Last weekend I ran the Bone Run in Vineland, NJ. Where I live is parallel to Philadelphia and considered South Jersey. I drove another 45 minutes South. Is the Vineland considered Super South to North Jersey residents?
My friend Jen recommended the race and said it was scenic and well put together. I decided to go because it’s one area of Southern NJ that I have never been too. I enjoy about racing and discovering new places to run. The race took place in Parkin Park which is gorgeous and I’ll be back to run there. I arrived to the race around 8 am, warmed up and got to the start at 8:55. I noticed a lot of fast males and females. I was excited to race a competitive 5k.
The race went off right at 9 am. The course began on the road but quickly moved to a single track dirt path. It made it almost impossible to pass people, and I was stuck behind several people. I think being stuck was a good thing because it prevented me from taking the race out too quickly. The first mile went up and around the lake. It was beautiful, and the dirt surface felt nice. I hit the first mile in 5:58.
At the start of the second mile, I counted six females in front of me. I passed a pack of three women early into the second mile. I felt strong, and I didn’t feel as if I was fading. Generally during the second mile I feel as if I’m beginning to slow down. When I hit the second mile in 6:01, I felt incredibly confident. As I passed another woman, I felt strong. It was motivating. Midway through the race and mile, I got tucked into another pack of men. It was hard because the course was extremely narrow so no one could pass anyone. I also was trying to keep my mind focused because there were several roots on the path and I didn’t want to fall. I hit the second mile in 6:01.
During the third mile, I was getting both extremely excited and motivated. I felt great, I wasn’t fading, and I was still passing people. It was a Christmas miracle (Christmas in October?) I passed two more females and found myself as second women overall. I was beaming as I ran the last mile and felt like I was running in the twilight zone.
I was becoming more and more confident that I could hold this pace and possibly turbo charge into a 5k PR. During this race, I wasn’t just “holding on” but pushing out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t fading but increasing my turnover! I ran the last mile with a pack of two other men. We rounded a corner and to my surprise the finish line came up a lot quicker than a 5k did. As we rounded the corner, I saw the finish clock in the 17s. My watch beeped 3 miles and too soon later, I crossed the finish line. The course was short.
I finished the last mile in 6:02 and crossed the finish line in 18:11. My watch read 3.05 miles. Now to some they might round up for this course, but I know I’m not in 18:11 shape. Sure I could claim this as my PR but it’s not.
We complain about courses being too long but don’t acknowledge when they are too short.
After finishing, a range of emotions went through my head like: Will I reach my 5k PR pace again? What if this is just a fluke? Why couldn’t it have been a few yards longer? I’m confident if it was the right distance I would have Pred on Saturday. I was feeling strong at the end, not fading. My last .05 was a “5:48” pace because I wanted a PR more than I wanted a giant mug of coffee.
I will say despite being a short course it was motivational to see on a good day, I’m ready to PR in the 5k. I strung three, 6-minute miles together. Who knows when the next good day will be but I’m ready for the PR. It’s nothing to get too upset about but it is frustrating, and I won’t claim it as a PR. If a short course is the worst to damper my day, then I would say I’m doing okay.
Questions for you:
Have you run a short course before?
I think this might be the first official short course that I can remember.
What was the last confidence booster activity you did? Running, life….whatever.