I’m looking forward to rocking that one, since my training should be in high gear by then.