So, I'll cut to the chase and say that I finally, finally, FINALLY PRed in the 5K! Did you know that the 19:21 was from September, 2008!!???!!! It was so nice to see that go away.
I was really on the fence about where to race this past weekend. This is prime racing season around the gulf, so there were at least 3 choices. I left early Saturday morning and had zero trouble finding it, which was likely my lucky sign, considering I get lost almost every time I go somewhere new.
We did an easy 1.5 miles and already it was blazing hot. My stomach was also feeling sort of sick, likely from the new iron supplement I have been taking. I didn't think this was a good sign, especially since I had already run 55 miles so far that week. My famous last words were when a friend asked me what I hoped to run. I said I'd be happy with anything under 20. The course was rolling (not hilly, just slight rollers); the temps were blazing, and I already had a good number of miles on the leggies. Plus, in general, my racing has been stinking like rotten eggs. Sandy pointed out a man that was supposed to run about 19:20-19:30 and suggested I follow him. That sounded like a good idea, so we were off!
Mile 1 felt easy, breezy, and beautiful. I stayed with Suggested Man and the First Female was a pretty good clip ahead of me. We were running with Another Man, too. 6:03- too fast!
Mile 2: The Other Man pulled away from Suggested Man, and I decided to, also. I was making a little ground on First Female. This mile included a horseshoe turn, and I am never really good at those. 6:13
Mile 3: I left Other Man and caught up to First Female. She was looking really good and strong, but slowed down a bit. This was my favorite mile b/c we passed the water (bayside) and there was a slight downhill. I didn't dare look back, but I was pretty sure I had left former-First Female for good. At this point, I started doing a little calculating in my head. (We've already established this is never a good idea during the race.) According to Garmin, I knew PR was a possibility. To tell you how bad my running-whilst-calculating skills are, I thought I would barely break 19:21 (former PR). So, I started kicking it in as much as possible. 6:47 (for 1.1)
*Let me just say something crazy here for a moment. I have been that girl that has been passed many, many times. It stinks to get passed after leading a race. On the rare times that I've moved from 2nd to 1st, or 3rd to 2nd, I always feel a little bit guilty. The gals are always nice, and I know they are working hard. It just seems mean to do that to someone. But... it is a *race* after all, and there will always be time after the race to exchange niceties.
The end of mile 3 began the steepest hill of the race, followed by a sharp left turn to the finish line. This part totally gassed me. It wasn't ALL that steep, just taxing that late in the race. The RD was calling out times, telling me I could maybe break 19. Huh???? Break 19????? Wowzers, really? I "turned and burned¨ the last bit to the finish line.
Final 19:03 or 4 (um, forgot to stop Garmin EXACTLY at line)
After the race, I had an enjoyable cool down of 5 miles, along with a super post-race party experience. I say this all the time, but it's always fun for me to be around other runners. I've made so many new friends and met so many amazing people through running. I really feel blessed about that!
Well, to say that I was pleased is an understatement. Not because I think that is some rocking 5K time, but it shows one major, huge thing to me- I HAVE MADE PROGRESS!!!!! I know 5K doesn't mean diddly when calculating marathon times, but it does show fitness and that I've made an improvement in my fitness. YEAH!
It's ironic how things in life just happen when you are least expecting it. This is true with running and other life things. It seems at times when you are at the bottom of the barrel, there¡¦s a small glimmer of hope, whether it's a new PR, a small success in your job, or meeting new friends. :)