Another Race in the Books

>> Saturday, July 7, 2012

Another weekend, another race. Another PR? Well, sort of. There's always this issue in my mind with counting old PRs as if they have any relevance now. My 5K PR stands at 22:30 -- I ran it back in 2007, the summer before we got married.

But that was five long years ago.

Since then, above, things has o.b.v.i.o.u.s.l.y changed (like having a baby and being 10 pounds heavier!). And up until today, my best recent 5K was more around 23:30, give or take. Not bad at all.

But I haven't raced one since well before Ada was born.

I almost didn't run this race, truth be told. Ada is not the best at being watched by the g-parents (or anyone, for that matter -- she's just getting into the separation anxiety part of babyhood). I wasn't preregistered, so I almost bowed out at the last minute because I didn't feel like dealing with a cranky baby. Plus, the 80-degree temps with high humidity (I know, people have it much worse than we do, but we live in the Northeast -- not used to it!) didn't make running a race terribly appealing.

Still, I wanted badly to run a base 5K to see how I improve by the end of the summer (I have two other 5Ks planned). I guess I should have started this whole post with how much I hate 5Ks. I am not one to go out hard and sustain an uncomfortable pace. I usually run my races with a smile on my face most of the way, leaving lots of energy for a strong finish. Half marathons are perfect for this level of comfort, which is why they are my favorite race.

I could go on and on about how much I love half marathons, but onto today's race: We dropped Ada off at 8AM so we could get registered, stand in the potty line, and warmup all before the 9AM start. TMI: I've stopped pumping in the mornings, so I skipped it today, too -- which ended up being fine since it was such a short race. A little full, but much better than rushing to pump.

The course was relatively flat with some inclines between the half mile and 1.5-mile point. So, I'd consider it a good test course for later races. Like I said, it was muggy -- in fact, we're getting some wild thunderstorms right now. I've been training later in the mornings these days. So, I can deal.

There isn't much to write about the race. It went really fast. There was one water-stop at the halfway point. I think the most remarkable thing was how I kept going. That's not like me at all. I tend to go easy on myself because I hate feeling like I will have nothing left at the finish. But for once, it was interesting to push myself.

So, I did!

I don't wear a watch, but there were people shouting times at the mile-markers:

Mile 1: 7:25
Mile 2: 14:50
Mile 3: 22:06
Finish: 22:48 (7:20 pace overall)

I'm proud of my near-even splits. Now, I wrote how I like to finish with a smile on my face. Yeah. I am proud that I was able to personally thank all the officials/police who were watching the intersections -- BUT at the very end, I was w.i.p.e.d and quite grumpy. That last mile was totally in the sun, and I was baking. I dumped a bottle of water on my head, grabbed an M&M cookie, and pouted for a bit.

I was totally thrilled with my time, though. Just not used to running that hard. You know what? It wasn't THAT bad after a few minutes. Those frowns turned upside down fast when I realized how close I got to that old PR.

I'm excited to chase a faster time as the summer progresses. My ultimate goal would be to break 22. Even if I don't improve, just beating my recent 5K times is an accomplishment. I think I can credit my group long runs, hill-work, and attempts at regular speedwork with my success.

Just gotta keep it up!

Are you racing this weekend? Tell us about it -- and best of luck! We would normally be running the Boilermaker 15K, but decided to bow out this year due to baby logistics. Next year, though!

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