Maple Shade Soccer Club 5kish (19:36)
After racing a 5k on Saturday, I decided to run on Sunday too. I had run the race last year, and it went to a great cause. Since I ran last year, I knew the course was long. It wasn’t a matter of Garmin “telling me so”, it was a matter of the course being 3X1 mile loops and then a loop on the track. (which made for about 3.25-3.3). If I was that upset about it, I wouldn’t have run the race. Honestly, I would rather run a longer race than short.
The race started at 9 am, and I got there at 8. My stomach has felt off lately, and I can’t pinpoint what it is. When I warmed up, I didn’t feel great but not awful either. After all, I had raced the day before too. My stomach felt off and “sloshy”. I got to the start line at 8:58 and didn’t feel too ready.
In typical local 5k fashion, a young student yelled, “don’t start yet, I’m tying my shoe” and we waited for a minute. Then abruptly like last year, we were off. During the first mile, I found myself as fourth person overall. I could see the high schoolers in front me and it kept me motivated. We rounded the first loop and I hit the first mile in 5:53. I was shocked and excited. I didn’t feel “amazing” while racing. My stomach wasn’t bothering me like in warmup but I didn’t feel great either.
During the second mile, I focused on the two boys immediately close to me. I knew the winner was way out of my sights, but I thought I could stay focused enough to pass the other two. Last year, the roads were under construction, and there were a lot of potholes. This year it was a smooth and perfect road. I passed the first boy around the second mile and ran a 6:03.
After that, my only goal was “not to fade too much”. I passed the second place male during mile 3 as well.
There was a volunteer who was patrolling the course in a golf cart who stopped short in front of me. I nearly ran right into him and stopped short. I told myself during the third mile; I would be happy with anything under 6:30 but surprised myself was another 6:03.
As we rounded the third mile, I couldn’t remember how to get to the track. There was no volunteer, and the course wasn’t marked. I tried to remember (in about 1 second) what we did last year and went with it. I figured they would yell at me if I was wrong. Since you have to go on the grass field to get to the track finish, I blazed my own path.
I got on the track and was going to the correct direction towards the finish so I figured I was okay. I crossed the end in 19:36 and ran around 3.26 miles.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to feel that good, especially after racing a 5k the day before. I’m extremely pleased with my results and have no complaints. Garmin tells me I crossed the “exact” 5k mark at 18:35 and averaged 6:01 pace, but you race the course you’re given. It’s my fastest paced 5k since (by a lot!) before my injury so I can’t complain! Last year I ran a 20:51 and this year a 19:36. Granted last year I was recovering from a late weekend, 30 seconds per mile is a lot.
Questions for you:
Have you ever dealt with stomach problems during a race?
When was the last time you surprised yourself?