Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Shrewsbury 5K (Shrewsbury, NJ)

I seriously wonder what I was thinking signing up for the Shrewsbury 5K when I knew it was a week after the Rook Run.

Oh, yeah. I wanted a race to make up for not running Little Silver, which ended up getting cancelled thanks to Joaquin, the hurricane that never hit the coast.

Well, it's safe to say that I am a "one and done" with this race. I could say it's both the race and me. Just keep reading.

I had my eye on the weather for last weekend throughout the week, and the forecast was clear but COLD!! Temperatures were only in the 30's. So, yeah. Already I knew this race was not going to be fun.

I knew I had to have a Sparkle Athletic skirt no matter what, and thankfully I would also have leg sleeves, so I chose a pair of capris along with a long sleeve shirt to wear on race day.

Wake up was at a semi-reasonable hour (7:00), since the race was at 9. Even with a 20 minute drive, I knew that as long as I left my house before 8, I would be good.

One drawback to this race was off-site parking. It was at a local shopping center with a walk of about two blocks to the start area. Other races I have done have this, but I am still not a fan of it at all.

Once I made my way to the start area, it was a lot of walking and trying to find sun to keep warm until the race actually started. This area was mostly shaded, which I would have been thankful for in, like, June. Last weekend, not so much.

Around 8:45, right after the one mile ended, the lineup for the 5K started. There was no start mat (ugh), so it was a bit of crowding at the start. I still went toward the middle, since time didn't matter to me too much. I got a PR the previous week, so I was doing this as more of a fun run. 

Oh, and you know I just had to get a pre-race selfie. ;-)


At exactly 9:00, it was go time!

The first mile wound up being the flattest and most exciting mile of the race. This was where the most spectators were, plus a family who was brave enough to sit out in the cold to play music for us. I hit the one mile marker at 11:15, which was awesome!

Then the hills came.

One thing that I was not prepared for in this race was hills. They were somewhat rolling with one somewhat big one. Since the course was almost an out and back, we saw them not once, but twice! Yay! Not really!

My second mile was 12:46. That damn second mile curse strikes again. Someday I'll learn. Le sigh.

Throughout the race, my feet and legs were feeling the cold. Don't worry, I was fine enough to keep going, but it did impact my performance. Oh well. Layer more next time, I guess?

I actually got a selfie in-race this time! I wasn't in as much of a zone, and didn't have a PR mentality, so I decided to snap a pic! 


I gave everything I had left for the last mile, and saw more hills. Hooray. I kept going until the finish area was in sight, then sprinted until I flew over the finish mat!

Official time: 37:14 (12:00/mile). Second slowest 5K, but I actually wasn't too upset with this one. I did just come off a PR, plus I raced up and down hills and battled the cold!

After the race, I hung out at the expo for a bit, where I got a sample of bundt cake along with a piece of bagel. Only after a race is it acceptable to eat a bagel AND cake before noon. ;-)

The bibs had to be returned since they had reusable timing chips on them. Bummer. I love keeping mine as mementos. I did make a copy of mine though, so I can still hang it on my wall.

The atmosphere of the race was the opposite of the Rook Run, as everyone was from that general area, and I was the outsider. Meh. Part of the reason I wouldn't do this race again.

Overall, this race was a hit or miss. It was a smaller race, which was a plus for crowding issues. Post-race food was also good, even if all I took was a bagel (I can't stomach a sub at 10:00 in the morning, especially after running a 5K). The course was challenging and boring in one shot (residential areas), but if I was actually training for it, I would have felt stronger. Crowds were small at best, but that's what happens with a small race.

I'm glad that I was able to cross another town off my list of races, but I don't think I will do this one again anytime soon. I would rather do a bigger or flatter race with a better atmosphere. Not every race is awesome and fun, but you never know that unless you try, right?

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