The Phillies 5k is one of my favorite races. I won last year, and I wanted to do the same this year (spoiler: I did). Something about the excitement of Philadelphia, the atmosphere and 6,000 runners is motivating to me. Plus for a 6,000 person 5k, there is plenty of parking and restrooms with the massive Philadelphia Sports Complex.
Last year when I ran the Phillies 5k, I was coming off both a half marathon and 5k PR. This year, I went in not racing a 5k in two months and not feeling confident in my running at all. In fact, I have a post about that soon. Never the less, I was excited to get back into it and work towards Spring PRs. Luckily, it was just 14 MPH winds, with no rain. Lately, that’s been my best racing weather in a few months.
I warmed up with my coworker Anita, and we headed to the race start. Due to traffic on the course, the start was delayed a few minutes. I just created witty banter with random people around, and by the time I knew it, we were off.
The first mile wrapped around the stadium and headed into the wind. I immediately felt the headwind, and questioned if I would be able to run well. There were a couple of women in front of me as well as a large pack of men. I hoped I would just “do me” and be able to reel some of them in. I hit the first mile in 6:00 minutes exactly and caught the first woman. I thought, “well if I can keep that pace and the course is exact then it will at least be in the 18:30-18:40 range”. But let’s be honest, keeping your first-mile pace in a 5k is a rather lofty goal in a 5k…
The next mile went into the Navy Yard. I have raced a couple of races including the finish of Broad Street in the Navy Yard. I know it’s flat but also windy along the water. It definitely was windy but it wasn’t a headwind but more of a sidewind. I took the lack of headwind as an opportunity to surge and break up the pack of dudes. After surging, I hit the second mile in 5:49 and looked dead ahead to see a small, steep incline. Due to the course direction, I realized very quickly it would be a headwind and climb.
The next mile was pain train all the way home. I was running side by side with another male who pulled me along. We headed up the short, steep incline. Combined with riding the pain train, I can’t say it was my favorite part of the race. There was a small out and back, and I was able to see several racers I knew going the opposite directions. I love out and back races because it’s always motivational to see other runners out on course.
While this is a great 5k time and it’s hard to be disappointed with a win, this isn’t where I was hoping to be right now. I do have a post later regarding where I’m at with running and where I would like to be. Over the past 6 months, with consistent training as well as speed work, I was hoping to be closer to 18 or honestly faster.
A couple of years ago after starting to work towards a 5k, it took me several months to break through a plateau which is what I’m hoping is the case here. In all, I had a great time with friends at the Phillies 5k.
Questions for you:
Have you ever been stuck in a plateau?
Are you a baseball fan?