Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Cherry Festival 5k and a new PR!

I just can't get enough PR's these days, it seems. Yesterday I set my 3rd 5k PR in a month. How crazy is that? I don't know if it's that I'm actually getting faster, or that I'm just developing a higher threshold for discomfort... although I suspect it's really some combination of the two.

I ran another sorta-last-minute race yesterday. I had been planning to go to the Washington Cherry Festival 5k, but I had not been planning on running it until about noon on Friday. My husband and a friend from FAST were going to run, and I was going to cheer them on. But, as it turns out, they were both injured and unable to run. So I did what any supportive and slightly crazed runner would do... I ran the race myself instead.

Around Mile 2 of yesterday's race, when I was hot, drenched and miserable, I came to the realization that I have had quite enough of the 5k scene for now, thankyouverymuch. I would have been so much more comfortable running a half-marathon in yesterday's weather (humid, rainy and warm). But I wasn't there to run a "leisurely" half-marathon pace. No, I was there to put the proverbial pedal to the proverbial metal. I wanted to break 26:00 in the 5k. How hard could it be?, I reasoned with myself. I was only 4 seconds away in my last 5k.

Well, it wasn't exactly a walk in the park. I have discovered, from racing several 5k's in recent weeks, that I am really not very good at pacing during the shorter distances. I always seem to go out too fast. This is so unlike me! I have always been an expert negative-splitter.... at the 10k distance and beyond. The 5k is different. It's over in the blink of an eye. Apparently my brain doesn't think I have time to be messing around with silly negative splits. When the gun goes off, my feet go crazy. I pay for it later, of course. As with my last 5k, I started off fast and got slower. This is something I really want to work on... but not this year. This year is my marathon year. The 5k training will have to wait.

Even though I slowed down over the course of the first 3 miles, I did at least have the decency to kick it up a notch for the final 0.1 miles. And then there she was. Some chick I didn't know. But she was running neck and neck with me. Well this simply won't do, I thought. So as we rounded the final turn and were heading to the finish line, I gave it everything I had and tried to outsprint her. And I had her! Until she outkicked me in the last 10 feet. DRAT! Turns out, she finished less than 1/4 second ahead of me. A QUARTER OF A SECOND! And to add insult to injury, she was in my age group. I don't know who she is, but I'm going to beat her next year. You can be sure of that.

So how'd I do? Not too shabby. I met my goal, so I am very happy about that. Officially, my finish time was 25:53 - 11 seconds faster than my previous PR. Considering the humidity yesterday, I think that's pretty cool. Also, I placed 6th in my age group, out of 39. I may not have gotten any kind of award for that, but believe me, I am proud. That puts me in the top 15% of women in my age group yesterday.

My poor injured husband had to stand around on the sidelines watching me run, when originally this was going to be his race. But he was able to get some video footage of the race, which I put together in a short movie:

You can see toward the end where I'm trying to beat that chick. I just ran out of steam too soon. I'll get her next year. GRRRRRRRRRR! You can also see some of my friends finishing too.

And here's my run data from the Garmin.

Given my history of running last-minute races recently, you may be wondering what I'm running next weekend... And the answer to that is "nothing but my normal training runs". You may scoff and say "We'll see about that..." But I assure you, next weekend I am taking it easy. I can't be running full-throttle every weekend.

Besides, the weekend after that (June19-20), I have three races in two days. *looks innocent*

Peace. Love. Train.

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