I’ve been doing an insane amount of running these past few weeks, and its been showing – in terms of mileage (39 mileage week three weeks ago and another one last week) and in terms of pace and strength. Definitely feeling the best that I have in terms of health wise body and mind in a very long time. And as a result of all this running fun, I signed up for PRR’s Run Your Heart Out 5k Sunday, February 9.
Going into the race, I knew I wanted to push myself to see where my fitness was at, to get a good evaluation of my speed and strength as I began week three of theCherry Blossom Ten Miler training program I am doing with CUCB, New Balance & PRR (Its a free virtual training program they offered to all participating runners). Other than that I had no goals, other than to try to be somewhere around 21:15 (my PR).
Race morning came, and I hopped in the car with my friends from PRR, Ashley, Amanda and Dustin, and headed out to Reston, VA. It was COLD out, but we grabbed our bibs, hit the INDOOR bathrooms and hung out til race time. We also saw a few of our other fellow PRR friends there as well (shoutout to Lauren & Becki!).
At 9:01 it was go time and we were off.
The race starts on the track, and then heads down a huge hill into the woods, where the course winds and turns and goes on lots of little ups and downs before returning the to the huge hill we went down which we had to CLIMB just about a 1/4 mile from the finish. That hill was HORRIBLE. It caused me to slow down significantly and to almost lose my breakfast at the top. And then I felt awful as I had to run into the finish.
Then the course finished on the track, and I felt and finished strong – surprised to see the time of 21:07 on the clock, which meant a shiny new PR!
All in all I was happy with my performance. I also know that but for the hill at the end, I would’ve likely broken 21:00, which would’ve been amazing and has been my goal for a long time. Additionally, I learned that in the case of the 5k, I can’t look at my watch. I looked 1 or 2 times just to see mileage, but I never once looked at my pace and just kept running hard and trying to pick off the person in front of me (which I did quite more often than being passed), and it worked! I was able to shave 8 seconds off my PR – and am seeing that 20:xx goal come within reach!
A nice surprise was also placing 2nd in my AG – something I never expected to happen since the PRR races generally have an extremely fast field (hello, the girl who won it ran it in 16 and some change), but it was a nice way to round out a PR race for me!
Next up? I’m looking for another 5k in about a month or so — hopefully something without the hill of death at the end to make that 20:xx a little easier. And then I’m training, as mentioned before, for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. My goal for that is to run a consistent race, and hopefully at my 10k PR pace from this fall. Lofty goals, but something I definitely think is feasible.
What races are on your schedule this spring? What fitness goals do you have? I was supposed to run a marathon, but I decided that right now, I don’t have the time or the ability to train and so I am deferring. I hate doing it, but I know its the right decision for me, especially having been plagued with a series of injuries since fall 2012. A marathon is in my future, I just need to find the right one and the right time to train properly – I am finally admitting I have too much on my plate.