It’s been over a year since I raced last. Part of this was due to lack of training, part was due to injuries… and another part of not thinking about it too much!
But I had been itching to get back out there as I do enjoy races. I love the energy of the runners and the excitement of being there. Plus there’s nothing like crossing a finish line after giving a race your all!
The Sovereign State 5K spoke to me because it is a small town race in our neighboring town. I love small town races. They feel more relaxed; there are less runners so its not so crowded, and these races definitely stress me out less. I didn’t have a worry in the world starting today. Though I hoped for a good time, my main goal was to have fun! And I did!
I brought my girls along with me to the race as my hubby was out of town at a karate thing all day. They said it was kind of boring, but I think they had a good time. They were my paparazzi and they cheered for me at the finish line!
A few minutes before the race was starting, I chatted with a woman next to me who said she was a little nervous about doing the race. She said it had been 12 years since she last did a race and she didn’t want to come in last. I told her that if she was running even part of it, she’d likely not finish last and told her to have fun and go with it. I knew she’d do fine – and she did. She pulled ahead of me from the start and finished just over a minute before me! I made sure to find her after the race to congratulate her.
The race started and we were off… as I typically do, I went out faster than I should have. I had told myself that my minimum goal was to keep a 9:00 pace for the whole thing. Well…silly me…I started out in the mid-8’s. But I kept plugging away; slowing down when I got too tired, speeding up more when I recovered.
Around 2.5 miles in I was feeling TIRED. I’m pretty sure that was due to my overly ambitious pace. But I would not let myself walk. I knew I could do it, and I really wanted to see what I could accomplish. I won’t lie, that last .5 mile until the homestretch was tough. But I found it within myself to sprint the last .1 mile up the track to the finish line.
According to my Garmin, that last .1 mile I did at a 6:20 pace. It was all I had left in me. Once I finished I reflected that some people run the whole race that fast and I about died imagining trying to do that! In fact, the 1st place winner of the race (a teen boy) ran at a 4:59 pace. Awesome!
My time: 26:40! I was so pleased. This was 2 min 37 sec faster than my last PR in April 2013. I never ever thought I would get this kind of a race time. Its such an encouragement as I feel like my running and strength training are starting to show the results of my efforts. Its an amazing thing!
That pic above was just after finishing. I’m so glad my girls captured this as you can feel my tiredness in it! I was so tired…and so thirsty…but too tired to think about drinking water quite yet.
We hung around to listen to them give out awards. I didn’t think I’d place and when I heard them calling out winners for 10 year age groups, then I REALLY thought I wouldn’t. I’m 37 and competing against 30 yr olds can be hard! So imagine my surprise when I found out that I won 2nd place in my age/gender division! It must have been my lucky day because the #1 in my group was almost 6 min faster than me! But I was so pleased! This whole race really boosted my running confidence.
I’m so glad that I did it. I have been looking at doing another race in 2 weeks. So far I’m still planning on doing it, but who knows what 2 weeks can bring! But I’ll be out there running my miles between now and then. I did a 4 mile run last week, which was the longest I’ve done since mid-March. I’ve been sticking to 3 at most since then with the injury. This week I’m hoping to complete a 5.
Here is my race crew…my sweet girls who woke up early on a Saturday to watch their mom run and take pictures. Love them!