Fischang-Cichetti 5K Race Recap
Just a few days ago I decided to run a 5K this weekend. It happens every so often, that a race starts looking good at the last minute. Sometimes it is about weather, sometimes it is about a cause. Today it was both.
I’m involved with the Chase Kowalski Memorial Foundation (CMAK) here in SWCT. He was one of the victims at Sandy Hook, a seven year old blond boy that loved to run, swim and bike. I’ve posted here about other events I’ve run with this organization. Chase’s mom, Rebecca, has decided to try and take part in ten athletic events before Chase’s tenth birthday next year, which will take place on Halloween. She’s challenged her family and friends to join her, to raise awareness for the foundation they started in her son’s name.
Of course I knew I’d take part. I try to run a race a month anyway, so it was a natural fit.
I’ve actually run one race already that qualifies (since technically she started the challenge on his ninth birthday, 10/31). Rebecca, however, was starting her challenge today at the Fischang-Cichetti 5 Mile/5K run in Waterbury, CT. I wanted to join her, but last year this race was cold and awful. After my experience in the rain a few weeks back, I wasn’t sure I was up for another awful weather race. However, when the forecast became clear late this week, I jumped online and signed up.
Another friend and I agreed to carpool; I picked her up at 7:30 this morning and we made our way up to Waterbury.
CMAK had a table in the gym of the Y where the race started and finished, so I was able to get a gander at the new hoodies they had created for us taking part in the birthday challenge. They are Halloween themed for Chase’s birthday. They are actually a really high quality hoodie so of course I snagged one.
I visited with those I know in the organization before it was time to take a group photo and head out. How much do I love a November race that has indoor waiting area? And real bathrooms? Very much.
We lined up, in the back of course, and headed out. The weather was perfect for a race; 40 degrees, mostly sunny, no real wind. All of us, the 5 milers and the 5K ers started out together; our turnaround was just earlier than theirs (I signed up for the 5K). I had no real time expectation for this race. After not making my goal for the Vicki Soto race a few weeks ago, I haven’t run that much. I had trained for that one but hadn’t really kept it up for this one, maybe running two easy runs a week since. No intervals, no real hills, nothing serious. Plus this race was billed as a hilly course. So I figured I’d just go out and enjoy the run.
For the first half mile it felt as if I probably could have gone faster, but the knot of people was fairly tight, and I wasn’t worried about time. I was surprised, therefore, when my RunKeeper told me I was doing a pace of 11 min/mile and change during the first mile. In fact, the ten minute chime on my RK told me 10:56/mile. I couldn’t believe it. I just went with it, not worrying about time.
When the hills came, and they did, I did what I could, but there was definitely some walking. Still, once I crested the first one, I could feel that I had plenty of steam to pick up speed on the downhill that followed. I weaved and passed people and continued to feel pretty strong.
The turnaround had to be somewhere around mile 2, at the end of a slow, gradual uphill that I took my time with. The water stop was not far from the turnaround, but I knew I didn’t want to sacrifice the time so I kept going. I saw my friend not far from the turnaround going up the hill; she asked how much further? I assured her it wasn’t much longer.
By now I was well into mile 2 and feeling good. I really wasn’t paying much attention to my RunKeeper at this point, just pushing to the point of uncomfortable and then pulling myself back to catch my breath before pushing myself again. I kept this pattern up the whole second half of the race.
Finally I saw the finish line. It was probably a good three tenths of a mile away still, but seeing it up ahead gave me a boost and I pushed towards it with all that I had. I couldn’t believe when I saw the time clock reading 35 and change. I crossed at 35:40, which is my third best 5K time ever.
I’m really amazed by my time, to be honest. It’s only 14 seconds slower than my PR, which I did on a flat course. This course had two significant hills, one being a long slow incline of probably four tenths of a mile. Plus probably four or more smaller ones. I didn’t even really go into this race thinking about time, and I actually had several walk breaks on the hills to catch my breath. If I’d been pushing, really pushing? I probably would have had a PR. Then again, maybe it was because I did a few walk breaks that I could really push when I did run. I don’t know. All I know is it was awfully nice to not even be thinking about time today and get such a good result.
So needless to say, I’m very satisfied with today’s race. I found all of our fellow challengers after the race; everyone seemed very happy with their races as well. The day had turned from a partly cloudy day to a gorgeous sun filled one. We all agreed Chase had helped us all to a good time.
So grateful to be able to run and help causes like this.