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Westside 5k (21:00)

Westside 5k (21:00)

Jumping into a race after time off is always humbling.  Last week, I ripped off the band-aid and ran a 5k in Wilmington.  Before the race, I didn’t look at the course terrain or elevation.  I just saw the date, time and that I could make it to work on time. When my husband and I got there, we realized how hilly the race would be.

I had no goals race the race.  I wanted to finish healthy and injury free.  Spoiler: I did just that.  The night before, I had a migraine.  I hadn’t slept the best during the last week, so I ended up falling asleep at 8 pm and slept until 6 am.  When I woke up, I had my doubts I even wanted to do the race, but my husband asked: so when are we leaving…I groaned and said in an hour.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to race but I knew it would be a shock to the system.With that, we arrived for the race, signed up and did a 3-mile warmup.  I felt fine warming up, but I knew the hilly course would make it a difficult course whether I was in shape or not.

There was both a 5k and 10k starting together, and the races went off together.  The first mile went almost exclusively uphill.  I was running with a pack of people, and I felt good.  I thought: surely I must be going around 6:30 miles.  I crossed the first mile in 6:55.  I was shocked but happy with my effort.

The next mile continued to climb.  I’ve run several races in Wilmington, so I knew the general terrain and area.  As we reached the halfway turnaround, I saw my husband in second overall but was quickly catching the first place.  He looked comfortable.  We turned around and headed back towards where we came.  I crossed the second mile in 7:01 and thought: I guess a 21 minute 5k is probably going to be out of my reach today.

I never felt bad during the last mile, but not in shape either. I just charged back to the start.  I passed one person and finished the last mile in 6:30.  I was pleasantly surprised.

I finished the 5k in 21:00 exactly.  My slowest 5k in a very long time?  Yes but I’m pleased with my race.  My goal was to finish healthy and strong which I did.  The course was difficult.  My husband ran an 18:30 which id about 90 seconds slower than he has been recently running (so it gives me more confidence it was a challenging course).  

Is it hard not to compare myself to when I was running 18:30 a few months ago?  Of course, but I’m happy with how I ran and I’m looking forward to gaining back my fitness.

 Questions for you:

What is the most difficult course you’ve run?

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Judy Johnson 5k (20:33)

On Saturday, my brother and I drove to Wilmington to run a 5k. We had had a late night before so I wasn’t sure what to expect!  Each race is a workout so I wasn’t too concerned about time but getting another speed workout under my legs.  For once in my life, I actually left on time for a race.  We arrived at 7:30.

Matt laughed because the closer we got the start, the hillier it got. I realized I had run half of the course at the icicle 10 miler.  It is hard to believe that was already 6 months ago.  I have no idea what sort of fitness I’m in right now because every 5k I’ve run in the last month has been so hilly! I’m not upset because after all, I do choose the races.

I ran the entire course for warmup. I have not warmed up the entire course for any race in a while.  I felt decent but not great.  I definitely felt full but my legs felt decent.  I like to run 2-3 miles before 5ks depending on how loose my legs feel.

The race was delayed and we started around 8:40.

I immediately found myself behind a wall of dudes.  There were two males way out in front, followed by a pack of 6 males and myself.  I began to pass several of the men and by the first mile I was fourth overall.  I stayed at fourth for the rest of the race.

The first mile went up a hill.  I haven’t gotten used to the hills in Delaware.   During the week, I’ve been consistently training on flat ground. Since I had warmed up on the course, I knew it would be hilly.  I charged up the first hill and passed several of the men.  I hit the first mile in 6:19.  I knew based on my pacing and the course, breaking 20 minutes was not going to be feasible.

The second mile continued up and around several rolling hills.  I didn’t mind them and I found myself running alone most of the race.  It was a boring, lonely mile.  I hit the second mile in 6:36.

I saw my brother during the third mile and it motivated me to finish strong. We ran back into the park and to the finish line. There were a lot of hills but I was so focused on the finish line I mentally blocked everything out.  The final home stretch went around a loop at the park.

Finishing the 5k

Finishing the 5k

I finished in 20:33 and 4th person overall. I even won a giant trophy!

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Thoughts:

This race made me realize I haven’t raced a lot of flat courses lately. All of my races have been more difficult and hilly courses. I have been putting in work at the track lately but it’s hard to compare a 6:08 mile track workout and a 6:33 average paced 5k on hill. I like racing on hills but I also like running flatter 5ks that are closer to my goal pace. There are trade offs to both.

I’m excited to go to Belmar on Saturday and see what I can do there.

Questions for you:

What kind of warmup do you do before races?

Before 5ks I like 2-3 miles and before half marathons and marathons I generally don’t warm up.

Are you normally on time?

I try to be on time in life situations and when meeting people but I somehow get so sidetracked the morning before races.

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