Last year, this race kicked my butt. This year, I OWNED it. I had both better training and the weather on my side. It was 11 degrees cooler this year compared to last year. I have been running on average about 8-10 miles per week, in June 2013 I was only running 4-5. Oh yeah, and I started this year in a rush because we almost missed the start of the race, and I had a full bladder the entire time, so that might have helped me speed it up a bit!
I got off to a late start Saturday morning, which isn’t unusual for me. I’m queen of waiting until the last minute and stretching my time thin. And of course when I do this, something always comes up – this time it was unexpected construction causing the ramp to the highway that I was taking to be closed. I had to go a few miles out of my way to pick up my friend for the race. We ended up pulling into the campground where the race started with only minutes to spare. We found my parents, I literally chucked my keys to my dad, rushed over to get our bibs while the race director was counting down “5… 4… 3… 2… 1…” We were still pinning on our bibs when the rest of the runners took off and we had to run fast to catch up with the group and find our way. I ran with my friend for a little while, and she is much faster than I am. After we caught up to some people she took off ahead of me and I slowed my pace down a bit. There was a point where the trail split off and everyone seemed confused – which way is the 5k? Which way is the half? I caught up with my friend again here and once we figured out which way to go, she was off ahead of me again.
Not long after the split we hit the first mile and my phone blurted out my pace: “One mile in 11 minutes, 8 seconds.” Whew! Great pace, but I knew it was because of pacing with my friend in the start, and I knew now that I was pretty much on my own with no one to pace that I would slow down a bit. When I hit the two mile marker, my pace had slowed to 12:04. Still, this was pretty good for me, considering the last few races I have run my pace has been around 12:30 or slower.
Before I knew it, I was finishing the final loop and headed toward the finish line. I checked my phone and saw that once again this year the race was short. I shouted to my friend, “Not even 3 miles!” and she nodded in agreement. I powered through to the end and reached a total mileage of 2.98, just about an eighth of a mile short of a 5k. I ran the whole race… the third race that I have accomplished this goal!
And I did this in 34:04, a pace of 11:25… only 2 seconds off my PR pace… my PR that I set back in 2008… that I haven’t even come close to since then.
So since there are no official results (not only was the race short, but the chip timing didn’t save), my “unofficial” 5k time for this race would have been 35:31 if I had kept up my pace. 10 seconds faster and I would have PR’d.
I am so proud of myself and how far I have come! This only makes me more and more excited to push myself towards my goal of running a half marathon this year. Just gotta keep running…