5K. Three point one miles.
No matter how many times I tell myself a 5K shouldn’t be a source of anxiety or stress, somehow, it always is – so this past weekend, after weeks of low mileage, I almost skipped this race. Yet, I still found myself lacing up my new Brooks Launch 2 on Saturday morning, clicking on my headlamp, and heading out the door to my second 5K of the year: the Pineview Python 5K.
Now, I have to say a HUGE motivator this weekend was the fact that this race was about as close to “my backyard” as it could get – just 1.2 miles up the street! I told myself I could take it easy, and just enjoy the run.
After the quick jaunt over, I made my way to the same-day registration table, paid my fee, then threw down .8 more miles for a full 2-mile warmup, then ran into some friends, who I hung around until it was time to line up for the race.
Now, the only negative to this race was the crowded start – when people self-seed, there are always chances that people are in the wrong place to start – and with it being at a school (Pineview), there were plenty of kids demonstrating what I call the “sprint and stop.” I worked to reach a steady pace, which took about half a mile (~8 min-ish, which turned out to be my fastest mile, inadvertantly).
The course winded off the Pineview campus, then onto the main road briefly, before veering into a quiet neighborhood. Aside from the people blatantly ignoring race volunteers telling everyone to stay to the right – it was pretty smooth – the course, anyway. My body was not feeling the idea of speeding up – between the cumulative fatigue and intense humidity – so I just focused on moving forward.
About 1.3 miles in or so, my friend Mo popped up shouted out that she was right behind me. I let her know that I was not feeling it, but she responded back that I had been motivating her. That boosted me back up to keep up the pace, and we kept on for a while more before she passed me and I cheered! She was looking great!!
1.7ish, we reached an area where the leaders were heading home (kind of a corner loop) and I had a better mental image as to where we “were,” in relation to the campus.The race peeled into a pine-lined path as we neared the end, and I could hear the cheering at the finish. That was probably the third best moment that morning!!
Seconds after that picture was taken, we made the final turn, to bring it to the finish on the Pineview track. Now that was awesome – second best moment…
Glancing down at my watch, I saw a number I had not seen in a 5K for years…25 minutes. Now, a 25 minute finish would be right on par for my training plan workout of doing three miles at 8:30, but as far as racing, it was about 3 minutes over my performance from just two months ago. Yet, I didn’t feel upset, or disappointed – all I felt was gratitude that my legs had taken me to yet another finish line.
In the post-finish area, I met up with Mo (she PR’d!!!), Eric (another PR!) and Rob (PR City!) and we took a look at preliminary results – and by golly, we all had placed! Sweet!!
I was stoked to receive my very first trophy – not too bad! Even better – I still had my run home to do, so I carried it home proudly, like a relay baton (def my favorite ever moment)!
I am so glad that I decided to run! I will return again next year!!
Did you race this weekend?