The Veterans Haven 5k was the last 5k in my May streak of 5ks. I did what I set out to do for the month (which was to run a lot of 5ks).
While I can’t say any of them went exceptionally well, I did get out there. To be honest, this one was probably the most disappointing of the bunch but it was also very hot and humid.
The Veterans Haven 5k was the closest to our house. We left at 8:01 and got there at 8:07. I don’t like to run to races because I’m high maintenance and need two pairs of shoes as well as a change of clothing, bag, water and gel. I’m not running a few miles holding all of that stuff. Hashtag diva.
So with that we drove to the race, signed up and did a 2 mile warmup around Cooper River.
The race start was actually a half a mile from the signup area. I’ve walked to race starts before but never that long. It seems that is the typical “course” for 5ks in the area. The race itself is around Cooper River (a well known lake for crew and a great 3.4 mile running path too).
At the race start I saw a high schooler I sold shoes too (who I knew was extremely fast). There were a bunch of people I recognized from work and from around the area. We saw Liz (the other member of our self formed team…”team 5k”) and Chris. Both are personal friends and local runners!
I had decided to position myself right in front of a sign…if I wasn’t paying attention I probably wouldn’t have run straight into it. After Chris said “Hollie don’t run into that sign”, we were off.
The high schooler positioned himself in first, Tim in second and myself in third. During the first mile, I felt awesome. I ran the fastest mile I have run all month and ultimately payed the price. It was hot and humid and running a 6:08 mile was probably not the best idea. I felt great though.
During the second mile, I felt myself fading quickly. I was running by myself but on a popular running trail in the area. There were plenty of runners around me but none running the race. It made for a bit of weaving. I was tired, hot and miserable (a common theme of racing in May). I ran a 6:35 mile and ultimately knew I was getting very tired and another sub 20 5k was not in the cards. I went from a serious running high to a serious running low in the matter of 6 minutes.
The third mile was a similar story as the second. I was focused on finishing and I was by myself. I felt tired, hot and overheated. I didn’t realize there was a slight headwind during the first two miles (which felt amazing). After the headwind was gone, it got hot, fast.
I ran the third mile in 6:58 which is the slowest racing mile I’ve run in a while. In fact, I ran several of my miles at the Phoenix marathon faster! The heat struggle was real!
The race was a little long and we finished on the track. I finished the race in 20:30 with an overall pace of 6:30. This 5k had both my fastest and slowest miles.
Liz got second female overall and our team 5k lives on.
I am trying to take away the positive from the race which was my fastest mile in a while. With the positive comes the negative of the slowest mile in a while. I’ll continue to do more speed work. I hope that I will be able to break through my 20 minute plateau barrier soon. It’s hard not to compare yourself to your previous racing shape. I do know with consistency, I’ll get back to where I was.
It was fun to run with friends but I can’t say I’m overly happy with the race. I always expect to run a positive split 5k but (6:09, 6:35, 6:58) is a little too much positive.
Questions for you:
How has the weather been where you live?
Are there any “common race” areas around you?