I shared on Instagram yesterday that I'd never really raced a 5k. I've done plenty of 5k's with non-running friends or with my kids, but I've never run one to see how fast I could go. In fact I NEVER run just to see how fast I can go. Because, secretly, I don't like running fast. Well, that's not entirely true. It's probably more accurate to say I don't like running HARD.
I injured myself last fall, and after a time of recovery I started running again. In order to keep myself injury free, I've spent the last 6+ months running easy to really focus on building up my aerobic base and strengthen my muscles. I'm just now starting to add in speed work. So going into this 5k I truly had no idea what to expect from myself. I chose a goal time of 40 minutes, which based on my easy running was an achievable goal. Yes I'm that slow 😂 I knew the course really well since it was a trail I used to live by and had run hundreds of times. I didn't, however factor in the heat! I usually run in the early morning, so while I'm getting a little more used to running in the heat, I'm definitely not used to running in 90+ degree weather!
I got to the race plenty early and picked up my bib, then waited around for the race to start. There was some confusion on where the start line was, since it wasn't the same as the finish line, but I followed the crowd and placed myself toward the back. I didn't really think that one through. I'm used to doing longer distance races where the number of walking participants is pretty minimal so placing myself in the back of the crowd is usually the way to go. This time, not so much. It was a small race (about 200 people) but there were quite a few walkers. Which is awesome, but I definitely should have put myself closer to the middle! The first .2ish mile was all in a sidewalk, so it was really narrow and crowded. So my choices were to try and weave in and out to get around people, or run in the grass to get past them. I chose to run in the grass. Which meant my start was a little more difficult than it should have been. So I slowed down and took it easy, but I'll admit I was slightly discouraged when I was approaching the 1 mile marker and started to be passed the people who were on their way back 😂
The race was to raise funds for our local aquifer so there were signs all through the course that told facts about our water source. Which was pretty interesting.
I knew I wasn't going to hit my time goal, and that was totally fine because I was just enjoying myself! But as I approached the end, I did a little math and thought if I picked up the speed a little, I'd be able to make it in under 45 minutes which was my next goal. So at about 2.5 miles I picked up the pace and ended up at a 8-8:30 pace for a while! That kind of amazed me! I've never seen those kind of paces, NEVER. I know I'd never be able to keep it up for a full mile, but I was still pretty excited to see that I was capable of that kind of seed, especially since I have done easy runs almost exclusively.
I crossed the finish line at 45:14 (with a chip time of 45:12 I believe) for an average pace of 14:35. I was soooo close! And I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous about sharing my times. It's one thing to say you're a slow runner, it's another thing to actually give specific paces! But I figure, most people I've come across in the running community don't care about paces! They're just happy to encourage people and share in their triumphs!
At the end there was ice cream. Because who doesn't want to run for ice cream?! It was actually really co, the different parts of the ice cream bar represented different parts of the aquifer, so we were building our own edible aquifer 😂
This was part 1 of a 3 race series, and I think I learned a lot from it. I'm looking forward to seeing how the remaining two go!
My official stats: