On Saturday, I ran the Dragon Run 5k. The local high school’s mascot is a dragon which is how it got it’s name. I didn’t even know about the race until the week before when a student came into work and told me to do it.
As I mentioned in my log, I ran my longest run in 18 months the Wednesday before. While I wasn’t recovering poorly, I didn’t feel amazing either. My legs felt as if they had minimal pep. That being said, I wanted to support the school. I’m beyond the point that I let ego bother me. If I ran a 20 or 21 minute 5k, I am happy to finish healthy. It stinks at the time, but I’m not a professional runner and in the big picture, my time doesn’t really matter. I still have a job and a blog whether I have a bad race or not.
I got to the race around 7:30. I didn’t realize how big it was and there were over 700 runners and a huge craft show. All of the roads were shut down. I’m not too familiar with the area, but I found a parking spot and went to the start to sign up. I didn’t get a t-shirt which actually looked really cool! The woes of signing up late.
Warming up proved to be more of a challenge because it was a lot of country roads with no shoulder. I was able to get a good warmup and made it to the start by 8:20. I talked with several local kids. While chatting, the gun went off. There were no announcements or anything, just a gun. It was the most abrupt start I’ve ever had!
During the first mile, I felt indifferent. It was muggy, and my legs didn’t feel like led bricks, but they also didn’t feel tapered and ready to run fast. I still felt overwhelmed by the start and not prepared to actually race. I ran with a pack of males anywhere from high school to their 60s. We crossed the first mile in 6:07 which I was pleasantly surprised with. At that point, I decided anything under 20 minutes would be a good goal.
The middle mile was a hilly out and back. After we had turned around, the rest of the racers kept me motivated. Since I was running the pace of a lot of the local high school boys, I had a nice group to work with. We crossed the second mile in 6:03 which I was even more surprised with.
During the last mile, my only goal was to run hard and finish hard. Our pack had spread out, and I was running by myself. During the final mile, a young student thought he was funny and sprinted side by side with me. He was telling me to pick up the pace and entertaining his friends. Luckily he didn’t last long. I crossed the third mile in 6:03 as well. I must be a metronome because I did that during last weeks 5k too.
During the last .1, not one, two or three but five high school boys outkicked me. I don’t have a kick, but they were able to tow me just below 19 and finish in a chip time of 18:58.
I was both happy and surprised with my time. My only speed work during the last two months (after being injured) has been racing and I ran 17+ miles on Wednesday. This is my fastest 5k post injury and I ran long the week before.
Questions for you:
Have you ever had someone run side by side with you?
Do you have a good finish line kick?