So I went in today knowing I could notch a 45 minute 5k, hoping for a 43. I really wanted to finish under 42, but checking with my friends, I realized setting that mark could be an invitation to injury. Finishing was most important.
I didn’t come into this cold: I am up to about 22 miles a week consistently, and running 1/4 of that. I run more than a 5k distance every morning, 6 days a week, so conditioning was not a concern.
I have learned a little about running through the years: hang back and move up, so that you are not surrounded by runners who will cause you to overrun the start. I’ve done this enough, though, that I know my limitations and how to pace myself.
I started surprisingly strong. I ran as far as I could, then pushed myself to the top of the first hill. I checked my app when I dropped to a walking pace, noting that I had completed a full quarter of a mile.
One of the things I love about a competitive event is how others push you. You may not be able to beat everybody, but sometimes you can beat the person ahead of you. I saw people of all different fitness levels, pushing themselves to their very best. I set my mark on the next person ahead of me, and the next, and at the 2 mile mark realized I was pursuing a 13 minute mile pace.
I always taught my daughter to run across the finish line, and I try to live the words I teach. As soon as the finish line was in sight, and I knew I could run the distance, I began running. My form could be best compared to a wounded rhino, but it’s running all the same.
As the finish line neared, my pace increased. I’d like to note this was uphill. I finished, with a young escort from Ainsley’s Angels leading me across. I glanced at my fitness app, and my recorded time was 43:26. I couldn’t get it stopped in time, so a good deal of additional time lapsed.
When I looked at the official time, my net time was 42:06. Very close to my goal timme of 42 minutes.
5 weeks till the next race. Shaving 6 seconds off is an easy ask considering where I started!