I hadn’t run a 5K in a while, so when we saw the flyer for this race at one of our favorite sandwich shops a few weeks ago, I figured why not? It was inexpensive, and it started five minutes from our house. The only drawback was the May 1st date–it’s been warm and humid here, less than optimal conditions even for a short race.
But this morning it was in the low 60s, cloudy, and windy. This, I can work with.
As usual, M planned to drag B to a 30-minute finish time. S and I knew we couldn’t hang with them, so we stuck together–a successful formula the last three races.
We started out by looping 3/4 of the way around the high school track, exited through a grassy area to the parking lot, then out onto the road. I skipped the first water stop, and then my Garmin announced the first mile. 10:28. Oh shit. S said, “Well that can’t last.”
At the halfway point, I was pushing hard but hanging on. When I slowed for water at the two-mile point, S got ahead of me. I kept her in my sights but didn’t try to run her down. Mile two was a little slower but still well within PR range. I tried to distract myself, to not think about how much longer I had to hold this pace.
We made the turn onto Anderson Mill–the same road from the homestretch of January’s Rogue 10K–and I felt … not dead. Still a half-mile to go, though.
We turned into the parking lot, then back toward the stadium. Over the grassy spot again–I admit to walking 20 or so steps here, partly because it was uneven and partly to catch my breath for the final kick around the track–and then I picked it up. I told myself, it’s just like a straights and curves track workout, one lap, no big deal. Later, S said she told herself the same thing about straights and curves.
Mile three clocked in the 10s again. I could see S not too far ahead, just at the other end of the straightaway. Then, as I came around the last curve toward the finish (which was halfway down the stretch) I couldn’t find the race clock. But… straights and curves. Just sprint the straight, and you’re done.
I didn’t see a race photographer, just a guy with his iphone, but I smiled anyway. Then before even getting water, I walked over to the infield of the track and flopped down flat on my back, trying to catch my breath.
By Garmin time, I’d PR’d by 29 seconds. On the one hand, it felt like it should be more than that. But on the other, it was the difference between an average pace in the low 11s to one in the high 10s. There’s something pretty damn satisfying about dropping that number, you know?
I checked the official results later and gained a second back–an even 30-second PR. Turns out I was 11th in my division, too. Must not have been too many women my age out racing this morning, but still, I’ll take it.
J and I won’t be running that fast tomorrow. 😉