How could you not want to run a race called Good Karma? Add to that that it’s at a park that’s quite close to me that I know very well. It’s a good cause, too — from the Website:
All net proceeds from the Good Karma 5K Run/Walk will benefit AIM for Seva and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY.
AIM for Seva transforms the lives of children in rural India through its chatralaya, or free student homes, which provide a loving, nurturing environment and access to value-based education, quality health care, and life-enriching cultural, spiritual and recreational programming.
Seriously isn’t that right up my alley?
This park is approximately 10 minutes from my house. That’s about as close as races get to me! I have run so many training runs there, I have mentored other runners there, I have walked the dogs there — except for Bandit. Well, we have walked Bandit there but we haven’t in a long, long time. Poor under socialized Bandit. So easy peasy for me to get to, and I parked at the fitness center — the other parking lots get majorly crowded on the weekends.
Bonus: After getting my race tee and using that real bathroom before the crowds arrived, I went back to sit in my car because: cold! I listened to some affirmations, I meditated, and then I used the real (and empty) bathroom at the fitness center. Score!
This recap would have been majorly different if the race had been run the day before, which was very hot and humid. Especially with the late race start (9:30). It was 20 degrees below normal for this time of year. I’d laid out several different outfits the night before, but had to grab capris the morning of the race — and ended up wearing the jacket I’d brought, too.
Before the race
I had time to do 3/4 of a warmup mile, and then joined in the “yoga” warmup where I ran into one running friend. As we lined up — I was headed more towards the front than my friend — I ran into another running friend and we ran together on and off for a while before she pulled ahead of me. She is a great inspiration, having donated a kidney at the end of last year — nothing will keep her down for long!
My Race plan
The last month has been full of stress. I’ve really concentrated more on building a base than getting fast — so my expectations, again, were low. I did have some goals:
C Goal: Negative splits. One thing in my favor is the park is relatively flat. The downside is the paths are very narrow, so finding your own space to run could be difficult.
B Goal: start out somewhere with an 11 in front of it. I haven’t been running terribly fast lately, so for me, harder than it might sound. This race is also more of a fun run, so this might actually be harder than it sounds on that front, too (crowded with walkers and people who aren’t terribly aware of runner etiquette)..
A Goal: finish faster than my last 5k. The weather was sort of in my favor, since a cold front came through — the negative being the wind that cold front left behind..
As always the main goal is to enjoy the race and finish uninjured with a smile on my face.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 10:41. I decided before I started to just run, and not try for a certain pace or watch my Garmin. That 10 most likely should not have been there, but I don’t regret it! It was definitely relatively crowded that first mile.
- Mile 2: 11:32. Things began to thin out and I found my own running space for the most part.
- Mile 3: 11:23. I really thought there was a significant slow down in the last mile, but apparently I held pretty steady.
- Last .2: 9:59. I sprinted in to the finish line.
35:35 — Garmin Time
35:43 Official Time
11:08 Average Pace
79 out of 152 Finishers
4 out of 8 F60-64
Solidly middle of the pack again! Time was I probably would’ve placed in my AG with these runners, but this is where I am now & I’m satisfied with my effort.
I did see the official results, but didn’t take a photo of it. I didn’t place in my AG, and have no idea where I came in in my AG. I used my Garmin time since the race ran slightly long and that’s what I have! Updated to add official results.
Every mile was faster than my last 5k (read about that here), except for mile 3 — which was just a couple of seconds slower. Would it have helped to start out slower? Probably. That’s what running by feel gets me!
Basically I met my C goal. I didn’t negative split, I didn’t start out around an 11mm pace (which probably would have been wiser), but this was a faster race — the finish time doesn’t reflect that since the course was slightly long, but I’d glanced at my Garmin at the 3.1 mark and it was about a minute faster. Still far off a PR, but progress.
Was the race well run?
The packet pickup was a bit disorganized, but I was there very early. It wasn’t quite clear which side of the picnic tables with the bibs & tees to stand on. At one point one of the volunteers told me to stand somewhere, then proceeded to help the person behind me for some unknown reason. No biggie.
After there was water and bananas for the runners — I don’t know if there was anything else, since I didn’t partake. I did get a Samosa ($2), which was really good — although I passed on the Mango Lassi (the day was just too cool for that for me, although it would also be a great post run drink!).
The race itself was quite well organized, aside from the slightly longer than 5k course (we runners are picky about that!).
What I learned
- I learned where I am right now. Which is maybe just a teeny tiny bit faster than my last 5k.
- I learned the a Samosa is a pretty great post run snack — at least on a cool day (especially when it would be many hours before I ate — unknown to me at the time).
- I learned that I don’t do that well running by feel — which I already know — but I didn’t have great big goals.
- I learned that the positive affirmations which I continue to use continue to help, as did having the opportunity for a short meditation — which I could do since the race is so close to me and I got there so early.
I enjoyed this race and will definitely do it next year if everything aligns. The weather was mostly a gift — yes, it was very windy (winds gusting up to about 18 mph) but it was also cool. So cool I had on a light long sleeve tee, a light jacket, and even warmed up with my throwaway sweatshirt on. I stowed that sweatshirt by the pavilion before the race start, and was glad to collect it after the race. It lives to be a throaway yet again.
I’m sure if it had been seasonably warm, with the late start, my finish time would have been far slower.
The race tee is purple (which I love) and very soft — I’ll be wearing this often (but not to run in).
It was definitely fun to chat with running friends I hadn’t seen in quite some time.
I love the cause this race stands for.
Would you pass on a 5k in favor of a longer race because 5ks are hard?
Do you have any races that are really close to home?
This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.