I ran a 5k last Saturday...and won...and set a new PR!
Obviously now that this is over and it went fairly well, I am pleased with it. But leading up to the race, I wanted nothing to do with a 5k.
I have gotten in the good-for-me habit of not looking too far ahead of my training plan. If I look ahead, I get anxious, and that does nobody any good. For this reason, I didn't realize that I was supposed to do a 5K (or a 10K) at this point in my plan until less than a week before race day.
I really had no interest in running a 5K, particularly if it was going to be hot. So I dragged on registering for any of them. The night before the race I zeroed in on (The Racing Sausages 5K), it seemed as if the weather was going to be fine so I half heartedly got some running stuff together.
The only words (excuse me, WORD) of advice that I got (and really the only ones I needed) from my running advisor was "COMPETE".
I was not really feeling COMPETE.
Even though I watched some of the US Track and Field Outdoor National Championships the night before, including Rebecca Mehra's amazing race to get into the 800m final.
I was not feeling it.
So I went to bed.
I woke up to my 6 AM alarm and got dressed for the race. I gathered some things together and took some money out of my husband's wallet to pay the onsite registration fee (because I never have cash).
My family was not feeling a race either and so I went by myself, which given the mood I was in, I was grateful to be going solo on this one.
A few exits into my drive and I realized that I didn't have my watch on. I typically wear my Garmin 24/7 but it was bugging me the night before so I took it off to sleep...and forgot to put it back on. I contemplated skipping it but knew that I was likely going to be running around parking lots for warms up and cool down so I exited the freeway to go back and get it. I ended up taking the wrong exit so had to do a few U-turns. Got home, grabbed my watch and headed back to the stadium.
I ended up in a long line of cars to get into the parking lots. After I finally parked, I made my way over to the onsite registration table, which was very convenient. Then I thought I should use the restroom. Apparently I left my pins for my bib somewhere in there because when I went back to my car to get ready, I no longer had pins.
I mean - this is not exactly the chain of events that you happening in the time leading up to your race.
I went back, grabbed pins and then realized that I had no idea where the race started. So I asked where the start was and found it. By this time, I had about 14 minutes before the race was going to start. There was not time to do the 2-3 mile warm up that my aging body has become accustomed to prior to making it run fast. I did a mile warm up, at about 7:30 pace and then it was time to line up.
I was able to start near the front, so I was grateful for that.
The gun went off and we were off.
It has been almost three years since I ran a 5K. I used to run several of them a summer, but fell out of practice when I became uber focused on the marathon. I had no idea what pace to run, but the "5k pace" my advisor has me using is 5:55-6:10 a mile for my speed workouts. This always feels so god damn fast in workouts, but my first mile of this race was faster than that pace window and felt slow. I wasn't feeling the burn that I remembered 5Ks feeling like years ago.
That said, I was scared to push myself because I didn't want to burn out. There was another woman with a college jersey running just in front of me. My goal was to stay running with her.
At around mile 2 though, I decided to pass her. I spent much of the 3rd mile trying to chase down a guy ahead of me. I passed him on the way out of the Miller Park stadium and made my way to the finish. It was there that I noticed the clock in the 18:30s.
PR FOR ME BABY! My official finish was 18:38, a 15 second PR. First woman across the line.
The outcome of this race was good, but my race tactics were terrible. I did not "COMPETE". I definitely was running fast, but not all out. Each mile that I ran was progressively slower. By the time it started to hurt, the race was over.
Despite this, I will take the PR (at my age, they aren't coming fast and loose anymore!)...and maybe run the 5K a little more frequently than I have in the last 3 years. :)