I have exciting news! I finally broke 30:00 in a 5K!
I’ll write a race recap soon (heh… maybe! Since it took me almost a year to write my last one…) but I wanted to get it in writing here on the ol’ blog while the excitement is fresh, since I’ve written so much before about my Moby Dick PR and my goal of finishing in under 30 minutes, which has been a goal since 2014!
It was starting to feel like getting under 30 might just be out of my grasp. I beat the Moby Dick PR when conditions were ~perfect~ : flat-as-a-pancake course, exquisite running weather, and I was in prime pre-Bairn shape. I also remember wanting to die at the end of that race, and couldn’t fathom recreating that scenario with my post-Bairn self.
But I did! Yesterday!
It was a beautiful day for a race – temps in the mid- to upper-50s and partly sunny for the mid-morning start. I wasn’t expecting to PR at all, knowing a) that it was my first race in almost a year, b) I’ve been doing only a bit of training, and c) I knew the course had hills, which tend to slow me down quite a bit.
Apparently my bit of training helped… weekly Expresso Bike rides of a handful of miles followed by 1-1.5 miles on the treadmill at a ~10:00 pace, plus almost weekly runs with the Shammies.
Starting a bit further up the mob of runners might have helped too. There were a bunch of walkers and many of them placed themselves pretty far up, so I put myself significantly further up than I normally would, because I knew the course was narrow and I didn’t want to get stuck behind people. That meant I found myself cruising at about 9:10 for the first bit of the race, and the weird part was, it felt like I was running slow! I mean, I knew that pace wouldn’t feel slow for long, and keeping that pace for the whole course would not be sustainable, but I was chuffed that such a pace felt easy(ish) at all!
I took 2 or 3 walk breaks – one at the water stop and one or two along the course when I felt myself flagging enough that mental pep talks were doing nothing. But for the rest of the race, those mental pep talks carried me along, and I mostly felt strong and capable.
Man, imagine how I’d feel if I actually trained properly?! I should really give that a try sometime.
Anyway, like my last 5k PR, I didn’t feel the best in the last stretch, but I didn’t feel quite as miserable and pukey. I also remember the last time I had no energy to sprint to the end, whereas this time I was able to kick it in, and then kick even harder when I saw 29:– on the clock. I really wanted to break 30:00!
My official time ended up being 29:38, almost a minute faster than my previous PR of 30:26.
I was so pumped, but also so wiped and had to sit propped up against a Walgreens for a few minutes before I could walk again. I also told Drew “well, I just ruined race season by doing too well in the first one! It can only go down from here.”
Or can it? Only time and my questionable motivation will tell!