Monday, November 21, 2016

2016 Leetsdale Snowflake Classic 5K Race Recap

At the beginning of 2016 I made a goal to run a sub-25 5K. I was on track in March, but a super short course foiled my efforts. I ran a few other 5K's but didn't come close. So, when I decided that a fall half wasn't in the cards for me this year, I figured I should add some speed work and work on my sub-25 goal. I wanted a few cooler weather 5Ks and the Leetsdale Snowflake Classic fit the bill.

$25 registration got me a long sleeve t-shirt in a nice tech-ish material, along with a swag bag that included chocolate from a local manufacturer, several notepads and a reusable water bottle. Something I was not expecting from a race this size.


The race start was 9AM - and close enough to my house I was able to eat breakfast, drink coffee and still wake up at a reasonable hour. I laid out my Flat Jessie the morning of, and ate a breakfast of egg noodles and a banana, noodles and nanner as I referred to it. Shame on me for forgetting I would need breakfast.


Packet pickup was easy - and they offered same day registration as well. Parking was plentiful and the race started just in front of Quaker Valley HS. There were locker room bathroom available to use and also several port-o-potties.


For the first time ever I decided to do a warm-up. With a 9AM race start I started my warm-up around 8:30AM. I ran 3/4 of a mile around the track, and another quarter mile from the start line as we got closer to race time. In hindsight I started my warm-up too early as I was already cooling off by the time we lined up to start. The concept though is a good one, and I think race warm-ups are here to stay for me.

I was totally unfamiliar with the course, but it was well marked and easy to follow. After a touching military tribute, where the RD passed out American flags to almost all the runners, we sang the National Anthem together, before paying special tribute specifically to each branch of the military, as well as police officers and fireman. And then, as I tried hard not to cry, we started the race.


Mile 1 - 7:55

The first mile was a flat, straight shot, as we neared the first mile marker, we quickly turned left, and right, to cross an overpass, and a small downhill into the Leetsdale Industrial Park. At this point the rain started - the temperature continued to drop and the wind picked up.

Mile 2 - 7:55

At the halfway point of the race we hit a waterstop. I passed through thanking the volunteers, but not grabbing any water. At this point I was running step for step with a gentleman to my left. I told him it was my goal to run a sub-25 race that day, and that we were on track. I introduced myself, his name was Nick, and we continued to run together.

My watch beeped indicating the end of mile two, but it was another .2 miles before we passed the next mile marker. I started to fear the race would be long. My sunglasses continued to fog up with the rain, and eventually I removed them.

Mile 3 - 8:06

At mile 2.5 we ran up the "hill" of the overpass and I could feel myself losing steam. My new buddy Nick said "it's all downhill from here" as we crested the top, and he was right. We had a brief downhill before the road flattened out. I could see the finish line! Nick started to pull ahead of me. And I started to feel like I was going to toss my cookies. This phenomenon is not new to me at the end of a hard race, 5K in particular, but I've yet to find a solution to the problem. I dry heaved a few times as I ran, but finally, in front of a house with children standing cheering on the porch, I actually lost my cookies, or in this case, noodles and nanner. With the finish line in sight I spit out what I could and kept moving. I saw 3.1 miles on my Garmin and lapped it (24:48!!!) and kept on pushing to the finish line.

My official finish time was 25:23, clocking in at 3.18 miles. Either way, a new 5K PR and technically meeting my sub-25 goal. I've got one more 5K on the schedule this year, and I'm hoping for a sub-25 CLOCK time.



The post race festivities included soft pretzels (my favorite) as well as hot chocolate. They began announcing winners and I hear my name, the woman says I'm the 3rd place overall female. I was so excited! I ran over to check the official results. Did this woman mean 3rd in my age group? Nope! She meant 3rd overall female, of the race, the whole race!


My pacing was on point, and though I tossed my cookies there at the end, I felt my legs had more to give. I definitely felt as though I was holding back in the first mile, and I think this is key for me so I don't fly and die.

With just about 20 days until my next 5K I'm excited to get in a few more strength workouts and faster runs - I'm gunning for a sub-25 clock time.

But my next running goal? Put my bib on straight, or centered, and eventually BOTH! Haha.

What's your favorite post race food?
How do you put your bib on straight?
Is the key to put it on the shirt before you're wearing it!?


Linking up with :Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights + Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run

36 comments:

  1. You go girl! Congrats on the PR! I love the shirt you got with your registration, so cute and practical.

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    1. Thanks! I'm excited! And ready for more hard work so I can do it again!

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  2. Eeek! this is so exciting :) Congrats again! <3

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    1. Yay! Hopping Trots for Tots will be another 5K but this time with people there to celebrate with!

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  3. Congratulations on your time! and I'm sorry to hear you threw up! that sucks! what happened? can I ask, why do you eat noodles before the race?

    Those are really awesome splits! You ran this strong!!

    My bib is rarely ever straight, in the summer, I end up switching it mid race from my outer layer to my sports bra.

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    1. Haha I only ate them 'cause they were already in the fridge & I didn't think to make something the night before. So I figured what the heck, noodles are carbs!

      No noddles next time.

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  4. You kicked butt! Great job :) You ran a beautiful race. I love the shirt!
    That is annoying to be so close!!! You will get it, I hope your next one goes just right and you can get that clock time.
    I never get my bib on straight either.

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    1. Haha what's a girl gotta do to run a 5K that is actually a 5K!? I'm hoping my next race will be right on the money since it's put on by a running store.

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  5. LOOK AT YOU!!! That's so awesome!
    I love you ate egg noodles for breakfast. As a weird picky eater, I used to eat spaghetti for breakfast before school all the time:) haha
    I love the finish line right in the middle of a neighborhood.
    That is AWESOME swag for a 25 entry fee!

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    1. Haha that's what I get for failing to plan ahead! I was so impressed with the swag for my fee - and the post race spread as well. The RD was so excited about EVERYONE that ran and thanked us all and shook our hands when we picked up our packets. LOVED THAT!

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  6. i'd run a 5K for soft pretzels! :D congrats!! great work :)

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    1. Haha, I might have run faster if I'd known they were gonna be there!

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  7. awesome! congrats! and that shirt is pretty sweet!

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  8. Awesome job, congratulations! That is a super impressive especially with a pit stop to "toss your nanner and noodles"! :) I feel confident you will get that sub 25 clock time next time around!

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    1. Me too! I know I can do it, so it's just a matter of finding a better pre-race breakfast!

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  9. Wow, congrats on the PR and 3rd place award! Its aways nice to get in a good race like that at the end of year. You will definitely get that sub 25 next time!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I hope so. The weather should be nice and cool // cold which is always where I thrive.

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  10. Congratulations!!! You are a rock star! Losing your cookies and still placing overall is the sign of some serious toughness.

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    1. Thanks! I would rather just not lose my cookies, but ya know, next time I guess.

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  11. Way to go, girl! Even with a little mishap before the end you ran a seriously speedy race!

    A soft pretzel sounds like the perfect way to refuel!

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    1. It was, simple & salty which are my two favorite things after a hard race.

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  12. Congrats on that PR and 3rd place finish! This sounds like a well organized race. That's impressive that you managed that even after getting sick on the course.

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    1. Thanks! I'm really starting to value a well organized race. I think for the things I run next year I'll place a higher value on well organized races because they just make everything so much easier & the day is more enjoyable.

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  13. Wow, Congrats on the PR and 3rd place! So impressed that you managed that even after losing your breakfast. I think 5Ks are so hard!
    I do put my bib on the shirt before I put the shirt on which (somewhat) helps it to be straight.

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    1. Thanks Kelly, I think I'm going to have to try putting bib on before shirt next time. Hard with race day pickup, but I'm sure I can figure it out. Plus, then I'd be way less likely to prick myself!

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  14. Wow, you did an amazing job! But OMG you tossed your cookies! I can't even imagine wanting to keep going if that happened to me. Congrats!

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    1. Haha I definitely DID NOT want to keep going, but I was SO CLOSE I could see the finish line, so I knew I had to!

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  15. AWESOME time!!! Also, that shirt is a great pickup for a 5k!

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    1. Thank you! The shirt impressed me, and I ended up liking this race way more than many larger ones.

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  16. Congrats girl! What an awesome race and so great that you made 3rd place! :)

    I never have my bib straight, but putting it on BEFORE you put on the shirt might help. Haha.

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  17. Great job! Puke pace is common in 5K (or shorter) races. I see it all the time. And dry heaving has happened to me a couple of times, too. Never fun but a hard effort sure is!!

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  18. Been there, done that with the whole puking at the finish line situation. Never fun! What works for me is taking a salt tab before the start, which helps regulate my fluids better.

    Great job kicking butt at the race and meeting your goal!!

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  19. Congrats on your race! I never heard of eating egg noodles for breakfast. Hey whatever works! I always have a heck of a time putting my bib on straight as well. But I always think, I'm sure I am not the only one.

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  20. OMG. Puking would completely derail me! Wow! I'm so seriously impressed you can toss the old cookies and keep going! Congrats on your overall placement and PR (even if by watch!!). Isn't it aggravating when races go long? It's especially cruel when it forces you into the next "minute" on the clock. I spend an insane amount of time trying to get my bib straight! Thanks for linking, Jessie!

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  21. Congrats on your race. I've come close to tossing my cookies when I'm pushing hard at the end of a race, but so far I've never actually done it. And my bibs aren't crooked only because I wear them on my skirt and I attach them right at the seam.

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