Every local race I run I think it’s a good idea to pack everything the night before. Every time I decide that sitting on the couch is more important than I don’t have enough time to pack. That being said the race didn’t start until 10. I wanted to leave the house by 8 am. We ended up getting to the race at 9 even with some starts so even with packing and running around in the morning I was okay.
I had originally thought the weather was perfect. It was 40 or so degrees, slightly sunny and not raining. That is the best weather I’ve seen for a few weeks. When I actually started running I realized how windy it was and I was little bit distraught. I knew this would be nowhere near a PR but as long as I can consistently break 20 minutes I will be happy…for now…
I warmed up and decided because it was cold I would race in my yellow long sleeve stripey Oiselle shirt. With the wind I decided it was too cold for a singlet. I ran a few miles and headed to the start.
Tim and I laughed at the start because at the very front line there was a pack of high schoolers, thin, freezing and toeing the line. This was a small race and I seriously felt like I was watching a championship race start. The race started with an air horn and the front line immediately pressed their watches and began. Tim and I were just goobering around as “second race stringers”.
Anyways I started the race as seventh female overall. The first mile was going completely with the wind. (Read: it should have been the fastest mile). I felt good the first mile. We had to cross a flooded pathway which I was most nervous about. The water level had risen due to the amount of melting ice and I had prepped myself during warm up not to fall. (Shockingly…I didn’t!). I hit the first mile at 6:20 and was pretty disappointed. I knew the struggle for a sub 20 minute 5k was real. I didn’t understand why since I felt good. I felt like with my effort I should have been in the low 19s.
The second mile included two 180 degree turns. That was a bit frustrating but I knew they were there so it wasn’t a surprise. I tried to maintain my pace even while going back into the wind. I ended up passing the rest of the females as well as 2 males placing me as first place female and 6th place overall. Since I was demotivated due to my pace as well as wind my placement was a bit more motivating. I hit mile 2 at 12:48.
The last and final mile I knew I was going to have to red line it to break 20 minutes. I was so frustrated with myself but I was starting to understand that it was not a fast course or fast day. I saw one more male infront of me that I believed I could catch. I started to dig down deep and passed him just after the stream passing again. The third mile was a mixture of the first and second mile combined so we had seen that part of the course already.
Then the last .1 I just powered through like the mac truck I pretend to be because there was no way I was going to be over 20 minutes.
I crossed the finish in 19:59.
After being asked if I had graduated and then causing the race director to be flabbergasted that I graduated college nearly two years ago I headed for a cool down.
Thoughts regarding this race:
My watch measured it as 3.2. I personally consider anything at 3.2 to be a long 5k course. Anything under 3.2 I consider that I didn’t run the tangents well and it’s not long. With all the 180 turns I know I should be ok with running a 19:59. I’m still rather upset about it though. I think there were a lot of factors: long course, 4 180 turns, lots of turns that weren’t 180 and wind that played a role in a slower time.
I know I need to give it time but it’s still frustrating in my opinion. I’m doing the rest of the series (there are 3 more) so hopefully I’m able to improve on my time. Regardless I still had an enjoyable time and finished injury free so I can’t complain. Running a 5k PR just seems so far in the distance right now.
Questions for you:
Have you ever had to cross a stream when running a race? Have you ever fallen during a race?
This was the first time I crossed a stream. I’ve fallen a few times in college cross country races. I nearly got spiked in the face at one of them. I was able to make a pretty solid recovery though.
What 5k time do you constantly try and achieve, as your “C” goal?
For me it’s always 20 minutes, that being said I’d rather run 20+ and be injury free then run a 19 flat on an injury.