On Sunday, I went into Pennsylvania and raced a local 5k at the Navy Yard. I actually have a lot to say about this race. Despite it being my slowest time in over a month, I’m not disappointed with it. To preface: I knew during my speed workout last Wednesday, my legs didn’t have their normal pop. Why would they, I just raced a half marathon last Saturday.
I have been feeling under the weather for the last two weeks, I’ve struggled with taking deep breaths, I haven’t had a lot of pep and I haven’t been sleeping the best. Combine this with running a half marathon, it makes sense I’m not in my peak condition. I still went to the race and gave it everything I had. Which for Sunday was a 19:34 5k. I’m not disappointed at all.
Let’s rewind a bit.
I got to the race around 8 am. My husband and I warmed up and got to the start at 8:50. We lined up in the appropriate spot. Suddenly the start line was mobbed by about 20 very young children. It was clear they had never run a 5k before. Most were in blue jeans, non-athletic shoes and not quite sure what to expect. Heck at that point, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were quickly pushed out of the way by the kids…it was a local 5k, and I wasn’t about to be that jerk, washed up an old lady and push the kids out of the way so I could toe the front line. There are some battles that aren’t worth it.
The race was delayed but finally started around 9:10. As soon as it started the kids darted everywhere cutting anyone and everyone off. I’m sure they didn’t mean too, but once again, it was their first 5k, and I doubt they knew 5k etiquette. By about .1, I found myself as the 6th person and second women. My legs felt awful, and it was extremely windy. I hit the first mile in 6:11. Even though I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest 5k, it still stung a bit to hit the first mile slower than normal.
During the second mile, I found myself alone. I saw four men in front if me but no one around me. We were running near the water, so there was a strong wind as well. I felt miserable, and I’m sure I looked miserable too. I thrive in out and back courses, so I felt motivated at the turnaround. I hit the turn around right at 9:58. As we turned around, my legs began to loosen up. I didn’t feel good, but I did feel better. I ran the second mile in 6:20.
During the third mile, I found myself catching and running in stride with another runner. As we were running the opposite direction some of the children turned around mid-race and began running with us (cutting off over a mile). Personally I don’t care but once again they began weaving in and out cutting either of us off. It lasted about half a mile. Around 2.75, we found ourselves heading directly towards the finish. There was a huge inflatable banner that couldn’t be missed. The other runner kept me motivated, and I ended up crushing the last mile in 6:06.
I crossed the finish line in 19:34 and 1st female overall.
This is my slowest race during the last month, but I also knew I didn’t feel well. In August, I ran the Belmar Chase 5k. It was supposed to be my goal race. I tapered and prepared well for it, and I ran the same time. On Sunday, I ran knowing I felt bad. So my running has progressed significantly since August.
I said on Sunday my plan is to train through this month. I don’t expect my races will be as fast as last month, but the hard work and effort will be.
Questions for you:
Have you ever been cut off or fallen in a race?
Back in college I took a couple of falls during cross country due to being cut off.