Is it just me or are 5K’s surprisingly challenging? I went into this race with pretty low expectations. I had no idea what to expect because I have done ZERO 5K training. My last 5K was in December, right before my marathon and while wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great either.
Since running the Little Rock Marathon two weeks ago, I have had to take a little extra time to recover. This marathon really took a lot out of me and I’ve had to ease back into training a little slower than I would have liked. My right knee has had some annoying pain (from the hills at LRM) so I did not know how racing a 5K would feel. I REALLY wanted to break 20 minutes if at all possible but I didn’t know how realistic that was 13 days post marathon.
My youngest daughter actually threw up Friday night so part of me wondered if we were all about to get the stomach bug. Fortunately, no one else got sick and she didn’t throw up again. Poor girl! Never a dull moment…
Ok, back to the race. Fortunately, the race was local and just 5 minutes away from my house so I did not have to wake up early. I fed the kids breakfast and had some oatmeal. The race did not start until 10 am and I was actually a little nervous about the weather. It was 70 degrees which might not sound warm but for the past few months almost all of my runs have been in the 30’s and 40’s. How did the weather change so fast?!!
5K’s are also REALLY intimidating to me. Especially when I haven’t put in the speed work. Personally, I get more nervous and anxious the shorter the race distance. Is anyone else like that? My goal was to run in the low 6:20’s. I did not want to start too fast like I did in this 5K. I have run the St. Patrick’s Day course many times and it is fast and flat so I knew I had a good chance to run well if I raced smart.
Mile 1- 6:15. A little faster than I had planned and it took forever to find my pace. It’s so hard switching gears from marathon pace to 5K pace. All I could think the first mile was- I’ve got to hold THIS pace?!!
Mile 2- 6:20. During this mile I passed the second place runner- a high school age guy. His friend was the only runner in front of me and I could tell he was starting to lose speed.
Mile 3- 6:14. The last part of this mile has a long incline but it is the only challenging part of the course. I have run it many times and I knew this would be my only chance to catch the lead runner. He actually stopped at one point and turned around to see how much of a lead he had. He walked for about 2 seconds and then he started sprinting to the finish. This made me want to win even more!
Mile 3.1- 23.8. I gave it my best shot but the high school kid had a pretty good kick! I think if the race had been a little longer I would have caught up to him but I guess we’ll never know! He ran a good race and was able to maintain the lead. I couldn’t be happier with my time! I saw the clock read “19 minutes” and I was SO happy!! Also- no knee pain AT ALL!! This was the best I have felt running since the Little Rock Marathon. Thank you, God!
Official Finish time: 19:12
This is actually my fastest 5K since college. Honestly, I’ve always thought that my fast 5K days were over but this race gives me hope. Maybe I can run a faster 5K…. Maybe the best is still to come…. I never thought I would even consider the possibility of running in the 18’s again but this race made me think that this is not quite so unrealistic. Yes, I have had 4 children and I’m older. (Although, 33 doesn’t feel as old as I used to think it would…) But I’m not going to count myself out. I’m going to give it my best shot!
For my cool down I ran to find Abi, my oldest daughter. She was running in the race too, along with my mother-in-law who was walking in it. When I caught up with Abi she was running with our baby-sitter, Sarah. They were already past the 2 mile marker! I ran next to Abi and was SO impressed with her determination and will power. Her first 5K was 2 years ago when she was 5. She has done a few local 5K’s since then but I always leave it up to her if she wants to run them or not. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn’t. (John usually runs them with her.) As much as I love running I never want to push it on her. She really wanted to run this one and her goal (which I found out after the race) was to run the whole race without stopping. She even kicked in a little sprint in the end! Abi finished in 30:25!! (9:47 avg pace) I could not believe it when I saw the clock! I am SO proud of my little girl! I have a feeling she is going to be beating me in races very soon– and I would LOVE that!!
|My mother-in-law, Abi & I after the 5K! So proud of them both!!|