This morning, I ran in the Advantage Health Heart and Sole 5k. I was really psyched for my first race of the year – even if the fab weather we’ve had this week didn’t quite hold up for this morning. It was a bit chilly – high 20s/low 30s – and the wind. Oh my goodness, the wind. It was wicked strong. My fear was that all of my indoor training would be the death of me in just a short three miles.
I know I don’t have a ton of racing experience at this point, but this was definitely the smallest race I’ve done. There were only 230 finishers! My Garmin measured the course a bit longer than a 5k at 3.2 miles.
I started out really, really strong. According to my Garmin stats, at one point I was going 12.2 mph (!!!) – I have no idea where that came from, but I’m pretty sure it was during a downhill stretch! Either that, or the Garmin just went nutso for a minute. I don’t know that I’ve ever run that fast in my whole life! The first mile or so was pretty flat and the wind wasn’t blowing too hard at that point. Even though I knew it might backfire at the end, I took full advantage of it and ran hard.
In the second mile, the cold air was starting to really get to me and my lungs were burning a bit. And then, the wind picked up. There were a few stretches with some big gusts. Even though I knew I would finish under 30 minutes if I kept up my pace, I was also worried that I wouldn’t finish at all if I didn’t slow down a bit. I took a couple short walking breaks in the last couple of miles. Around 2.5 miles or so, maybe a bit sooner, there were hills. Lots and lots of hills. The last bit of the race was all uphill and I wanted to curl up into a ball and die. I despise hills. They are my running nemesis.
Since it was such a small race, the sideline crowds was really sparse, mostly just a person or two scattered throughout. Right near the very end there was a group of about 5 guys who had finished that were cheering people on. I was completely in my zone and didn’t pay much attention to the people throughout the majority of the course, but they were literally the push I needed to get up that last hill.
My splits were pretty consistent, at least once I made the conscious decision to slow down a bit.
- Mile 1: 9:16
- Mile 2: 10:10
- Mile 3: 10:08
- Mile 0.2: 2.07
Overall, my time was 31:41 (Garmin) / 31:36 (chip). I came in 171 overall and 15th out of 27 in my division.
I was in a bit of a Glee mood when I made this one (When am I not in a Glee mood is the better question, no?). I couldn’t help but laugh when I made it that it went from Kelly Clarkson to Eminem to Hannah Montana. (Sing it with me: one of these things is not like the others...). As random as it may be, it was definitely just the right music to carry me through the race.
I didn’t realize it when I started out, but it was on shuffle which actually ended up working out perfectly. Won’t Back Down came on at the last stretch which was just the motivation I needed to tackle those hills!
Although I would have loved to have seen a sub-30 time, I was ultimately happy with how the race went given the circumstances. It was a full 2 minutes faster than the last 5k I did in March 2010, so that in itself felt like a great accomplishment!