Wahooooooooo!!!! Okay, I just needed to let that out : )
Yesterday’s 5k went way better than expected.
I woke up and got ready for what was going to be my coldest race to date.
I was glad that I had run an easy two miles the day before to get acclimated to the weather because holy freezing temps!
The race actually started pretty late, 9:00 a.m., giving it a chance to warm up. At go time it must have been around 35 degrees which I know isn’t technically cold, but for this girl it certainly is.
I went out with the mentality that I wanted to hang out in the 8 minute range throughout the race. I knew there was an almost mile long incline starting around mile 2 so I also wanted to make sure I had stamina to get through that.
The gun shot and we were off! There was the usual speedster crowd at the start and around the half mile it began to dissipate. I was feeling pretty good when my watch beeped the first mile complete and showed me 8:09. Yes! That was great news knowing that in about a half mile the incline would start. I turned the corner and there it was. I picked it up a little to adjust and kept trucking along. Mile two, 8:49. Yay! I was on cloud nine seeing that despite the long incline I had maintained an 8 something pace. I rode that high into the end of the race finishing at 25:44 (official time). Yes, 25:44, a new PR for me!!! I was in total shock. I had majorly surpassed my goal of finishing under 27:00.
My husband, who had finished earlier, was at the finish line with a look of astonishment. Once I crossed, he met me saying, “You are amazing!! Do you know what your time is? Under 26:00!!” I was so exhausted but thrilled I couldn’t even talk, I just let him envelope his arms around me.
Once I was able to catch my breath, we went to the racing station to check out where I had placed overall and if I would have a chance to place in my age group. I saw the 14-19 group and then mine, 20-29. I was a little bummed they hadn’t split my group as it had been the largest show and I ended up placing 4th, 8th overall for women, and 28th overall for the race. I was sad for maybe 2 seconds and then I remembered 25:44!!!!
On the car ride home, I told my husband of a funny thing that happened around mile two. After the crowd dissipated at the beginning, I found myself running alongside an older gentleman. We were running at the same pace and stayed together for about a mile when I passed him to adjust for the incline. He was still at earshot behind me (I was running with no music!) when I heard him say to another runner, “Don’t let her beat you.”
Was that “you” he was referring to me?
A few seconds later a tall blonde teen began to surge past me. My instincts reacted and I could feel my legs start to quicken but I immediately said to myself, “Helly, this is your race, your pace. Don’t ruin what you’ve got going on to try and show up someone else.”
I went back to my pace and let the blonde go. It wasn’t worth it.
Overall, I am beyond thrilled with the results of yesterday’s race. Not only did I get a better time than I expected, I feel like I’ve grown as a runner these past few months. My training has taught me so much. I very easily could have attempted to pass that girl but I knew that I would be risking burning myself out at the end. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have cared. Now, I know that the race wasn’t against her.
–What are some things you’ve learned as a runner?