The main thing you have to know about Freihofer’s Run for Women: the atmosphere is just amazing. Think any race you’ve ever started in and take it up a few notches. It’s why we come back, year after year, despite the heat, the narrow streets, the never ending hill at the start, and the crowded conditions.
Parking is free, but it’s really, really crowded. The Race Director had really talked up the expo this year — I do think it was better than last year, and I actually made a couple of purchases.
They spread it out so you went one place to pick up your bib, another to pick up your race tee, and another to pick up your cookies and bread. Which of course sort of forced you to check out a lot of the vendors, but I wanted to anyway.
One unfortunate snafu was that there were supposed to be clear plastic bags for your gear check — except there weren’t. I regretted using one of my previous ones for that clothes swap earlier on, but I had another, thankfully. You have to use clear plastic bags for anything you bring into the race.
There was supposed to be more food and my friend & I had planned to eat there, but there was only burgers. We ended up stopping at a restaurant on the way home, which was thankfully open, and had a very pleasant al fresco lunch.
My Race Plan
Not much of one, again. Not a whole lot of running, and a lot of slow running with the mentees. I knew I wasn’t in PR shape, but I still wanted to do the best I could do, and I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm the whole race — unfortunately that didn’t happen.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 10:50. Last year my watch played tricks with the first mile — this year it was accurate. I wanted to be conservative, not go out too fast, and while I wished it was a bit faster, I was pleased with this mile. Especially as it seemed like we were climbing uphill the whole mile.
- Mile 2: 11:20. Almost a full minute slower than last year; this is why my overall time was slower than last year. I only took two walk breaks during this race. I actually didn’t feel it was quite as congested as years past, or at least I didn’t feel I was really held back by other runners.
- Mile 3: 10:36. Mile three seems like it’s completely downhill towards the finish. Which isn’t quite true, but it is definitely a nice downhill for most of the mile and that saved my finish time for this race!
- Last .16: 8:19. A downhill sprint to the finish line.
34:35 — Official Time
10:59 — Average Pace
111 out of 233 in my AG
1385 out of 2649 runners
Last year I’d run 3 5ks in the 6 weeks before this race. I was in the middle of training for a half. This year I’d spent the majority of the spring either sick or simply rebuilding my base.
So I guess it was a pretty good showing, considering; fairly solidly middle of the pack. I was just kind of disappointed in myself slowing down so much the second mile. I ended the race feeling good, not the least bit sore . . . and I knew I hadn’t really given it my all.
You can view a video of the finish line here. The cool thing is you actually get to see the elites finishing the race if you start at the beginning. I come along roughly at 18:30, although as usual, I’m obscured by other runners until I’m at the finish line.
The weather & dressing
The weather is one reason I love to hate this race. I swear it’s always hot. Often it’s suddenly hot, and that was the case this year — it was unseasonably cool both before and after the race, but race day was warm. In fact, the previous two Saturdays had been beautiful running weather. Thankfully it was not humid, and the cloud cover held for most of the race — it’s been worse.
Cool It Skirt was my go-to skirt for hot racing last year, but being a shorter race and not terribly hot, I went with my Hover Skirt and Racecation Tank (so happy Racecation came back this year — one of my fav tops for hot weather racing/running) from Skirt Sports. It was a great outfit (My Cool It Skirt with my Bonita Racecation Tank would have been a nice combo, too).
I learned from past mistakes, and took my cool it scarf along — and wore it — but I didn’t get it wet enough, so I’m not sure it really helped much but it didn’t harm either.
Was the race well run?
Freihofers is mostly a well oiled machine, but there are always a few little hiccups. Like the fact that the main ramp to where I park was closed (a surprise to both me & my friend) — luckily I had my friend (aka my human GPS) to navigate me to the parking and we still managed to get there in time for the photo of the training challenge.
I partook of the massages for the first time this year and it was awesome. For some reason my masseuse took her time with me. I started before my two friends, and they were waiting for me to finish.
Would I run this race again? My answer is always the same: if I’m here, I’ll do it.