The 15k is an interesting distance to race. There’s only one around central Arkansas and it’s been around a while- the River Trail 15k. This was actually my 5th year to race it. I went in with one specific goal in mind. I really wanted to break 60 minutes. I did it in 2013 but since then I’ve had no luck. In 2014 I missed it by a couple seconds (ouch!) and in 2015 I missed it by almost a minute.
Confidence is a key ingredient in racing and the one hour track run I ran two weeks ago was an excellent tune-up race for the 15k. I knew if I could run a specific pace around the track for over 9.5 miles I should be able to break 60 minutes for the 15k.
Fortunately, the weather was perfect race day! Abi and I arrived at Burns Park in North Little Rock with about 45 minutes to spare. (I love the 9 am start time for this race.) This was going to be Abi’s longest race ever. She’s run more than this distance (on her birthday) but this would be the longest race and she’d be without me for most of it. I planned to jog back to her as soon as I finished.
After a 1.5 mile warm-up and strides it was time to line up. My goal was 6:15-6:25. This would get me in the sub 60 range. When I race a 15k I break the race into 3 x 5k sections in my mind and focus on the current 5k I’m in.
Mile 1- 6:10
Mile 2- 6:16
Mile 3- 6:13
5k- 19:20ish. On pace with one 5k down.
Mile 4- 6:15
Mile 5- 6:12
Mile 6- 6:16
10k- 38:40ish. Still on track. Getting tired but from this point I just focused on each individual mile to get through the last 5k.
Mile 7- 6:19
Mile 8- 6:21
Mile 9- 6:13
9.38- 2:13 (5:54 avg.)
Official Finish Time- 58:31 (1st Female). Official Results can be found here.
Then I headed back to find my Abi. I reached her when she had about 2 miles left to go. She was doing great. We slowed down when she was tired and we picked it up when she was feeling better.
She finished in 1:28:30. (2nd in her AG) Yay Abi!
Not gonna lie… It felt really good breaking a 3 year-old running PR! With the Little Rock Marathon a little over 3 weeks away I feel like my training is coming together and I’m in a good place. It’s definitely not been a high mileage training cycle (all under 70 mpw) but the intensity has been there and I’m healthy. Just praying I can make it to the starting line that way!
I actually have two races planned before LRM… The kids and I are running in the Valentine’s 5k in Russellville tomorrow and next weekend I’m running in Texarkana at Run the Line Half Marathon. I’ve never run either of these races before so it should be fun. It’s been several months since my last 5k so I don’t know what to expect Saturday morning. Hopefully I can find some speed and hold on for the ride!