Wednesday, February 15, 2023

2023 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K Race Recap - Bountiful, UT

Official Time: 24:12
Placement: 1st in the 50 - 54
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 26F slight breeze from the south.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2022] [2021] [2020] [2019] [2018] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013]

Mile TimeComments
17:27Gentle downhill at the start. Slightly congested, but off to a good start
27:57Definitely was feeling it at about 1.25 miles. Hardest part of the course coming
38:15Dream killer slow grind hill
3.090:34Smash the final quarter mile.
Total Miles: 3.09- 24.12


Each February for the last 10 years or so I've run the South Davis Recreation Center's Sweethearts 5K.  It is a Valentine's Day themed race and generally well attended.  It is also budget friendly - coming in at about $20 if you register early enough.

The race is also nice in that you have a large recreation center to keep warm in (with no need for porta-potties) 

The course is familiar, in that I've run it over 20 times.  So it is usually an early year indicator of where my fitness is at.

The Race 

Race morning came in feeling cold.  In fact, it was a balmy 26F.  Fortunately, there wasn't much wind -- ideal running conditions for me.

I arrived at the race site shortly after 8 AM for a 9 AM start.  Packet pickup was a snap and I was ready to race in short order.  There was a big swim meet there, so I had to park away from the start, but I incorporated it into my warm-up.

I wound up running about a mile for my warm-up.  I kept it easy and did some strides as well.  I had a hard time getting ready for the race, though.  My legs didn't feel particularly springy or fast despite wearing the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2s and the race started about 5 minutes late, so I had sort of lost that warm-up heart rate bump.

The course at about mile 1

I was in short shorts, 2 t-shirts, gloves and a skullcap.  It worked and I felt lighter than most of my competitors.

I've written about this course many times -- it is a residential run that forms a square around the recreation center.  It starts out with a gentle decline, and then after about a mile and a quarter, you have a long ascent, culminating with the steepest part at about mile 2.5  The hills aren't terrible, but it is grind to say the least and the one that starts at around mile 2 is always demoralizing.

I hit the first mile at 7:27 as I zig and zagged around other runners.  Fast and right on target given the gentle decline.  I was also feeling pretty good.  Was this my "day"?

The initial rush of runners had faded and I was chasing down some of the fast starters who had gotten hung up on the first hill.  I also was getting passed once in a while too.  It was a fairly big race so I was never really by myself until the end of the race.  Also, I didn't see anyone that seemed to be close to my age group.

I was oxygen debt upon hitting the half way point.  I was still on target for a decent race, but the hardest part of the race was coming up.  In the distance, I could see the top of the hill, which was marked by a lonely traffic light.  A little more than a mile, yet so far away.

Once in a while I'd glance at my watch -- I felt like I was running fast - but my watch snapped me back to reality.  I saw it report back that I was running at about 8:20.  Clearly, I wanted to be under that, but it was just the mental grind of the slope.  

As I sped through a traffic light, mile 2 saw me hit 7:57.  Not too awful -- could I salvage this race?

My legs felt like they each weighed 20 pounds more than usual. My breathing was labored, but my determination to run fast was there.  I was continually infuriated every time I glanced at my Garmin -- despite my best efforts, I was drifting closer to 9 minute miles.  Where was my speed?

I kept focused and kept glancing over my shoulder. No one was behind me and the few I had been chasing had put ground on me.

Finally I hit the final turn.  I didn't have much and I wondered if I could smash the last .2 of a mile or so and continue my streak of going under 24 minutes.


So my streak of running sub 24 minutes for a 5K was broken.  I just didn't have it.  It was reasonably close -- finishing in 24:12 -- good enough for first place in my age division.

I was a bit dismayed for this 5K.  I should be an expert on this course, but I always feel like I ran "wrong".  It is a hard course to negative split and I usually feel good after the first mile, it always winds up catching me half way through the race.

It took a while to get out the awards, but since I had parked so far away, I ran to my car (and then some) as a bit of a warm-down.  There were plenty of refreshments at the end: hot chocolate, bananas, oranges, drink and even hot oatmeal and muffins.

The prizes are all stuffed Teddy Bears, which I was awarded for my age group win.  The medal was also better than usual this year. It seemed larger and had a spinning thing in the middle.

Overall, I was pleased with my experience.  The race is budget friendly -- offering a very nice shirt, finisher's medal and nice age group prizes.  I registered before Christmas, paying about $20 for a nice morning out.

This race will likely continue to be a must-do for me in February and one that sets a tone of how the rest of the season will go.  I am running pretty much where I was last year, except I do feel like I am a bit less fit and heavier.

Upcoming Races

02/18: 2023 SoJo Date Dash 5K - South Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/04: 2023 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/14: 2023 Vineyard City Gold Rush 5K - Vineyard, UT (Confirmed)
03/25: 2023 Riverton Half Marathon023 Riverton Half Marathon - Riverton, UT (Confirmed)
04/08: 2023 Eggs Legs 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
04/29: 2023 Blossom Run 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
07/29: 2023 Timp 10K - American Fork, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
09/23: 2023 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/21: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/28: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)

No comments:

Post a Comment