Monday, May 16, 2016

"She Believed She Could Do It, And So She Did"

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.


1 comment:

  1. I got a spoiler for this on Instagram. I have to stop following the bloggers I read on IG! Just kidding. This is so amazing. Going sub-19:00 in a 5K is something that few people, particularly women, can ever attain. I know you are still bummed about Boston, but that was ALL WEATHER. This race just proves you are in the best shape of your life, and Boston was tough. I'm doing a 5K on Saturday and I hope to PR too- you have inspired me to think that I can.

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