On Sunday I ran the Race to Neverland 5k. It was a small, local 5k in the area. In South Jersey you can pretty much point to any road and say “there will probably be a 5k here in the next month”. There are at least 2 each weekend within 20 miles of my house. Needless to say this was a rather small 5k.
My goal of the summer is to work a lot more on the 5k distance. With 5ks, I can run less miles, less long runs and work on speed and turn over. This month the only goal is to get comfortable with the 5k distance. Next month I’ll try and add speed workouts and go from there!
The race started at 9am and we arrived at 8:15. There were 3 cars in the parking lot. It might have been the smallest race I’ve ever participated in. It only had about 50 people. After picking up our numbers we went for a warmup. My legs felt awful. The heavy legs was a combination of more training miles and Broad Street last weekend.
After warming up, we chatted with personal friend and Saucony Rep Austin. They ended up delaying the start by 10 minutes because the volunteers forgot to show up to mark off the course. HA!
The race blow horn went off and the race finally started around 9:10. I found myself immediately in fourth place (where I stayed the entire time). Austin and another male were battling for first, Tim in third and myself in fourth.
The course consisted of two big loops and then back to the start. The first mile I ran in 6:23. At that point I knew there wasn’t much hope to break 20 minutes. It was hot, humid and I didn’t have the leg strength in me. I wasn’t going to live obliviously and think I could hold a sub 6:27 pace (to break 20). I just kept going.
The second mile I began passing people in the first mile (since the second mile was the same loop as the first mile). After weaving in and out of people, I made the turn into the third mile. The second mile I ran in 6:32 which honestly was a lot better than I felt. In my personal racing the third mile of a 5k is riding the pain train.
Around mile 2.5, the course headed towards the finish. The policeman said “little lady I think you had another lap to go…”. No sir, I am almost done…ha. As a 5’7 and 24 year old, I would hardly consider myself a little lady either…
I crossed the finish line in 20:20 and fourth overall.
It wasn’t a great race or time for me but it gave a baseline. I can’t pretend I’m a 19 minute fitness level because I’m not. In order to get better at 5ks, I must actually do more 5ks. So onward and upward. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be consistently under 20 minutes again.
Questions for you:
What is the smallest race you’ve ever done?
I know I’ve asked before but what is your 5k strategy?