I hate 5k's. They are so hard. There's no easing into things. There's no warm up time. It's just balls to the wall (as Janz's grandpa puts it!) from the very beginning. I don't know how to pace myself really well and as a result I usually either go out too fast or too slow. But I have told myself that I need to do more of these smaller races to gain experience, use them as a sort of speed work, and overcome my fears. Truthfully, before last December, I had only run 1 5k in my life. And it was for a dear friend who had lost her son. He had been an organ donor and we did it in his honor. I was injured and my time was not great (31 something...) and I had no desire to do another. Well I guess I did a Santa Run 5k but that was just for the pictures and the cookies and milk. And we finished that in 31:49.
This year I've done 3 now. (26:40, 28:36 (barefoot), 27:25) And this one was the one that I felt the most pressure behind it. The chiropractor that I've gone to in the past to help with my IT band issues was putting on a 5k. They do it to raise funds for the pregnancy center in our town. I've had a really good relationship with my chiropractor. He's been so good to help with my issues. But he's not sold on the barefoot running thing so I felt like I had something to prove. Pretty silly, I know. So I showed up in my running sandals ready to go. Truthfully, I didn't know how it was going to go. You just never know what kind of running day it's going to be.
The "before" picture. Me, Jodi, and Robyn
I started off at a comfortable fast pace. There were a couple of times in the first mile that I wanted to go faster but wasn't sure if I could sustain it or not so I backed off. But after the mile and a half marker I just let it go. There were some good uphills as well as downhills, nothing too major, just slight inclines. And on the last 1/2 mile uphill I pushed it. I'm a little better on the inclines than the declines. I was coming up on a girl I knew was in my age group who I never thought I'd ever be able to keep up with. I was feeling the need to puke because I was pushing it so hard. I contemplated backing off. But just decided to keep going. I was on a crazy mission to see what I could do, what I could physically and mentally push through. So I began dry heaving while I was running. Not a pretty picture I'm sure. I caught up to her, said hi, and passed slowly. She caught up to me and passed me. Now I am not a competitive person, but I wasn't in the mood to be passed at this point in the race. So I picked it up and passed her. Another girl caught up. Pretty soon we were in a 3 way sprint to the finish. I came in second in that little fight but ahead of the girl in my age group. It was a pretty exciting finish! I didn't even hear my time but I filled out my card and went over to get a drink. It wasn't until about 15 minutes later that I found my time card and discovered that I'd won 3rd in my age group and scored a new PR of 24:50. Shocked doesn't even begin to explain what I was thinking. And really worry because I don't know if I'll ever beat that!
Jodi and I both took 3rd in our age groups!
I had a nice chat with my Dr. and it was good to catch up. I don't know how he feels about barefoot running, but he said it was obviously doing good things for me. I passed my year mark of barefoot and minimalist running a couple of weeks ago and I still need to do a post on that.
After the awards Jodi and I downed some chocolate milk and headed over to the bike/hiking trail that I've been building. It was the city's grand opening of the trail now that we have over a 2 mile loop completed. We ran it and though my legs were feeling a bit sluggish, we enjoyed the views and the conversation. It was a long day and by the end I was exhausted. Who knew a 5k could take so much out of you!
Love them or do you long for distance? I have to say that I long for distance but there was a definite feeling of accomplishment after this exciting finish!