Race Recap: BYU’s Rex Lee Run 5k

I had an expected goal pace for this race, and I had a hopeful goal pace for this race—as I usually do. And then I got a little stressed the morning-of, scrapped all of that, and simply remembered that I was running for my Grandma Judy, who had died of pancreatic cancer in 2016. I decided I simply wanted to race smart and remember her.

And then two miles into the race, I scrapped all of that again and thought, “My legs are heavy, it’s really sunny, and I wish I hadn’t worn pants.”

All in all, this race felt like a crappy training run more than a wisely run race. Ha! Darn it. It happens, for various reasons. That said, as I’ve been processing the race today, there are some really positive things to note about it:

Pros:

  1. The race itself, the Rex Lee Run. All of the money from entry fees goes directly to cancer research, which I am SO in favor of. Like I said, this disease took my grandma, and took her quickly. I saw the state she was in when she passed—she was one tough lady, but this took so much out of her. Anything in this area of research, I am very much in support of, which is why I’ve run with my grandma’s name on my bib in 4 races now (two Temple to Temple 5k’s in 2016 and 2017, the AF Canyon Half Marathon to benefit local cancer patients in 2017, and now this race).
    The race was well organized. Also, all of the staff, volunteers (including LDS missionaries, which I LOVE!), and participants were so happy and excited to be there. The energy at this race was one of my favorites, and I can see why people keep doing it year after year.
    And, the shirts are cozy. Haha! I was one of the few who didn’t wear their shirt during the actual run because I wanted to come home afterward and cozy up in it.
  2. The race starts with a hill. I had a goal to run it at about a 9 min/mile pace. I ended up with an 8:55 min/mile pace, and I felt pretty good running the hill at that pace.
  3. After that hill, the second mile of downhill sure felt nice!
  4. One of my FAVORITE parts of the race was seeing Sam and my cousin Mikey at the end. They came to cheer me on. It meant so much to me.
  5. While I didn’t hit my race goals (any of them, really—time goals or racing wisely goals), I did do a very similar race route for the BYU Women’s Services Voices of Courage 5k in October 2016 where my time was 31:46 (so a 9:59 min/mile average pace). Part of that was surely because the race started in a more congested area so I was forced to start slow. But also, I’ve improved a LOT since then. It was an almost identical route, and this time I finished in 28:43 (9:05 min/mile pace). So while this wasn’t my best 5k, it wasn’t my worst, and I could see an immediate improvement on the course itself (at least with the numbers—I definitely think going slower in that 2016 race FELT a lot better than today did as a whole, haha).

Things I could have done better on:

  1. That starting hill was great, but the second mile, which was downhill, I did it at an 8:53 min/mile pace, which felt great. But also, should my easy downhill pace be the same as my difficult uphill pace? Hmm…
  2. I swear I checked the temperature in Provo last night and it said it would be in the 40’s (it was), and partly cloudy (it wasn’t). I debated between capris and long pants this morning, and ultimately decided on the pants (partly cloudy could also mean chilly), and oh man, did I regret that pretty quickly. I’m just grateful that I left my running gloves in my car. By mile 3 I was so hot, and even rolling up my sleeves just to get some more air on my body.
  3. I stopped briefly multiple times in that 3rd mile. Whereas my first two miles were about an 8:55 min/mile pace, my third was 9:33 min/mile. I’m glad that I listened to my body to pause and walk (I guess I raced smart in that regard), but also, poop. That was not my plan. On a similar note, there were some photographers along the course, and the first couple I could smile and feel pretty good. By the last photographer, I tried putting on a smile and distinctly remember thinking, “smiling is taking up a LOT of energy right now.”

So, this wasn’t my best 5k race, and it wasn’t my worst. I ran it, and I’m glad I did. The money —and awareness—went toward a great cause, and this race will help my body grow stronger as I work toward my upcoming goals.

Thank you to my dad and Bridget for texting me good luck the night before! Thank you to my roommate Katie for taping my shoulder this morning! And thank you so much to Sam and Mikey for coming out to hug my sweaty self at the finish line. Your support means so much to me!

Another 5k in the books, friends. Onto the next thing!