Last weekend I decided to hop into a local race down in Pine Hill, NJ. The race benefited program planning for Ovarian Cancer awareness, which is near and dear to my heart.
I knew it would be smart to get some faster miles on my legs before racing the Broad Street Run this weekend. While my tailbone hasn’t bothered me while running over the last few days, I hadn’t raced anything, and I didn’t want to jump into a 10-mile race, not knowing what to expect.
I arrived at the race around 8 am, signed up, and warmed up. I walked over to the starting line on the local track. I’ve never started a 5k on a track. I finished several races on a track and races that ended on a track, but this race did a loop around the track and left.
At 9 am we were off. The lap around the track was interesting. The walk started directly after, so we had walkers to cheer us on. I high fived a little kid as I completed my first loop. We ran onto the field, and the headed towards the road. During the first half mile, I found myself in second place overall. I stayed there the entire time and ran the entire race by myself. The first mile incorporated track, grass, dirt, and road. It felt like it took forever. Realistically it was my fastest mile in the last month, and I hit mile 1 in 5:49. To be honest, I was shocked!
As I went into mile 2, I realized I probably took the race out too fast. I wasn’t tapered, and the week prior had been not glamorous. The second mile looped around a baseball field and headed towards a neighborhood. I thought I was going the wrong way, but luckily the volunteer pointed in the right way. My legs began to feel sore, but I was able to hold a 6:08 mile.
During the last mile, I was hurting. My tailbone felt fine, but my legs did not feel good. I was running alone, and I knew I had paid the price of taking the race out too quickly. I’ve learned that lesson before, but it’s never fun in a 5k. I just focused on finishing the race. We ran back around the field, and entered the track around 2.9 miles and ran a final loop around the track.
I ran the last mile in 6:13 and finished in 19:08. Do I think the course was a little long? Probably, but I’m happy with the result and even happier my tailbone felt good. The mix of terrain made it a more challenging, but fun course.
I ran a similar time at the Phillies 5k last month, which was windy but still challenging. I haven’t run any fast 5ks lately due to weather, terrain, or life. I feel good about the race and that my tailbone has finally turned a corner.
Questions for you:
Have you ever run on the track?
Would you prefer to run on trails or pavement?