I'll be honest. I never thought very highly of the 5K. I have only done a handful of them and not very seriously. I never kept track of my times in previous races, however, by using athlinks.com I found some old races and my previous PR for the 5K was 20:38 from a race I did in 2006, the same year I was training for the Chicago Marathon in an attempt to qualify for Boston. That was before I had a different last name and 2 kids.
Fast forward to this year. 2014. I am loving the 5K, even though my approach to it is haphazard at best!
My second child arrived on 12/6/2013. I really wanted to get back into running as soon as possible after his arrival. Luckily my best friend encouraged me to do a 5K with her at the beginning of June. My time was 21:16 and I finished thinking that I could have run faster.
The next 5K I did was 9 weeks later. My goal was to run sub 21 minutes. I crossed the finish line at 20:00:28. Woot! New PR for me!
In September, I ran an 8K in 32:12.9.
The third 5K I did was a "fun run" this past Saturday, although it was still timed. I did not set a goal because my back was bothering me and I had taken a few days off from running. However, once I started going, I felt good and stayed with the lead pack. My time at the finish was 19:23, but my Garmin recorded 19:31. Either way, I am pleased. I was tired at the finish, but knew I held back. I want to really try to go all out and see how fast I could do the 5K.
So, logically I signed up for a 4th 5K (or 3rd "real" 5K) this Sunday. My goal is to run under 19 minutes, which I think is doable if I can embrace the fact that I will have to REALLY get out of my comfort zone.
Here are 10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome by one of my running idols, and fellow #motherrunner, Lauren Fleshman. For me, the thing that I have come to really like about 5K is the competition aspect (#4 in her list). I started running by running competitively on my high school cross country and track teams way back when. Sure it is "easy" to run a 5K to finish it, but to race it? Therein lies the challenge and the fun. After I get this BQ business out of the way, I think it would be fun to specifically train for the 5K and really have it at.