Monday: 4.2 easy 9:12/pace, 15 min back, 10 min abs
The morning started with eating peanut butter toast and coffee as my pre-race meal and sipping on water before the race. It was a 40 min drive to Arlington, VA and it was a cold morning, but the park was pretty where the race was held.
My coach wanted me to maintain a 6:55/pace and I went into the race with the Garmin set just to show Time & Pace. I didn’t want to deal with knowing how far I had left, so the plan was just to check on pace here and there. I did a mile warm up and then did my skips, dynamic stretches and strides.
I made sure I was near the front of the pack when the race started (it was a small group, i believe 95 runners?) and I wasn’t trying to waste time weaving around people on the small bike path. I’ve always been too polite when it comes to the starting lines at races, but I have a new basic rule that hopefully will get passed around and start lines will be slightly easier to navigate.
Rule when there are no corrals: Start where you expect to finish. If you believe you are a top competitor in a race, start near the front. If this is your first 5k and will be doing a lot of walking, start toward the back. If you’re running with a few friends for fun (say that 5x fast) hangout in the middle of the pack. Don’t take seconds away from people trying to PR just because you want to start near the front for some reason. Got it? Great.
Back to the race… I started around a 6:25 pace and realized i was going to fizzle out if i tried to stay there, so i found the groove at 6:45-7:00 pace and just cruised. I know everyone’s looking for an amazing PR story, but this was a time trial race and i’ve been so used to just “hanging on” to a certain pace on the treadmill, this wasn’t much different. I knew all those treadmill miles were gonna pay off somehow! And I do what I do best when I’m uncomfortable: I focus on form, my footfall and breathing. Having Coach Lauren tell me I should be able to maintain a 6:55 was also important. I trusted the training and her opinions completely and knew this pace was doable.
My legs didn’t start to hurt until the last mile and I was running alone except for yellow shirt guy in front of me. I just tried to catch him during last part of the race. I never did, but I believe he helped pace me and also helped me from not getting lost. While running that uncomfortably fast it’s hard to think of anything except running and pain and I really thought if I lost yellow shirt guy I was going to make a wrong turn.
I crossed the line in 21:21 with a distance of 3.14, my official time was listed as 21:24, but we weren’t individually chip timed, so those extra few seconds were from me starting behind people at the start. I’m going to list my PR as 21:21 according to me and Mr. Garmin. I finished as the 2nd female overall.
I’m very proud that I didn’t go out too fast, hurt too much or have to walk. I know now that pre-race warm ups are key to getting the body ready to run fast. Thanks again to my coach for teaching me about the importance of warm ups before speed work!
Then I got Starbucks.
This was my first time doing a tune up or time trial race before a goal race. It was super helpful and will give my coach and I a better idea of an attainable half marathon pace for me. Oh, and it’s a huge confidence booster. I highly recommend it.
Random fact, as soon as I found out about my 2nd place, that I just got the silver medal, and I did better than the USA Hockey team.. but then I gave this face…
**Just in case you don’t realize, i’m super sarcastic and am very proud and excited about 2nd place.. i just thought it was funny because we’ve been constantly talking about silver medalists and I just can’t quit McKayla!
Anyone ever have a McKayla Maroney moment?
I’m just gonna call them an MMM’s from now on. I seem to have them often.
What’s your 5k PR?