I have pretty much been training for long races since last year. I have thrown in a 5k here and there, but speed has not been a priority.
When I was training for my marathon last year, I did seem to get faster the stronger I got. I also ran with some speedy people and that surely helped too. In October, I ran a 5k with Michael who paced me and got me to my very first sub 30 5k. It was even good enough for a first place age group award. My official time was 29:56 and I was happy with that but knew I would eventually try and beat it.
Three weeks ago, when I ran with Andy, we came pretty close but smiling little kids came out to run with us and we couldn't let them down. So this past Saturday, I had my mind set on the Narrow River 5k. This would be the third year I was running it. It is a race that is just 6 miles from my home and the course is on roads I run daily.
It is a pretty small race, which is another reason I like it. Last year I placed fourth in my AG with a time of 31:32. There were just 93 people who ran the 5k last year. There is also a 10k but I have not raced that one yet.
This race is so close to home and has a 10 am start, it was nice not to have to go to bed super early and set the alarm. In fact, I didn't even pre-register.
Elaine was running this year, so I picked her up and we headed to the beach. We were getting blown away by the wind while we were registering and it was a bit cold. It was nice to get back in the truck to put our numbers on. I used my inhaler, had a drink of water and then we headed to the bus that would take us to the start of the 5k.
The further we got from the beach the warmer it got. We only had to wait about 15 minutes before we had to line up.
We were pretty close to the front but that is easy to do in a small race. I wished Elaine a good race and before you knew it, we were off.
Elaine went out fast and I wasn't too far behind her. I realize not too many people were passing me. The pace I was running was fast and even though my chest felt heavy, I held it for a bit and didn't look at my watch. I realized about a quarter mile or so in, that I could still see Elaine. Not only that, there were only about 20 people ahead of me. I looked at my watch and saw 8:04! There was no way I wasn't holding that pace for much longer and I wasn't really prepared to be running that fast anyway. I slowed down and found a nice 9:24 pace. I was happy here for awhile.
The first water stop was at the top of the first hill. I slowed, grabbed water and kept running. Soon after that, the 10k racers were heading towards me. I struggled with hills here and my chest was still so heavy and my breathing was loud and unsteady. I pushed though but slowed to a 10:12 pace. I was still hoping for the sub 30.
It was getting warm and the air was soupy. I was finally on Route 1A and saw the five mile sign for the 10k runners. That meant only 1.10 for me. I looked at my Garmin and it was not on the screen that showed how long I was running. I tried to change it but it was stuck, again! Come on Bia, I can't wait much longer!
I was wearing my headphones since I was running alone, but I heard my name being called. I looked across the road and Michelle was running with some friends. It was so nice to see a friendly face and that usually helps but I just did not feel good. I got water at the next stop and decided to pull of the road and use my inhaler.
I am pretty sure I would go to jail for the use of curse words that I was thinking and maybe saying out loud if anyone heard me. Actually, I am pretty sure at least one person heard me.
I walked to compose myself and then started running again. Soon I saw Elaine running towards me. I know I asked her what the clock said but I am not sure what she said. She told me to keep running and pick it up when I hit the white sign coming up. I did that but saw the clock and new I wasn't going to make it. I finished in 30:13 which was a pace of 9:45. That got me 9th in my age group, 20th female and 46th overall out of 123 runners. I missed a PR by 18 freaking seconds.
You know me. I am usually an, "Oh, it's ok" kind of girl, but not this time. I was so angry with myself. So mad that I went out too fast, mad that I had asthma, mad that I couldn't lose just 18 seconds, mad that I slowed down for the first water stop in a 5k, mad that my Garmin is not working correctly, etc.... You get the point.
I calmed down, got water and some food. I asked Elaine how her race was and her answer totally cheered me up. She placed first in her age group and was the second overall female. She finished in 23 minutes! We had to hang around for her award. Congrats to you my friend. You rocked that race!
So bottom line, is I need to get over it. I have not been training for speedy 5k's. And honestly, that is a pretty good time and pace for me. It was also a course PR for me and that is pretty cool too. I have to really focus on swimming and biking right now because apparently I can't use a kick board in the ocean or use a motor during the Rhode Warrior.
As always, thanks for reading.
Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole