Sunday, June 27, 2010

Squire Creek Peach Festival 5K Race Report

I had a peachy good time in good ol' Ruston, LA.  Here's a recap of my grand weekend in Ruston.

Day Before 5K:
I met up with an old friend and we did our "usual" - browsing the different stores in town and eating.  Ruston, Louisiana is growing. About 8 or 9 years ago, other than a Chinese buffet restaurant, there weren't any other ethnic / international restaurants.  Now, there is a hibachi restaurant, sushi places, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I had some pho the night before the race. Nothing says "ahhhhh" and makes my belly happy like a steamy hot bowl of pho. 

Day Of 5K:
I couldn't get to sleep. I was excited and was ready to run that race. This is my 3rd race with my running friend from J-school - Judith, and our second race this year. I got up early and drove to Wal-mart to get some bottled water at about 5-ish in the morning. Chugged down a bottle and a half between then and race.
I rode with Judith to the race site.  There were a lot of people. It seemed like if you are a runner in Ruston, you were at this race. And a lot of them looked serious. This is a college town so, there were some young, heart-healthy, vibrant youngsters. The older folks weren't shabby either. I personally know a group of retirees or older ladies who run full marathons, bike for 20-something miles, and kayak like nobody's business. I saw a lot of ladies wearing Nike's tempo shorts and quite a lot of people have some kind of Garmin watches on their wrists.  Nothing says "I'm a runner" like some tempo shorts and Garmin watches, right?

As we were making our way to the start line, I saw one of the ladies I mentioned earlier. Ms. Sandra had ran 12 miles earlier that morning with her running group, training for St. George.  I used to be Ms. Sandra's student worker when I was in college. She and 2 other ladies in the office are marathon runners.  I guess, I probably caught the running bug then, but it laid dormant in me until just recently. Her running friend took a picture of us using a cellphone and she reminded me to turn my Garmin on. She was very encouraging. She told me how glad she was to see me run this race and that she will be cheering for me at Mile #2. I love seeing a familiar face and I sure wasn't going to disappoint her.

The race didn't start on the dot at 8 a.m., maybe about 5 or so minutes later. But it was fine. I was nervous and felt the urge to go tinkle. I always have that feeling when I am nervous. It was already in the 80s that morning and I could feel the humidity. I was worried because I haven't ran outside since it got warm. I knew I was going to start at a comfortable pace so I'll have enough energy at the end. My previous PR was 33:++ minutes.  I don't remember the seconds because that was before I was competitive and before I realized that every second matters.  So, this race, I wanted to PR and if I can hit 30 minutes, I would be very thrilled.

I kept a nice pace at below 10:30/mile pace for the first mile. There was an easy incline there - nothing drastic.  I wasn't familiar with this part of town or where I was going until about 0.5 mile into it where I hit the college campus. I had ran that part of the campus before so, I was aware of any uphills for that stretch. It was a nice run. I love my college campus and I was smiling as I made my happy way around the campus.

Mile #2 was a little slower than the first.  Took water from the drink station ladies at about the 1.5 mile mark, which slowed me down a tad because as I took a sip, I snorted some into my nose. Usually I don't need water but I did today because it was kinda hot. That little bit of water felt good though.  I saw Ms. Sandra around the 2.5 mile mark. She was out there, telling the runners what a great job they are doing, offering cold bottle water. Her friend was getting the sprinkler in the yard ready to provide some cool sprinkle of water.Then, came the uphill. It was definitely an incline. Not steep like the "wall" I had to scaled when I ran my last 5K trail run. But you can definitely tell, it was a hill. Instead of focusing on the top of the hill, I looked down and told myself, one step at a time and no walking.  Aneta (my virtual running buddy) and I have been doing some hill work so, I need to just run this hill. I dedicated that incline to Aneta. I didn't walk: I just kept running. And I was so very proud of myself.

Mile 3 was quite a breeze. After the hill, I made the attempt to regulate my breathing. I kept a low 10:00 / mile - something below 10:15/mile. I passed a few males and females and was running alongside a tween boy. He was slowing down and I kinda told him to keep running and how close we are.  I kept running and quickened my pace a little more and made it to the finish line. The clock/timer thing at the finish line said 32:02 and my Garmin said the same too. I turned in my name and headed to get some water and also stood in line for some yummy peach ice cream.  Hello! I ran the Peach Fest 5K. Of course I was gonna get some peach ice cream after that.

I love it. My friend, Judith, also PRed by about 2 minutes this race (31:++ minutes) and she was stoked!

Will I run this race again? YES!
Suggestion/Improvement: Move it up to 7 a.m. to avoid the heat as much as possible.

After the run, Judith and I met up with her husband and friends to watch the Peach Festival Parade. Then, we went our separate ways, cleaned up and had a lunch reunion with our former journalism school friends. The heat index was over 100 degrees F.  But we all had a great time. 


  1. I love your pictures and your RR! Excellent didn't walk, that's HUGE! Congratulations, you did a great job!!! And yum, peach ice cream is sooo good, you so deserved that!! :)

  2. HEY THNX for the shout out! :) made my day!!! yay!!
    u did so well. next race: 29:58! for sure! u can totally do it.

    i start marathon training today, so wednesdays are usually tempo runs for me. so check the plan out and join me. also mondays are usually hill or intervals!

    happy monday!

  3. Congratulations to your PR - this is awesome!!!! I'm glad you had the possibility to run the race with your friend ;)


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