async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Stampede 5k Race Recap

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Stampede 5k Race Recap

I've run the 10k distance of my hometown race many times, but this was my first time signing up for the 5k. Health issues and struggles with endurance and the summer heat made the shorter distance the best option for this year. I could have done the 10k, but it's a race and I wanted to race it, not just run it. You get me, right?



I woke up Sunday morning to 65 degrees, partly cloudy skies, and a cool breeze. Holla! I drank a cup of coffee and got myself ready including wearing a festive new pair of Brooks Launches that I had bought the day before. I made myself a bottle of Tailwind to sip on the short drive to the starting line. The race is held in conjunction with a festival; at that time of the morning, the grounds were quiet. Having worked packet pickup the day before, I learned that there were over 800 registrants for both distances and the kids' race! I knew we hit the big time when one of the Chicago news stations had a cameraman set up at the start line.

Busse Woods Running Club participants
My running club had a tent set up and I walked over to meet up with them. After the group photo, I walked over the start line to line up for the race. I heard my name and a neighborhood friend came over for a hug. She recently started running and asked me what my finish goal was. I hadn't really set a goal for the race but I told her anything under 30 minutes. With the perfect running conditions, I was hoping to run strong and not have to stop to walk. My friend told me she was going to the back of the pack and would see me at the finish line. I wished her luck and soon, we were off!


For this race, I decided not to listen to music and instead focused on how I felt. I let the crowd pull ahead of me, and in the crowd, I saw my friend zip by. When I looked down at my watch, I saw that I was running an 8:50 pace. I was a little surprised and concerned because I hadn't run that pace for a while. I didn't know how it would work out, but because the conditions were right, I decided to roll with it.

About a half mile in, the runners around me all settled into a pace. I spotted my friend's ponytail about 50 meters ahead of me and decided to keep her in my sights. Being a competitive kind of person, I wasn't sure how I felt about her beating me but I reminded myself that I was running faster than I have in a while. "Run your own race," I told myself. "The only competition is you". Without my music to distract me, I kept myself focused and calm. Mile one: 8:47.

I still felt good at this pace, so I continued on. I started to consider the possibility of actually running the whole distance at this pace. I thanked Mother Nature for the perfect running conditions. I dialed back into the crowd around me. I passed people who were walking. Everyone's breathing was getting heavier. The young girl running next to me was landing with heavy footsteps. I started to close the gap between me and my friend. Mile two: 8:46.

Having run this race so many times, I knew that coming up was street where the 5k runners split off from the 10k runners. As we approached the turn-off, I passed my friend. Her breathing was ragged. She called out to me and told me she was "dying" and said I could "beat her". How to respond to that? I told her to keep going, that she looked strong and I continued at my steady pace. I was starting to feel tired too, but with a half mile to go, I didn't want to slow down. It was time to dig deep. I was cautiously excited about my even splits. Mile three: 8:42.

As we approached the finish line up ahead, a woman next to me sped up. Was she in my age group? I had no idea, but it's on, sister! I gave it my all for those last 100 meters. Apparently, she had a little more left in the tank than I did and she crossed the finish line a few seconds before me. Finish time: 27:12.


I waited for my friend to cross and she did, about 20 seconds after me. I congratulated her and we went to the results table to see how we did. She won her age group and I came in second in mine. Our awards were a commemorative pint glass.


This is really a great little race that never disappoints. The course never changes and is flat and fast. The people who live on the streets along the course come out to cheer on the runners. In the past, on really hot days, they put their sprinklers on over the street so runners can cool off. Race results are available immediately. There are no medals, but I don't expect one for a 5k or a 10k. The shirts this year were a nice cottony-tech shirt in gender-specific sizes.

Putting that pint glass to good use!
Considering how I've been feeling this year, this race was sweet redemption for me! I was proud to have run such a strong, consistent race. Running a race with a friend who is relatively new to racing reminded me of how experience pays off. Sitting back and not letting my ego carry me forward worked out really well. The weather conditions were also a huge factor in my success with this race. Had the race been held one day earlier, the outcome would have been very different. There is no doubt in my mind that even though I loathe running in the heat, it has been good training for me. Honestly, I'm enjoying racing these shorter distances. I love to run fast and push myself, and the 5k distance is perfect for that.

Oh, and about that rule about "nothing new on race day"? Those new Brooks were great. They were light, responsive, and had magic in them. How else to explain such a good race?

New shoes for the win!
I broke the cardinal rule of running and snagged an age group award! /via @oldrunningmom @brooksrunning #runchat #running #nothingnewonraceday

Do you have a race you run every year? What is your favorite race distance? Have you ever worn new shoes to a race?

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics.


32 comments :

  1. Nice job, Wendy! And nice encouragement to your friend, too. She learned a valuable lesson (maybe), although she was rewarded with a AG win so who knows? She's speedy too!

    I had just received new shoes before my long run this weekend. They were bought off of Ebay, so I didn't wear them for my long run this weekend. No, I most likely wouldn't have run in new shoes I've never run in -- you seriously just never know! -- but i do love that new shoe bounce. :)

    Congrats!

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  2. Great job, Wendy! The weather was so much better on Sunday, definitely a big difference from the days before. I do love your shoes. :-) Years ago I ran the Princeton Half Marathon in new shoes. I survived. No pain. My first marathon I ran in semi new shoes and my feet were killing me. Could have been the shoes or the fact that for my half marathon I already had years of running experience. Who knows?

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    1. I just knew the shoes would be fine--they were so comfortable and fit perfectly!

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  3. I love those Brooks sneakers!

    Congrats on a great race :) 800 runners is pretty big for a local race! Sounds like it was a good one.

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    1. This is always a good race! I like it because I get to see a lot of people I know.

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  4. Congrats on a great race! I'm seriously thinking about getting those shoes. I have the previous model and they felt great right out of the box and even with 500 miles on them they are still decent. But it's time for a new pair and might as well get something fun.

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    1. I saw them on the wall at the running store and I had to have them. So not like me, but it all worked out!

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  5. Great job on that age group placement! It's so nice when race day weather cooperates and you get good running conditions :)

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  6. Congrats on the finishing time and the podium.
    Brooks are my favorite running shoes.
    The hometown races are the best because we don't have to get up early and we know the route.
    My favorite race distance now is 10k, when I was younger it was the half marathon.
    Never worn new shoes during a race.

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    1. My favorite distance used to be the 10k, then it was the half. Now it looks like I might be favoring the 5k. Funny how things change!

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  7. Congrats on second in your AG! Your splits are impressively even and you ran a strong race! I love local races, especially in the 5K to 10K distance. There's some ones here that I'm really excited to make into yearly traditions!

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    1. I was just thrilled with my splits! I hope I can continue to run strong like that.

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  8. Oh brilliant, well done, and such even splits! Hooray! Good work!

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  9. Great race. Great splits. The Stampede is always a good event. Congrats!

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  10. Congrats on a strong race! You weren't far off AG1. Glad the magic shoes worked for you.

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    1. It was probably one of the best races I've ever run. Who knew where that came from, right?

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  11. Maybe your new shoes do have magic powers! Sounds like this race was just what you needed to give you a little confidence back. Congrats!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head. I sure needed this one. Guess I've got a few more races in these old legs...

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  12. Good job, and great splits! You are far braver than me in wearing neutral shoes (after being in support shoes in recent years). My obnoxious arches would be mucho angry ;-)

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    1. I slipped my orthotics in and they felt great! I won't run long distances in them but they were fine for a 5k.

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  13. Wow! Your time is awesome! #Goals Haha! I wish the weather gods would come down to Texas and sprinkle some of that 65 degree weather on us!!

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  14. Way to go! So glad everything aligned and worked well for you! I bet it was such a great feeling and it probably lit your fire once again.

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    1. It's nice to know that I've still got some speed left in my old legs!

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  15. Great race. You’ll have to give away that I’m a slow runner shirt lol

    Yes, I have worn new shoes for a race and it worked out fine.

    Love that new shoe feel.

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    1. Well, I ran 5 yesterday at 11 min/m pace. So, yeah, I get to keep the slow runner shirt...

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  16. Congrats, Wendy, on your great race! I loved reading your recap.

    I run in the Firecracker 5K every year, and it still amazing this 'long distance runner" that I love racing the 5K distance! I was thrilled with how well I did at the 5K this year considering that I've been injured off and on all winter and spring. It was hot, humid, and hilly, but I still ran a strong race.

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    1. I saw how well you did and I was excited for you! It's so great that we 'seasoned' runners can still bring it! LOL

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