After last week’s fiasco, also known as the time I slept through my race, my biggest goal was to actually make it to the start line. Goal number one accomplished. I was there with over 45 minutes to spare, plenty of time to pick up my bib, drop all my stuff in my car, and stretch out a bit.
Last May, just a year ago, I ran a 5K PR on this course with a time of 26:38 and while I was originally hoping to go for another PR attempt this summer plans changed. After taking 6 months off running this fall/winter, because of medical issues, I was just happy to be out running again. With the fitness I lost over my time off and the 30 pounds I somehow found (which makes it harder to run) I decided to set a tough, but more realistic goal – to run a sub 30 minute 5K race.
The first mile was tough. I had done an Orange Theory workout the night before and my legs were really feeling it. Plus, running in South Carolina in the heat and humidity is always difficult. I was happy when I managed to finish the first mile under 10:00 minutes. However, I knew if I wanted to hit that sub 30 minute goal I couldn’t slow down at all, in fact, I would have to speed up which would be really hard since I already felt like I was pushing it as fast as my legs would go.
Luckily, my legs started to loosen up a bit after the first mile and I was able to slowly increase my pace. It was a tough race the entire time and I had to keep reminding myself to just keep pushing because 5K races are always a bit painful. In the end I was really happy because I was able to meet my sub 30 goal and run a 29:18 5K which is about a 9:26 a mile average, something I am very proud of.
I will admit that this 29:18 5K took everything I had and felt just as tough as the 26:38 PR I ran at this time last year, which is proof that I need to really work on getting myself back in shape. After putting in a little over a year of dedicated hard work the 6 months I took off really set me back; however, I have only been back at it for a bit over 2 months and I still have a little over 5 months until NYC to get my running fitness back (and ditch some of those extra 30 pounds I am now carrying around) so I am hopeful that I will continue to improve and get closer to where I was.
Post race I was able to relax and enjoy dinner with some friends I had not seen since the previous year. It was great to catch up and I cannot wait to do it all again in June when there are another two 5K races as p[art of the series.
Let me know –
Have you ever run a race series?
Would you be interested in one?
Photos courtesy of Brian Fancher