I hadn’t originally picked this race to run in the beginning of the season but when the beau’s mom offered me her free registration, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew that it was local, on the larger side (500+ people registered) and a distance that I’d be comfortable with (I had a 5k just two weeks prior). Training this past week was a little rough for me because I was sore from hiking on Tuesday, which resulted in shorter runs at slower paces. With this, I decided that I’d just run for fun… until I found out last minute that the beau’s brother in law was running and that everyone was coming to watch. Yikes! I didn’t want them to think my hard work wasn’t paying off, so I made the switch mentally to race mode.
Sunday morning I was up early with the kitty cat and ate some leftover brown rice with coconut and tamari. I showered. I picked out my race outfit and on the ride over, listened to my running playlist to get me pumped up and ready to go! We got there an hour before the start because we didn’t know what the parking situation would be like, but we got lucky and found a spot right in front of the Congregation. Check-in was a breeze and I was happy that the beau was there to keep me company and listen to me ramble on about my predicted pace.
About that predicted pace: my goal was an 8:15 overall. I knew it was only slightly faster than what I had ran two weeks prior but I wanted my goal to be something reachable without much training done in between. I scribbled the paces on my wrist just in case I thought it was attainable before we left that morning. I had asked Dave what he was planning to run and he was aiming for an 8:30 overall pace- okay, I can do that I thought.
Random facts: I don’t know what’s happening in that second photograph. Also- love love love my new headband from my partner in crime! It’s got little honeybees on it.
Mile 1: a quarter mile in I looked down and saw that we (Dave and I) were running a 7:45 pace! Ummmmm, hell no! I slowed down because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold that for 3 more miles and settled in around an 8:20. I could tell Dave wanted to run a little faster but I wasn’t budging- I could feel my heart very early on speed up out of control and had to remind myself to run my own race and control my breathing.
Mile 2: pretty uneventful in these neighborhood streets. When we reached the second mile mark and the volunteer announced “16:30,” I glanced down and saw that I was exactly on target. Dave announced that he was going to kick it up a notch and take off- I was fine with that and knew that I couldn’t keep up.
Mile 3: I don’t know what it is about hills, but I tend to kick butt on them. I kept Dave in view and almost caught him heading up the long, gradual hill until he reached the top and took off. I just didn’t have any more juice to run faster and watched him run out of sight- darn it! I let my breathing recover and gave it all I had the last quarter mile or so when I could hear the crowd cheering.
The last .1: I saw the clock and knew I didn’t reach my 8:15 goal but couldn’t believe that I was coming in just under what I had ran two weeks ago! Literally, by a second. This was a shock to me because unlike my previous race, my breathing was very labored and I felt slower. No complaints- I’ll take it!
I grabbed an orange slice, met up with Dave, cheered on a couple of other runners then headed home. And the best part was, there was a big pot of chili ready to be devoured! I ate a big bowl and napped for a while, just what Sundays are meant for. I’m pretty proud of myself and the two races I ran this month. I’ve crushed my previous personal record for the 5k distance and am happy to start focusing on distance, rather than speed. From here on out, it’s all about adding on the miles and hills for the Boilermaker in July.
Final random fact: my bib numbers this race were 1-2-8 and my bib numbers two weeks ago were 2-8-1. I didn’t notice that until I was home and changed, but I liked the coincidence.