Operation Homefront 5k PR (18:35)

Where to start with this 5k race recap?  I’ve been chasing the sub 19 5k dream for the last year or so.  My only other sub 19 minute 5k was at the Allen Stone Run Swim Run last year and it was absolutely perfect conditions.  Since then I had been running 19:05-19:10 for 90% of 5k’s I did.  If it’s hot, humid, hailing, good course, bad course, lots of turns, flat or hilly…I have run between that time frame. I honestly needed this race mentally to get me back on running track I think.

As I had said in my training post on Sunday last week did not exactly feel the greatest for me.  I honestly felt like dirt the majority of my runs and nixed so many workouts for no reason other then I didn’t feel like it. Two days before this race I ran a long run of 15 miles, which normally before any race I’m targeting I’ll take that day off.  So after I decided that was a good idea, I let go of any mentality that this race would be that great.  Why did I run that 15 miles?  I hadn’t had a longer run in a while and marathon training was more important to me then a 5k.  Though I had never on my blog, since running a 20+ minute 5k, I had given up on them.  I had let my self doubt win.

Friday before the race I worked 10 hours and got home at 8pm.  I had to go to bed early (basically within 20 minutes of getting home) because the race start was at 7 but was also about 45 minutes from my house.  I woke up at 4:45 after about 7 hours of sleep and dad and I were off.

While doing a 2 mile warm up, my legs felt heavy and I was holding about a 9 minute mile.  I was not happy and just hoping it wasn’t a repeat of the Allen Stone Run the previous week with a 20 min+ 5k.  The race was smaller for our area (around 200) and it started with the director yelling “Go”.   They attempted to give us directions at the start but I had no idea what they were talking about and prayed that I could just follow someone else.

So with the Go we all charged the race and went.  During the first mile, I was 4th female overall.  My legs had started to somewhat loosen up.  I began to pass a couple of the females and by mile 1, it was myself and one other female stride for stride.  It didn’t feel as though I was going as fast as I was..the way my body felt I would have predicted it to be a 19:30 5k.  Anywho the other female and I maintained our stride for stride the entire race.  (mile 1 5:33).

The second mile the other female and I were pushing each other hard and I began to feel the effects of running 15.5 miles two days before.  I felt like my legs were stale but I didn’t want to fall behind so I kept pushing them hard.  My breathing was fine but legs were heavy.  We hit the 180 turn at the beach (if you kept running you would be on sand and then into the ocean…) and I hit the second mile at 6:11.

Mile 3, I really had to dig deep and I wasn’t hurting but I also didn’t feel tapered or great.  I kept telling myself you need to push it because today you aren’t going to be able to kick.  Today your legs do not have that much energy and you don’t have that much energy.  The third mile was a 6:09 and in the last 100 meters the other female took off like a missile. 

But it didn’t matter to me because we turned and I saw the clock was only at 18:25.  I nearly became fueledbythesaps and was about to cry I was so happy.  I was finally going to run a sub 19 minute 5k again after a complete junk week of training.  I immediately was on cloud 9 before I finished (good thing I finished) and finished in 18:35, second female and 5th overall.

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo.  Proper blogging technique!
As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo. Proper blogging technique!

I immediately went into a cooldown because I had work later and didn’t have time to get in miles later.  During my cooldown, I didn’t feel bad at all and just chatted with various people along the course and brought home one of my closest friends Ashleigh’s mom to the finish who also PRed (we need to take a photo in real life so you know I don’t make fictional characters up).

So my final thoughts about this race.  It’s great to have a 5k PR, but I think I can do better (as most people say after a PR).   I ran 15.5 miles two days prior and still didn’t feel 100% awesome during the race.  It was, however, a fast course and also it was decent weather (more resembling early fall).  So with good weather and a good course I was able to PR on tired legs.  Maybe I’ll find a fast 5k in Texas that I can 30 second PR as well.  It seems all my PR’s come from races I have no expectations or am untapered for.  This one and the Nike half are two that come to mind.

Questions for you:

What type of tapering do you do for races?

I normally take two days off before and then a normal run the day before…

What goal or dream are you currently chasing?