Last week, I got another motivate wrap from Momentum Jewelry with this mantra: "She believed she could do it, and so she did." I was excited to wear it for my first 5K of 2016 held on Saturday.
After a spring marathon last year, I did 4 5Ks, each with the goal of breaking 19 minutes. I was not successful:
May 16, 2015: 19:41
May 31, 2015: 19:51
August 6, 2015: 19:52
September 12, 2015: 19:20
UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I was so frustrated. Always finished those races feeling like I had no gas in the tank. But also, not really training FOR the 5K. I don't recall doing any consistent track workouts last summer, so I don't really know what I was expecting to happen. Divine intervention?!
After Boston last month, I again took up the cause of the sub-19 5K. The last few weeks, I have done 400s. I have done 800s. I have been on the track at 5 AM with a renewed purpose: 2016 was going to be the year I was breaking 19 if I had to run a 5K every weekend to do it.
I had a 5K lined up for last Saturday - May 14. It was the same race as the 19:41 race last year, which I won, by nearly 2.5 minutes, with that time. It is a small neighborhood race but the prize pack is great and I really wanted to win the race again to get the prize pack. After a series of great track workouts, I felt like I could get close, if not break, 19 as well.
I was REALLY tired the night before. Normally, when my kids get up, I am up for the day. However on Saturday morning, I fell back asleep and my husband let me sleep an extra hour. AN EXTRA HOUR! I had my Whole30 approved breakfast (omelet with turkey and green beans), coconut oil-blended coffee. The race wasn't until 9 AM so I had time to lounge for a bit.
I wanted to leave my house around 8:15 so that I could get there early to do my warm-up. Warm up? Que? I had not done a warm up before a race before (outside of cross country and track in high school) but my plan from EH was specific: 2 mile warm up with 2x2:00 moderate sections. I knew this would be good for me because a) The first mile sucks, right!? and b) I have found that my aging body needs the warm up :) [Side note: EH was appalled that I hadn't been doing warm-ups prior to 5Ks when I disclosed this post-race!]
I got to the start around 8:30 am, parked and set off for my 2 mile warm up. I definitely was nervous, but also excited. My legs felt good and loose by the time I was done. I peeled off my pants and left them in the car and then ventured to the start in my Oiselle singlet, my stride shorts, and a long sleeve. I had about ten minutes until the start.
It was COLD. At one minute to go, I peeled off my long sleeve and ditched it in a bush near the start. Everyone else was wearing long sleeves and pants. I knew I would get hot though and was already warm so I stuck with the tank and shorts.
At the start. I never want to start ON the starting line. I know I should be a little more confident about this. I lined up behind a woman who was on the starting line and she was wearing a jersey from a local running store's team. I hypothesized that she was likely fast. I also saw a woman who beat me at my last 5K attempt, in September. This made me excited. Competition! Bring it!
The gun went off and I started running at a fast pace, but not all out. I ended up in one of the lead packs of men. I had no idea where other women were for most of the first mile. At around the first mile mark, the running store lady passed me. My watch beeped: 6:07. I knew I had to run 6:06 miles or better to break 19. I was happy with that first mile - it didn't feel too fast, but was still on pace.
For most of the second mile, I just stayed with the first place lady. She had a (male) friend that was cheering her on like "you got this"...which I just pretended that he was cheering for me. I didn't know what our 2nd mile was during the race (it was 6:01) but we lost him by that point and then it was just the two of us.
Then I started getting nervous. I felt good, but didn't want to pass her and then run out of steam. Decisions, decisions. I decided to stay with her. Then we came to a small hill. This was like my personal version of Heartbreak Hill. I totally fell apart on the real Heartbreak hill last month and I was NOT doing that again. I passed her on the uphill and then just kept running. I had no idea how far behind me she was (not very) and I rounded a corner at mile 3 (didn't hear my split). I saw the finish line and the finish clock - It was still in the 18s!!!! I ran fast and crossed the finish. My watch said 18:54. I congratulated the second place woman and thanked her for pushing me, relaying that I had been trying to break 19 for a year and a half!
I walked over to the results tent because I wanted to be sure it was official before I really celebrated. I looked up my bib number and there it was. 18:53 OFFICIAL RESULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Second place was 18:58). EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!
yes Yes YES! I set off to do my mile cool down and came back to claim the prize pack.
My friend (and EH's wife) said via text: "Redemption". I was excited about it but don't really feel redeemed. It's hard for a neighborhood 5K to redeem the hole that is the Boston Marathon. I would trade never breaking 19 in the 5K for a 3:15 at Boston. Yep. That one still hurts.
Back to the 5K, so I'm trying to think of a new goal in that distance to work on for the summer. Maybe 18:35 which would be sub-6:00 miles. A huge jump, but I think I could do it.