This morning I ran the Civitans 5K in Downtown Fredericksburg. It was a perfect way to kick off the Memorial Day holiday, since Fredericksburg is a city that is rich in military history. I went to the race alone, which is something I haven’t done since before I met Kevin, because it started at 7 a.m. and I wanted to let my boys sleep in on their day off 🙂
I got to the race at 6:20, picked up my bib and timing chip easily (love small races), used the bathroom, and ran a mile to warm up. While I was warming up I was thinking about how I wasn’t sure what to expect from this race. I have just recently gotten back into running regularly and haven’t done any speed work, except for a few days before when I did a 5 mile progression run. In that run I ran my last two miles at a 7:16 pace. In order to PR I would need to run a 7:26 average pace. I started wondering if it could be a possibility…
I finished warming up with a few minutes to spare before the race started. I felt good and decided it was time to push myself. I wanted to test my current fitness level and see what I could do as a base line for my upcoming training.
- Mile 1 – 7:32
During the first part of the this mile I was a little distracted because my watch was acting crazy. I eventually got it working right and tried to settle into a comfortably hard pace- not too fast though since I always make the mistake of going out too fast and burning out. I kept telling myself to be patient and leave something in the tank for later.
- Mile 2 – 7:31
Mile 2 had some hills as we ran out through some neighborhoods and back. I was feeling strong and passing a lot of people. I focused on the women in front of me and tried to catch them. I tried to speed up my pace but had a hard time dropping it below 7:30. I slowed down a bit to take a cup of water as I passed the second mile marker, a decision that I regretted a bit later…
- Mile 3 – 7:24
During mile 3 I kicked it into higher gear. I knew I needed to drop my pace in order to PR. As I got closer to the end it started to hurt, and the hills didn’t help. But I felt strong on the uphills and finally passed a woman (and a few men) that I had been chasing for a while. I knew I was going to be super close to my PR as I rounded a corner and saw the finish line far in the distance. I wasn’t quite sure how much time I had left according to the race clock since my watch was messed up in the beginning and it wasn’t showing the total time and distance accurately. As I got closer I saw that the clock said 22 minutes and some seconds. My current PR was 23:07. I thought I would be able to make it under that, so I started to sprint as fast as I could. That last stretch felt SO LONG, and I watched the time tick away on the clock. I finally crossed the finish line and the clock said 23:07. I tied my PR. To the exact second.
My first reaction was disappointment as a bunch of “what ifs” ran though my head. What if I hadn’t slowed down to take water? What if I had just pushed a little more in that last mile? What if I hadn’t been so reserved in my first two miles and sped it up a little more? I was ONE second away from a new PR. I could have made up that one second in many places during the race. But the more I thought about it the more my attitude changed. I decided I wasn’t going to feel disappointed. I am so proud of myself for how I ran this race. For the first time EVER in a 5K I ran negative splits and didn’t go out too fast. Even though I tied my PR, that PR was from almost 2 years ago, way before baby. I ran the same time at 8 1/2 months post partum when I wasn’t really running much at all, and not doing any type of speed work.
I was the 32nd finisher out of 175, the 8th woman out of 99, and 4th in my age group out of 21. Not too shabby 🙂
So now rather than feeling disappointed, I am feeling excited. Excited about new possibilities and my running potential now that I am beginning my marathon training again soon. Excited to see what I can do when I really start training my body properly again. I have a good feeling that I will come back better and stronger than ever.
Marathon training begins in a few weeks. I’M READY!