Over the weekend I ran my second ever 5k – St. Mary’s Academy 5k. Despite being a clueless newbie about this whole run as fast as you can with a burning throat and legs and feel like you might puke at any moment type of race, I surprised myself.
And I think I might be kind of sort of liking it.
Saturday morning was an absolute gorgeous day for running and racing. Temps were around 50 with clear blue skies and sunshine. It felt marvelous! I took a leisurely 3 mile warm up run before the 9 a.m. start. As I waited at the start, I looked around at who was around me. Lots of kids (since the race is put on by a private Catholic grade school) and some members of a local racing club. I figured there was no way I was going to have beginners luck like last month. It was announced that the number of entries doubled from last year to 849 thanks to the new Dover Road Race Series.
I had no plan and no expectations for the run. I was just going to go by feel.
Mile 1: We started off downhill, took a right so we could climb a progressive hill for the next 1/2 mile or so. I found a comfortable spot right away despite having to constantly bob and weave around the little kids stopping in their tracks and proclaiming they were “exhausted!” I had to laugh at their dramatics. Things thinned out quickly and the course flattened out. My watch beeped 7:13 as I got closer to where I knew my cheering section would be.
Mile 2: As we rounded another hill, the next section was relatively flat. I recovered quickly and stepped it up a bit. I had to look good for my cheering section after all. I could see Ron and the kids waiting and clapping. I felt strong, confident and most importantly, happy. Seeing their smiling faces and their excitement of seeing me gave me a boost.
The course made a sharp right soon after seeing them. As I turned, my right knee either gave out or I stepped in a dip in the street. What the????? It didn’t hurt and I didn’t fall but it scared me. I slowed down after that in fear of an injury. 7:44
Mile 3: My knee was feeling OK but I let doubt start to sink in. My throat was burning and I knew that I had slowed down quite a bit. What was the point of running fast now? I tried squashing the voices by counting my steps – 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4. It gave me a pace rhythm and it occupied my mind but I never really regained my confidence. As we rounded the corner off the bike path, I knew it was the last big hill before the finish. This hill is a beast. It’s one I use for hill repeats often. I felt like I was crawling but even more so when a group of young boys who were walking at the end of the path decided to sprint UP the hill and fly past me. Of course they were walking again as soon as they got to the top. I ran past them and caught up with a young girl. The finish line was close and she picked up the pace just as the boys decided to sprint to the finish. They gave me something to chase (even though I was at least 20-25 years older than them!). Of course, their young legs left me in the dust but girly kept up with the boys (woohoo girl power!). Mile 3 – 7:43. Mile 0.13 6:24.
I crossed the finish line in 23:25 (7:33 avg pace).
A PR! I knocked 28 seconds off my time from last month. Woohoo!
Imagine my shock when I found out I was first in my age group (30-39)! What??
Never ever did I think I could place in any race. My area has a very, very competitive fast group of runners. I’m thankful that all of the super fast ladies in my age group decided to stay home!
I’ve got the itch to see what I can do with speed. Since I’m doing the road race series this year that is essentially almost all 5k’s, I’m going to have a lot of trials in seeing what works and what I need to do better. The track and I will also begin a relationship.
So this 5k thing might not be all that bad especially if it means winning free FroYo from Orange Leaf! I will never be a competitive racer but it’s kind of cool that I won FroYo for my family. 🙂
Don’t forget that it’s NOURISH week for the Lorna Jane Spring Clean Pinterest Challenge! Get your board together and you could win big. Check out my board for inspiration to nourish your body from the inside out. I can’t wait to nourish my skin with the Chocolate and Coffee Sugar Body Scrub. Doesn’t that sound delightful?
If you placed in a race, what kind of prize would you like?
How do you NOURISH your body?