I went into this race, like I do with all races, with three separate goals. However, my biggest (A) goal for the Reindeer Run was to run a sub 28 5K and set a new PR in the process.
My previous PR was a 28:10 during the summer 5K series and I was hoping that having a race temperature in the 50s instead of the 90s (like it was this summer when I set that PR) would be the extra boost I needed to break that mark. In order to run a sub 28 I knew I need to run exactly 9:00 minute miles, maybe even a little faster in order to have a bit of a cushion. My race plan was to run a 9:00 first mile, push myself to hold onto that speed for the second mile, and force myself to use everything I had in order to pick it up a bit that last mile.
Here goes nothing:
Race morning started off wonderfully. The race began at 9:00 so I made sure I was downtown right around 8:00. This gave me plenty of time to park in a nearby garage, go pick up my race bib and packet, pin on the bib, and walk back to my car to drop all the other stuff off. (Free antlers are always included along with a race shirt.)By this time it was only about 8:20 so I took off to run the two, easy, warm-up miles my coach asked for. It was a great way to start the morning. I turned my music off and ran nice and slowly down by the battery, the historic Charleston houses, and the water and just let the beautiful day sink in. (We sure didn’t have December days like this when I was growing up in Indiana.) I will admit, I was a bit nervous about how the two mile warm-up run would affect my legs. I had never run any warm-up before a race and was concerned that I would need all I had for a 5K PR. Would running two miles first take some gas out of my tank? I made it back to the start line with 15 minutes to spare. It was perfect timing. Just enough time for me to stretch, meet an awesome blog reader (hi Whitney), and discover that my iPod died (thank heavens for Pandora radio and my phone being in my pocket).
Then then gun went off and I was on my way. The first mile felt great, don’t get my wrong – I was running hard; however, I was swept up in the excitement of the race and my PR attempt and having a great time. When my Garmin beeped in a 8:56 I was ecstatic and on target. Mile 2 is where it got tough, this is always the mile that makes me hate 5K races. During mile 2 I always feel like I have been pushing so hard for so long, but I am still not close enough to that finish. My only goal was to hold it together this mile and boy was it tough. My body was saying, “slow down lady this pace is crazy,” but my mind kept telling it to, “shut the h3!! up and run!” When I hit the end of mile 2 and my Garmin once again beeped in a 8:56 I knew I would have a shiny, new 5K PR if I could just hold on for one more mile. I really tried to push it home that last mile and kick my speed up a notch, but the best I could manage was a 8:45 final mile. People were sprinting past me at the end, but I was still so proud. I had no push left, no finishing kick, and that is because I gave it my all the entire race. I was extremely proud of my performance, and was rewarded for it with this nice new sub 28 PR.
What excited, wonderful, or fun happened to you this weekend?
Anything running or racing related?
Do you have any races coming up?