One of my goals for this year is to run a sub 30 5K. My current PR, before the Mother's Day race, was 30:58. This is right under a 10 minute mile. I had to get down to a 9:40 pace and hold that for 3.1 miles. I decided to run the Mother's Day 5k and make an attempt at meeting this goal.
The previous weekend I had run the police appreciation 10k and was shooting for a sub 60, but I knew that was going to be difficult. I still hadn't held a 9:40 pace for 3 miles, how was I going to do so for 6.2? Regardless of that fact I still tried with the help of a pacer. Keeping a steady pace was helpful, and having the encouragement was an added bonus. I didn't meet my 10k goal, but came in under the time I thought I'd finish so I was happy. I was going to use this same method for the 5k.
There was a group of us that were all aiming for a sub 30 5k at the race. Aaron was going to take on pacer duty again and try to get us all to the finish before the 30:00 mark. We were determined, excited, and nervous.
We all met at John Chestnut Park to get out bibs and chips. I was nervous. I usually don't have nerves before a race, but I had set goals for myself on these last two. And I really wanted to finish under 30 minutes. I don't know exactly what I was nervous about - I knew I could run 3.1 miles. I wouldn't be devestated if I didn't meet my goal. However, I was nervous. This was a new pre-race feeling.
Group shot before the race
We lined up at the start. I was fidgeting around with my IPod because I had decided I would use music for added motivation. I hadn't been using music during training, so I thought it might help. Unfortunately the music didn't want to cooperate. The horn sounded and the runners were off. No time to figure out the music situation.
At the start...
We had to weave around a few people in the beginning and Joanna and I almost got left back from our little pace group. We caught up and kept with pace. I had a lot of energy and seemed to be a step or two ahead. I felt comfortable so I stayed with it. First mile: 9:17. The second mile I still felt good. My legs felt strong, I wasn't tired, my breathing was good. I kept thinking positive. I knew I was going to rock this 5k and come in under 30. Second mile: 9:23. Then it was time for mile 3. I started getting tired at the pace we were running. I had to walk it out a few times. When I picked it up to run I had to run faster now. Mile 3 became an interval run for me. I was too tired to keep a steady 9:40 pace so I ran harder when I could, and then walked for a bit. Aaron was being supportive and encouraging, but I started to doubt myself. Leah caught up to us and screamed out that I got this. I ran with Leah. We were so close. Mile 3: 10:14. And then we were almost at the finish. I gave it my all at the end of the race. I looked down at my watch and thought that just maybe I could make it. I didn't have that much time but I sure was going to try. Apparently we ran the last .1 miles of that race at a 7:35 pace. I crossed the finish in 30:05. Slightly short of my goal, but a 53 second PR. I would take it. I was happy. I couldn't pick my foot up to have them cut my chip off and I felt nauseous, but I was happy.
After the finish...thought I was dying.
After I gained my composure I walked around to find some friends. Everyone did an amazing job. None of us got under 30 minutes, but Leah and I both finished in 30:05. And that was a PR for us both. We were excited. I also realized I ran about 45 seconds to a full minute faster per mile than my typical 5k. That made me happy as well. I was improving and I was excited. We all hung out for a bit after the race, talking about running of course. Marathon training, the Disney races, and how we were going to meet our goal at RAP River were all on topic. And then of course, we took pictures.
The "Trying to Sub 30" group.
Now it's on to more training because I KNOW I will meet my sub 30 goal!