This morning was a semi-reluctant race morning. Chris had his 10k which he was not all that up for, and I had a 5k which was my semi-secret 5k fall race goal.
Back in May after running my first 5k in 28:28 I set a fall goal time of 26:XX. I had 4 5k's over the summer (one that I totally bombed on), and the other two I ticked off some seconds in the 27 minute range. I thought I was capable of 26:XX back in September, but I missed in by a few seconds. I was having a hard time pushing myself to the point of pain (which my running husband tells me is needed to get a full test of my potential). With my half marathon only three weeks ago, I was still tired from that experience. All in all I just didn't know what I was going to do today or what I was capable of doing.
The race was held at a local metro park, and the advertisement said paved/gravel surface with rolling hills. WELL......note to self take better note of the course description. The gravel was NOT nice crushed gravel, but real rock size gravel. Oh and the hills, I live in central Ohio and we just don't have hills. Somehow they made a park out of a surrounding flat area, and tossed in some wonderful hills. Chris was in his racing flats and could feel every stone when we went out for our warm up mile. From the start we had no idea what type of hills we would come across along the course, but lets just say that our training runs did not prepare us for what we had today.
The 5k started off 10 minutes before the 10k, so I gave Chris a good luck kiss and set off to line up. With no chip timing system I wanted to get close to the start, but not have a bunch of people passing me. Well I never had to really deal with other runners passing me. I had one girl start next to me, and take off in front and then one person that actually passed me on the course (it took a lot for me not to go after her, the the gravel kind of stopped me).
Mile 1 was 8:15, I have never in my life ran a mile that fast (let me note I have never tried to run just 1 mile all out either). I saw on my watch that I was pulling a pretty fast time, but I told myself to just go with it. Mile 1 also had a very steep hill that I lost my footing trying to go up and slid a few times.
Mile 2 was 8:41, I got a side stitch and knew I had slowed down to try and get rid of it. I also had some very consistent rolling hills and I spent a lot of time watching my footing because of the gravel. I remember thinking that maybe I would just have to can a PR, because I was having such a hard time.
Mile 3 was 8:24, I kept telling myself I was good as pushing it that last mile and I just needed to do it again. I really tried to focus on points I knew on the course that meant I was closer to the finish, and I think it helped. I also saw Chris go by me at this point and he was 4th or 5th position. Again the hill that I had the most trouble going up, gave me issues going down. This time I almost fell on my butt, somehow I managed to hold on and online slide and roll a ankle or two.
As I headed down the straight away and rounded the turn I saw the clock tick of 25:54. I knew I was at least ten seconds from the finish and although ecstatic to hit my fall goal time, I must admit I was a tad crushed to watch 25 minutes pass me. 26:09 is what I have on my Garmin and that meant a 1 minute PR. As I crossed the finish line I was handed a race award, and then collapsed on the ground for a few minutes. A few minutes later I actually looked at the award and was pretty surprised to see I won 1st in my age group 20-29.
After I was done I waited for Chris to round the finish for his 10k with a fellow runner from the CRC group. The first 4-5 runners in the 10k were pretty spread apart (which included Chris). The first guy came by with room to spare for the second place finisher. As Chris rounded the corner as the 4th overall male finisher he looked strong and came across in 41:XX. It wasn't a PR for him, but he also wasn't really expecting one since he wasn't feeling 100% from the marathon 3 weeks ago. Even without a PR he came across well in front of the 5th place finisher, and won 1st in his age group 20-29 too.
Up next for me will be another 5k in two weeks. If all goes well I may just see if I can take off those last few seconds to get me into the 25:XX range....we will just have to wait and see.
I am 29 and married to my best friend. We met while in high school, and continued onto Capital University together. On October 2, 2005 our dreams become reality. Since then we have worked on our careers, and building our home with our little prince, Jinx. This is our journey...mostly our running journey.