Monday, March 9, 2015

Tom King 5k Race Recap

   Saturday was one of my favorite races - the Tom King Classic. It's put on by the Nashville Striders (one of the local running clubs), and is very popular with local runners. It's flat, so it's great for half marathoners who are looking for a PR, and it's also the perfect first 5k. It also holds a special place in my heart because this was the race where I officially became an East Nasty.

Tom King, Baby! 

   I had a 12 mile run on tap for Saturday, but only registered for the 5k because one of my co-workers was running his first 5k, and I wanted to join in on the fun. So, I made the plan to get up a little early to run three miles, meet up with my co-workers for the 5k, and then run the remaining six after the race. This plan worked out great. Due to the horrendous weather Nashville had recently, the race start was delayed until 9:00 (and also cancelled the half-marathon), so I didn't have to get up too crazy early. That's always nice.

Michael, me and first-time racer Jim - Team J's!  

   The race started and finished at LP Field - the home of the Tennessee Titans. I worked for the Titans for 15 seasons, and I love LP Field. So many great memories. Generally, the race actually finishes ON the field, but the weather again messed with this plan and we weren't allowed on the field because it would ruin the turf. Kind of a bummer, but LP Field is still a great place to host a race, even if you're not allowed on the field.
   About five of 9:00, I headed down to the starting area. Dudley was also racing, but drove separately because of my early miles. Unfortunately, he was running late. So late that I didn't think he'd make the race start, so I told him I'd leave his race packet on my windshield and meet him at the finish. I somehow found my co-workers in the mass of humanity that was the start line, took my position and waited for the sound of bagpipes, which are heard at the start of every Tom King Classic. Then, we were off!
  
  
What? Your 5k doesn't have a bagpiper?

   As I mentioned, the race course is flat. Knowing that I had six more miles to run after the race, I didn't want to kill it, but I wanted to push it a little to see if I could PR. My most recent PR was last Thanksgiving on a hilly course - who knew what I could do on a flat one?
   A PR is what! 25:00 even with an 8:05 pace. That's a good pace for me, and I feel even better about it since I wasn't completely spent at the end. YAY me!  
   What was funny about the finish was that I got a medal (given to me by a Titans Cheerleader). Usually, the 5k doesn't get a medal, however due to the half being cancelled, they gave all of the medals to the 5k racers. I guess this kind of makes up for the Frostbite Half from a few weeks ago where I didn't get a medal! 

I totally didn't deserve this.

   After finding Dudley (he made the race start and wasn't that far behind me), Michael and Jim (who kicked butt with a 24:29 finish!), we all headed up for the post-race food. Unlike most races that just have bananas or pizza post-race, Tom King has a catered breakfast - eggs, potatoes, muffins.  It was yummy and totally made me NOT want to go run another six miles. I really wanted to text Coach Andrew and ask him if I could blow off the remaining six miles since I PRed in the 5k. Then I decided that wasn't very hard core, so I got out and ran. You know what? It's wasn't THAT bad. Well, the first mile and the last half mile were horrible, but the ones in between weren't that bad and I'm really glad I knocked them out.
   Next up - Bike Camp with the Tennessee Women's Cycling Project!!