This Saturday I participated in a local 5k. That morning, I woke up way too early. (Damn OCP! I can’t shake my obsessive compulsive punctuality no matter how much I try!) I took care of Geronimo, ate toast, watched A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (super cute), and left for the race way too early.
When I arrived at the race location (5 minutes from my house) way too early, I sat in my car and watched the rain hit my windshield.
Go figure, we have a crazy drought in Texas this year, and the first weekend that it rains I have two races. Sigh. While I waited (30+ minutes), the rain would sometimes stop, sometimes sprinkle, and sometimes come down in big glops. Since I couldn’t control the rain, I just waited in my car as long as I could. About the time the 1 mile fun run started, I headed joined my fellow racers out in the elements.
I ran into another teacher from my school. We joked until the race started, which made the time and chilly weather seem to go by faster. We lined up at the start together smack dab in the middle of the pack. Despite the drizzle, there were a lot of people!
This is the same course as the race that earned me my current 5k PR, so I figured that I’d go all out and hope for the best. As soon as the starting gun went off, my plan was immediately thwarted. There were too many people in front of me for me to pick up speed. When I did start to get faster, kids would zig-zag in front of me, suddenly stop, one spit right into my trajectory (ew). I managed to eventually pick up speed, but I think I exerted too much effort trying to make up time during the first mile.
The other two miles weren’t nearly as crowded. I just ran my heart out. When I wanted to slow down, I wouldn’t let myself. I was giving it my all. It sprinkled the entire time, but the cold and rain didn’t slow me down or bother me. I think I run faster in yucky weather.
- 3.17 mile finish time: 26:32
- average pace: 8:22 per mile
- mile 1: 8:43
- mile 2: 8:18
- mile 3: 8:18
- .17 extra: 7.28 pace
Two things I learned from this race:
- If I want to PR, I need to do speed work. I’ve seen gains in my long distance running times, but I think that’s because my endurance has improved. If I’m serious about PR-ing, I need to put time and effort into speed work.
- I shouldn’t always line up in the middle of the pack at race starts. I don’t like to start in the front because I hate having tons of people passing me up (demoralizing!), but if I have time goals, I need to be realistic. Sometimes (depending on the crowd) I need to start closer to the front.
I came in 4th for my age group. Not bad. I am annoyed, however, that the people who came in 2nd and 3rd only beat me by two seconds. They had slower gun times, so they actually crossed the finish line behind me. If they would have been in front of me, I would have
pushed them out of my way sped up to beat them.
On Sunday, I participated in another race! I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it later in the week. For now, I’ll leave you with a teaser picture.*