Ok, so I was originally supposed to run the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile. My head and lack of training got in the way and talked me down to the 5k. And I'm honestly glad for that. At 7:00 yesterday morning, as I watched the waves of runners go by, I was so, so glad I was waiting for the 5k to start.
A 5k - 3.1 miles. A whole 5k worth of confidence.
I weighed my options between both races very seriously. Did I want to just finish a 10 mile run, and possibly not be able to, and very possibly quit running after the race? Or did I want to try for a time in the 5k, feel great about it, keep running, but maybe deal with a twinge of guilt for not trying the 10 mile.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="225"] Pre-race[/caption]
So I went with 5k, understanding that I wanted a sub-30 time, also understanding that I have no idea how to pace myself without a treadmill. Ahem.
I lined up, near the start, and nudged myself and my friend (whose goal was to run the first mile) closer and closer to the front. Might as well start at the front of the pack! We were probably the first 100 over the line.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300"] 5k start[/caption]
And then we were off. A jog really for me, but I was enjoying my friend's company and I was afraid of going out too fast. I stayed with my friend at a really easy jog till the first "hill" (on a very flat course). My feet were itching to go faster, and I just hate jogging up hills. So I bid farewell to my friend, and really started running. I got to the first mile at 11:20.
And my heart and brain shouted "CRAP!" So I picked up my pace. I got to the 2nd mile at 21:56 - the ten minute mile that is so comfortable for me. But a third ten-plus minute mile wasn't getting me that sub-thirty time! So I picked up my pace. And picked it up again, and kept increasing my speed and passing people and passing more people... which felt great, but also felt stupid - I should have just been faster all along!
I got to the 3 mile mark - just one tenth of a mile to go, and really tried to pick up my pace just a little bit more, but my legs were all "hey crazy lady, how much faster do you think we can move? c'mon!" So I just kept up as fast as I could.
And then I saw it. The clock on the finish. The clock that was reading 29:43. And I knew somewhere in me that it took me a little to get over the start, and that I was getting my sub-30, but I just needed in my heart for the CLOCK to be under 30 minutes when I crossed that finish line.
So I gave every single last drop I had in me. And I crossed at 29:55. An adjusted time of 29:40. And I am so, so, very proud of my time.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="225"] Post-race[/caption]
However, I really couldn't done a worse job pacing myself! A sub-8 minute mile for the last mile? STUPID! I could have run 3.1 9-minute miles and gotten an even better time!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="225"] Cherry Blossoms[/caption]
Or. I could have run ten 10-minute miles. Because I obviously have more run in me than I knew.
I am not disappointed in myself in the least. I am really proud of myself for running at all, the past few months. I am really proud of myself for getting that sub-30 time, come hell or high water. I am really proud of myself that now I know I can run a 10 mile race. And I am really, really proud to say I know I'll run it next year.
And who knows - maybe next year, the cherry blossoms will actually be open!