Saturday I ran my first 5k that was at my pace and in an actual race setting. I’ve run this distance many times previously, obviously, but this was the first time in a race. I had little to no hope for finishing with a decent time since I’ve been taking a completely no pressure on running approach for the last few weeks and ran zero miles the 5 weeks before that! My only hope was to finish faster than 35 minutes which was the time it took Sister and me to complete one a few years back when she had just started running and was completely overdressed so I knew we could have even gone faster that day given better clothes.
Well, I guess you can say I did a little better this time around… I ended up finishing in 26:17! Say, what!!? I really don’t know how I managed to run this fast but let’s back up a little and I will give a little recap of the race.
This race was started by the parents of a young girl who was killed in a car accident in 2008. She had loved running and was a part of her school’s cross-country team so her parents decided to start this race to help raise scholarship money to be awarded in her memory. It was held at Kiel High School in a little town a few minutes away from my parent’s house and was only $20 to register so I didn’t really except any fancy anything for the race but they ended up having an actual chip timed event because a timing company donated their time and equipment – how cool is that?
The race was scheduled to start at 8 am and to be honest, when I signed up I was sure it was going to be blazing hot by that time on a mid-August morning but in reality, it was chilly! Probably about 60ish when we got to the school! So weather was not a factor at all this morning! I did run for a couple of minutes to warm up a little while we were waiting for the race to start because it was so chilly feeling though! My mom and dad also came along to walk the 5k and set a new PR for them – 48mins! Whoop!
Before we got started running, the dad and organizer of the race said a few words about his daughter and the race. He also introduced everyone to his new grandbaby… a little girl named Sarah. She was about 7 months old and walked the race in her stroller. How cool was that! Then we said a group prayer as her father is also a pastor and then…
At 8:00am, we were off! I tried to be sort of near the front but not so near I got ran over! I also had decided going in that I would just run as fast as I could without causing pain anywhere and really not be concerned at all with being evenly “paced.” I knew that would result in me being too fast or too slow the whole race so instead I just did whatever!
The first mile went by REALLY fast and I was shocked to pass the time caller and hear… 7:44! WHAT?! I am pretty sure that is the fastest mile I have ever run, even when doing speed work miles! I guessed I would slow down considerably at some point but figured I didn’t hurt yet so I wasn’t going too fast and hurting myself or anything at that point?!
After the 1 mile marker, you ran a little ways further and then did a turn around and headed towards the Cross Country track. Mile 1-2 was still run on pavement and imagine my surprise when I went past mile 2 marker and head… 15:30! Another 7:45ish mile!
Right after mile 2, we transitioned to the Cross Country track and that’s when I slowed down almost immediately. I am not used to running on the grass and was afraid of slipping because it was wet and I was getting tired. I’m really glad the first 2 miles where on pavement though and I just pushed it while I could because grass made me really slow down at that point and I ended up finishing in 26:17 for a 8:28 average pace. I am stupid and can’t quite figure that math out for what the last 1.1 mile was paced at but… I think about 9:15 pace for mile 2-3.1? I really don’t know!
I really was shocked to see that time when I came across the finish line! I guess sometimes it pays to not hold yourself back on every run! I know I can’t run fast every time I run but when the weather cooperates and I am feeling good, might as well give it a shot!
I sat around and stretched for a few minutes while I waited for the parents to cross the finish line and then we took a few finish photos and headed back home. I actually ended up finishing 6/18 in my age group which further surprised me! And 67/141 (not including all the walkers as they were not chip timed) so a wee bit higher than “normal” for me anyways. I had so much fun running this race and would really like to come back next year and try to see what I could do with training for it! I’m feeling compelled to just do a bunch of shorter races next year in lieu of long races to work on my speed so I will definitely keep this in mind!
All in all, it was a really fun morning. I was a little sore the days after though! All that fast running and being on grass gave my legs a little workout –
I’ll be back tomorrow with more race related recaps but this time not me running them!