This past weekend I ran the Panther Prowl 5k. I started the day on a rough note. I didn’t sleep well; I woke up looking a mess, and I couldn’t find any race shirts/singlets to wear. I have come to realize that my best races come when I am least prepared and don’t sign up until the morning before, and mentally I DGAF. I guess I’ll continue the trend.
Anyways after getting lost I made it to the race. I signed up and met up with Liz and Chris. We warmed up and headed to the start. The 5k was relatively small but not the smallest I’ve done by any means.
It was chaotic at the start, and I don’t remember the exact events but all of a sudden we were off.
During the first mile, I found myself progressing towards first place overall. There were several high schoolers in front of me, but I began to pass them. By mile one, I was tied for first place overall, and there was even a lead police car. I’ve never run a race that I’ve personally got a lead police car! I was running nearly side by a side by a student about a decade younger than me (holy old, that’s fun to say!). I didn’t feel as if I was running well, but I hit the first mile in 6:10.
During the second mile, I was worried I would slow down and be lucky to finish under 20:00. I’ve run plenty of 5ks that I’ve run the first mile in 6:0X and finished the third mile with a 6:5X. My goal of the day was to be more consistent and run under 20:00. To my surprise, I continued to feel good. I began separating myself from the second place person. Despite several elevation changes and small hills, I kept the pace consistent. It wasn’t an entirely flat course but it wasn’t crazy either. The race had a few sharp uphills that led to gradual downhills. I hit the second mile in 6:15.
During the third mile, I just focused on finishing. The third mile of a 5k is never pleasant and, to be honest; this was no different. The majority of the hills were during the third mile, and there was a little bit of wind as well. Luckily around 2.6 there was a .1 downhill, and I began to build momentum towards the finish line. I knew the race ended on the track, but I didn’t realize we were doing an entire 400 around the track. The police car pulled over, and I was pointed in the direction of the track.
There was a point that I was the only person on the track, so I felt like I was doing a speed workout with all eyes on me. I powered through and hit the straight away when the clock was at 18:45. I knew once again I would miss a sub 19 minute 5k, but I wasn’t concerned.
I ran my last mile in 6:10 and finished the 5k in 19:04 and first person overall. I haven’t won a race (for both men and women) in a very long time.
It’s hard to complain about a race that is a two-year PR and overall win. I’m most proud of myself because my splits were 6:10,6:15, 6:10 (which is my only perfectly executed 5k in a long time). It’s motivating to see my workouts and hard work finally paying off. I’m now 30 seconds away from my PR. Thirty seconds is so close but at the same time so far.
Questions for you:
How do you race 5ks?
Typically I take it out too fast and ride the pain train home.