Last weekend I had the itch to race. My husband and I discovered a 5k in Birmingham. Since I just moved to Montgomery, I had no idea about the race community, area, terrain or anything else. But a race is a race, right?
As long as there is a time, the course is fairly accurate, and there is just more than my husband and I running, I can’t complain.
We arrived in downtown Birmingham around 7 am and did a quick warm up. I was coming off a tough training week and knew it wouldn’t be a PR. My legs were stiff, but the plan was to give it what I had for the day. My coach and I wanted a solid effort for where I was in training.
My husband and I made it to the start line where several high school marching bands were playing. (It would sense with the race title “Drum Run”.) The bands all sounded great and it was such a unique start. I lined up and by the time I knew it we were off.
During the 200 meters, a lead pack quickly formed ahead which included two clearly fast elites, my husband, another female, and a few others. I found myself in the no mans chase pack of one. It was evident the two elites were going to jog there way to a 16 something 5k which is what ultimately happened. They looked effortless as they pulled away.
The first mile went over a few small rolling hills in the downtown and I crossed the first mile in 6:07. Since my legs were heavy, plus the course wasn’t entirely flat, I was happy.
I could see the lead female in front. I felt as though I was catching her. By the second mile, the lead pack was also strung out. There were the two elites who were now out of sight, my husband and then a larger pack of 3 people including the woman. I passed the larger pack around the halfway point. The second mile had less hill but more turns. I ran the tangents well. I crossed the second mile in 5:54 and felt better. My legs were stiff, but I felt like they were loosening up.I was pleasantly surprised with a sub 6-minute mile.
I ran the final mile alone. I could see my husband about a minute ahead and LOLed at the idea of catching him. There were a few small rolling hills throughout the downtown. Even when he isn’t training for 5ks (like now), he can still gut out a faster 5k. I counted down the last mile… by every quarter of a mile. I wasn’t fading, but I was ready to be done. I crossed the third mile in 5:58 and gutted down to the finish line.
The final portion of the race was downhill, and I just powered to the end. With the downhill, my final kick was 5:16. If only all races had a nice downhill finish. Even though I cut the tangents well, the course was a little long, and I finished in 18:40. I was fourth overall and the first woman.
I am pleased with how the race went. When you race often, you can’t expect a PR and each race has a goal. My goal for the MLK 5k was to get a quick workout on my legs and to explore a new city. Both of which I did.
Questions for you:
What how was your weekend?
Have you ever raced on tired legs?