I’m not sure why this race report was so difficult to write. As I mentioned in my training log, I’ve had a hard time not comparing myself to running a few months ago. A few months ago I was effortlessly cranking out workouts and 5ks below 19 minutes. Then injury hit and now I struggle my way through a local 5k. It’s hotter weather, and I’ve lost fitness after healing from an injury. Specific to this race, I spent long days beforehand on my feet. We had our annual sale at work, and it was the busiest few days of the year. Why I decided to race a 5k is beyond me…
With that, I arrived around 7:30 on Saturday morning in Wilmington. Throughout the 30 minute drive, it was sunny, down poured and then just cloudy and muggy. I signed up for the race and did a short warmup.
I chatted with a few people at the race start. I didn’t recognize anyone, but it happens. I decided to run in a sports bra which is something I rarely do. It was so hot; I wanted to feel as cool as possible.
The race started, and I found myself as first woman overall. There were a few men around me. We went around the stadium and then back into the downtown. It felt like the first mile was taking forever and I ran it in 6:25. I was a little disappointed since I had run the first mile of my trail five miler in 6:30. My goal was just to finish healthy, so I don’t know why I cared that much.
During the second mile, I found myself alone. We went along the riverfront and then back around the start and finish. Passing the finish around mile 2 of a 5k is always rough, but I just zoned out and focused on the finish. I ran the second mile in 6:37.
The third mile went up a minor hill and back towards the start. I was riding the struggle bus all the way up the hill. My legs felt as though they had no pickup. I passed two men on the downhill who turned around and outkicked me in the homestretch. I finished the third mile in 6:35 and crossed the finish in 20:21.
I can’t say I’m particularly proud of this race but it was a good baseline to where my fitness is right now. When I started running a lot of 5ks last year, I was running anywhere between 20-20:30 too. I’m hoping I’ll gain my fitness back in less time than it took last year but if I don’t…I don’t. It’s mentally tough not to compare yourself to previous running goals, times and experiences. I know I’ll eventually get back there if I train appropriately. The ultimate goal is to stay healthy.
Questions for you:
Is it hot where you are?
Do you typically know people at local races?
It’s definitely hot here in Alabama. I usually know a good bit of people at local races. We have a pretty close knit running community, which I really like! It’s fun to see familiar faces.
I think the fact that you are able to come out and run a low 20 5K time after everything you’ve been through is great. I totally get what you are saying about not comparing yourself to your times pre-injury though. I think that your fitness will come back really quick! It’s already getting there.
It is so hot in Dallas right now… like over 100 every single day. Ugh! ready for fall!
I think you did a great job, congratulations on the win and completing the race injury free. You had a lot going against you with the heat and being tired from staying on your feet for the sale at work… all of that is going to affect any race time whether you are coming back from an injury or perfectly healthy. Plus, you were kind of alone in the race and personally, when I am in a race without as many people, I tend to slow down a little bc it’s harder to push myself. Hopefully your future races go well and you’ll continue recovering and improving (especially as it cools off).
I understand how difficult it can be to see a different time than you are used to seeing. I totally get that you can be disappointed in a win for females because you weren’t racing them, you were racing yourself.
Keep your chin up – you are speedy and will be back to pre-injury shape in no time. You rock.
I’m also trying to push through a 20:xx 5k right now and I totally agree that it’s tough. Must be extra frustrating because of how fit you’ve been this year, but I 100% think you did the right thing to get healthy before going fast again! Woo hoo for strong legs and faster days ahead 🙂
I hope you’re able to reach that 20:XX 5k Alyssa. I think trying to reach any goal can be tough. I personally try not to compare myself to previous fitness levels but it does get hard.
that is very frustrating but i think running in this stupid heat also plays a major role in our speed. i dont do races in the summer because its just to hot here to even think about anything close to a PR. i keep running and pushing as much as i can but im like you focused on staying healthy and not getting injured again. you did an amazing job, if one day i can run this time i will be over the moon!
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