I took off with the rest and quickly remembered what I DON'T like about 5Ks. The weaving. Distance running, well, you can hang on for a bit. The walkers will eventually just end up behind you. But if you are going to PR in just over 3 miles, then you better start booking it pretty quickly. I tried not to waste too much energy but I bobbed and weaved through the sea of walkers, dogs, strollers and slower runners. And believe it or not, there are a few of those than me. Just a few though!
I saw young people, older people, kids, a girl with a purse. Oh yes, she had her purse slung over her body, boucing up and down. I saw little dogs and big dogs, babies in strollers. Lots of iPods. I considered using mine. I rarely use music to run anymore and only on the treadmill. Decided that making a playlist wasn't worth staying up any later and I'm actually glad I left it at home. I rather liked just listening to my breaths and my steps. Helped me focus.
The turn around came much more quickly than expected. Gosh, this is a short distance! I maintained my pace below 9:30 and felt great. But my head is still in distance mode and kept telling me to hang on, I might need that energy later. So I bargained with myself and fartleked the rest of the way back. I'd pick a tree and speed up until then.
Breathless, a young girl asked me how far the finish line was. I know the lake pretty well and recognized where we were. Just 2 more turns and then the finish line was a straightaway away! Wait, what? I glanced at my watch, I better book it! And book it I did.
Finished in 28:42. (by my watch...I'm not really sure how they calculate it since there wasn't chip timing...and no apparent start line!) Eh. I never understood how some of y'all could PR and not be pleased.
Now I know. Yes, I PR'd and I'm happy about that. I'm still faster than I was before marathon training. (yay about that - I was afraid that I might not finish in under 30!) This was a pretty flat out and back course. I could have pushed myself harder. My tank was not empty when I crossed that finish line. I'm still learning my threshold for this shorter distance. All in all, I'm pleased. I really am. But I know I can do better.
So I'm signing up for several more 5Ks this Summer. And I'm proclaiming on the blog for all to see. I'm gonna get under 27. Can I shave over 1:42 off my time?
And I will. I'm doing speed work with WWoW, but I'm also doing speed work with my group that I coach. I'm gonna really kick my strength training into high gear and focus on quality, not quantity miles. There is NO REASON I can't make my goal!
Oh yes, and I bet if I finally get around to shedding a few pounds that might help.
Keep me accountable y'all!