Monday, June 13, 2016

Race Recap: Gary Smith 3-mile Walk (6/12/16)

A friend told me about this little race, and I was super excited to enter.  I haven't raced in FIVE MONTHS (Lifetime Indoor Tri in January), and I was itching to don a bib again!  

The Gary Smith Classic is actually a 5-mile running race, with a 3-mile walk option as well as a 2-mile kids' race.  Joey decided he wanted to enter the kids' race, so it was great to have a buddy for the morning!  This would be his first race where I wasn't either a) cheering him on, or b) running with him, so I think we were both a bit more nervous than usual.

We got to the race site, Thomas Worthington HS, and picked up our bibs and shirts (nice blue tech shirts!).  After we threw them in the car, we milled around chatting with a few of my friends who were running.  Always love to see people at races!  Joey and I did some stretches, and then walked an easy mile around the track.  He just got his first pair of running shoes the other day, so I wanted him to at least walk a bit in them before the actual race!  

Love this pre-race pic of my boy!
The 5 miler started at 9:00, and my walking race started a few minutes later.  Joey didn't start until 9:15, so I left him in the care of some random mom who looked friendly and who had two boys in the race, hoping that he'd make it to the starting line (he did, of course).  Quick recap on him--he did great!  My pre-race guess for his time was 17:30, and he ended up getting 10th out of 24 runners with a 17:28.  He said that he "died" after about a mile, that it was too hot out (it was!) and that "everything hurt" by the end. I'd say that's a successful race!

Allison took this one of him racing!

So, my own race started just after 9:00.  There were about 40 "walkers" in the 3-mile event. I use the term "walkers" very very loosely.  The race was chip-timed with a whistle start.  3, 2, 1.... TWEET, and we were off, with several people taking off jogging.  Um, what?  I thought this was a walking event?  I was actually looking forward to seeing some fast race-walkers (those people AMAZE me, with the elites able to walk a 10K faster than I can run one!), but alas, there were none.  Just the joggers who took off, and one other woman who was walking about 10 feet in front of me.  

The race started out in the parking lot of the high school, wove down to the Olentangy Trail for a bit, and then up into the neighborhoods. I do mean UP... after about a mile, the course went up up up for about a mile, total elevation increase of 80 feet over a mile.  This is so much worse than RUNNING up that kind of a "hill".  Walking is a whole different sport, I tell you!  It was during the second mind that I caught up to the only walker who was ahead of me.  We ended up chatting for the final mile or so of the race.  I probably could've gone a bit faster, but it was so nice to have someone to talk to!  We just chatted about the weather (HOT) and the race itself.  We actually finished at the EXACT same time, but I am listed ahead of her in the results (probably due to our last names LOL).  My final time was a 41:13, good enough for 7th overall out of 43 walkers (but I will swear by the fact that I was 1st overall for the walking division!). 

Another pic courtesy of Allison... approaching the finish!

See, exact same time! :)

I didn't look at the app on my phone at all during the race, just so that I wouldn't get obsessive about my pace.  Mile 1 was mostly downhill, with an average pace of 12:57.  Never thought I'd be so happy to go sub-13 LOL!   Mile 2 (the uphill one) was 13:41.  Mile 3 was mostly downhill as well, 13:45 average pace.  And the "finish" of 0.06 miles (on the track so very very flat) was 12:51 pace.  My overall pace for the race was 13:28.  I totally exceeded my expectations, as I was hoping for a sub-45 (sub-15 min/mile average).  That being said, I do not love walking!  Both of my feet fell asleep by mile 2.  I was bored until I met up with the other walker.  It was pretty out and I tried to embrace the fact that just 3 weeks ago I was still on crutches, and here I was, walking FAST!  The other great part: zero pain at all in my hip.  I was super happy for this, of course!

LOVE the mugs we got!!!

So, all in all, I'm excited that I got to do this race.  It was a great foray back into racing for me.  I saw my doctor on Wednesday and she said that when I come back in two weeks, she is planning on giving me the go-ahead to start the "return to running plan", meaning walk-run intervals!  The plan is the same one that I did with Dr. Bright last year, and it starts with walking. I told her I've already done up to 60 minutes of walking, so she said I could start at Step 3.  

I am going to do a bit of researching as well to see if I find any others.  This one was a good one for me last year, but I kind of feel that I got back into regular running too fast.  This plan actually has me back to "regular running" after 16 workouts, which could be as soon as 4 weeks if I am doing it 4x/week (I think this is what I did last time). If I back off to 3x/week, then it's more like 5.5 weeks, which sounds a bit better.  With triathlon training, 3x/week is more than enough running.  If I don't find a plan I like better, I will use this one but stick to only running 3x/week at the most.  


  1. sounds like a good one. I see it on the schedule every year but something always seems to get in the way of trying it... i'll keep it in mind for 2017. looks like fun. glad you got out there!

    1. It was super hot... not sure if I'll ever run it, but I loved that there was a kids' race!