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March for Meals 5K Recap

Well, after six really good races this year, I've finally had a not-so-great one.

It was a perfect morning for running. The sun was shining, the race didn't take place until 9am, and it was still fairly cool out. It wasn't a super popular race {less than 200 people} and we were going to be running the majority of it on Timmerman Trail.
Sounds like a great day for a race, right?
I was a little worried at the start line because my left heel was killing me and I had spent most of the morning keeping weight off of it. Most people would have skipped the 5K. I thought it was a great idea to run it anyway!
{Photo from March for Meals 5K FB page}
Mile 1
The race started off at the Cayce Tennis & Fitness Center and we ran about half a mile on paved road down to a branch of Lexington Medical Center and hopped on Timmerman Trail. The trail itself is pretty flat and a little curvy - but it was a lot of fun to run on! We were running over bridges and through the woods. I spent most of my 1st half marathon training back in 2014 on a greenway in Charlotte and this reminded me a lot of that. Hit mile 1 at a decent pace and was pretty happy that my heel wasn't bothering me too much.
{Photo from March for Meals 5K FB page}
Mile 2
This mile lasted fooooorever. I kept looking down at my watch and wondering how I was only at 1.5 miles when it felt like I should be much closer to 2 miles. I also spent most of this mile alone. Everyone ended up pretty spread out along the trail and because it was so windy, it was hard to see any of the other runners. There was one girl who looked about my age and one guy close by that I stuck with during this mile. The 2 mile marker caught me by surprise right before we went over another bridge - sure enough, my GPS watch wasn't fairing so well in the thick trees and along the windy path.
Mile 3
All I could think about during this mile was that we had a looong way to get back to where we started on the trail and how much I didn't want to run up that gentle, uphill slope in the full sunshine back to the start line. Joke was on me though because we hopped off the course on a different route back to the start line. We veered left on the path and headed off through a big field. I could see the finish line up ahead, and knowing that my watch was measuring short, I decided to go all out and race to the finish line. My watch was still measuring around 2.6 miles and I knew there was no way the finish line was half a mile away. The girl closest to me looked like she might be around my age and I wasn't going to finish 1 second behind the 3rd place finisher in my age group again. I blew by her right at the finish line... only to find out later that she was in the age group above me and the 3rd place girl in my age group finished a full minute ahead of me {oops!}
{Photo from Columbia Running Club's FB page}
Final Results
Watch Time - 29:15
Chip Time - 29:19
Pace - 9:26/mile
Overall - 54/170
Gender - 18/97
Age Group - 4/10
My how times have changed if I'm considering 29:19 and 4th in my age group a "not so great race". I think most of my frustration on this race was not being able to accurately tell where I was along the course thanks to a weak GPS signal and from being a little concerned about running on a heel that didn't feel so great.
To be honest, I just want another crack at this race. I'd love to run it again and see if I can run it better because it's one I should have finished well under 29 minutes based on all of my races lately.
And of course, there just so happens to be a race this coming weekend that runs almost the exact same path through Timmerman Trail. The start/finish is in a different place and course goes Timmerman Trail backwards compared to the March for Meals one. As of today, I'm not signed up to run it. Talk to me on Friday though because my need for redemption on this trail might be too strong to pass up!


  1. I love that you consider 29 minutes a "not so great race". I ran for 30 minutes last night and only made it 2.6 miles LOL! But if your heel is bothering you, you should definitely take some time off! But if you decide to run it again this weekend, I hope you kick butt! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. I am with Pamela - sounds like a fantastic run to me! That trail sounds lovely with all the bridges and woods. I hope you get your redemption next weekend - sounds like it might be a must do type thing!

  3. not being able to tell where i was would annoy me so much. i ran a 10 miler in 2012 and my phone (didn't have a gps then) didn't calibrate properly and was totally off and i thought i was going faster than i was and i wasn't, and i'm still bitter about it. so i feel you.

  4. If I could finish a race in 29:19 I would be jumping for joy- lol!! I'm amazed that you powered through with a rough heel... that's awesome gal!

  5. While I would love to be able to run that fast, I understand the mental struggle of always wanting to get better and to excel! You did it though!


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