Monday, May 14, 2012

Breaking 20

I feel like there is a time barrier in every race distance that runners want to break through.  Every since I started racing 5ks (which was almost 7 years ago), I always wanted to break the 20 minute barrier.  At first I don't even think I knew what pace a sub 20 minute 5k was, but I wanted to run it. 

This weekend, for the 3rd year in a row, I ran the Pink Ribbon 5k which is a women's only race to raise awareness for breast cancer.  It is a fairly flat course with a downhill finish and I have set PRs on the course for the past two years.  I hoped that this year wouldn't be an exception.

Sunday was a perfect day for running but I was nervous.  I hadn't raced a 5k since November and with all the miles on my legs from marathon training and just entering tapering I was worried.  Warming up helped to loosen my legs and my nerves and as I lined up at the start with all the other women, I was calm and happy.

Front page of the local newspaper.
 The first mile, I just focused on NOT starting too fast.  I had no idea what my legs were capable of, so my goal was to keep it around 6:40 pace for the first mile.  My legs had other ideas and I went through the first mile in 6:36.  Not too much faster but I had to pull back a bit just to hit that pace.

The second mile had the turn around and so I started to see other women runners behind me.  They are always so supportive of the leader runners, they are cheering and happy.  It made me smile to see all the pink and all the women participating.  As I approached the second mile, I started to hear footsteps behind me and then a young girl blew past me like I was standing still.  I had no idea where she came from.  I just continued with my pace and came through the second mile in 6:26.

The last mile is a slight uphill but mostly downhill to the finish which I love.  There was a girl ahead of me and I focused on reeling her in and passing her.  I knew I was in 7th place at this point and I just wanted to move up in the standings.  I slowly caught up to her and passed her.  I could tell from her breathing that she was having trouble with the uphill and I knew I could beat her.

With about half a mile to go, my garmin said my overall pace was 6:30.  I knew a sub 20 minutes 5k was a 6:27 pace and I really thought I wasn't going to make it.  I just tried to reel in the next girl (the one who had blown past me).  I did end up catching up to her but could not pass her.  As I rounded the corner to the finish, my friends started cheering and yelling for me to pass her so of course she knew I was right behind her so she sped up too.

I finished the last mile in 6:17 and final 0.1 in 5:55 pace.  And I came in under 20 minutes!  I couldn't see the clock until I was right at the finish but I was so happy with my time!

19:53

I had done it!

It felt almost unbelievable that I had actually run that fast.  I guess I was just unsure if I could really do it.  I guess this takes away all my fears that marathon training actually makes you slower.

I came in 6th overall and set a new PR by about 40 seconds (previous PR from November was 20:30).  I was actually so nervous about the race, that I forgot the camera at home, so no pictures :(

27 comments:

Brittany said...

WOW!!! Way to go, that is SO awesome you speed demon! Congrats on your PR!

Jamie said...

Congratulations!!! You did amazing :) I would love to run a sub-20 minute 5K someday.

It seems like :53 was the magic number this weekend since my new PR was 25:53 :)

Melissa said...

That is so awesome! I am so in awe of those that can run those type of speeds...congratulations!!

Laura Boll said...

Amazing job! Sub-20 is my goal, too, but I have some speed work to do (20:46 pr now)... you ran this race perfectly, with your negative splits. Nice work!!

Gaspegirl said...

WOW! A big congratulations on your new PR under 20!! You are a rockstar

http://www.mommasweightloss.com

gfmedia said...

Way to go Jo! I knew you could do it! No let me get you out on the trails and we can push that down even farther. Heck just wait till you do a 5K AFTER your marathon, its goign to be insane!

Fair Weather Runner said...

SWEET! that's so awesome, has to feel amazing. congrats. you are going to destroy that marathon :)

Evolving Through Running said...

Awesome - congratulations! Sub-20 is amazing.

Elizabeth said...

HUGE, HUGE milestone! I'm so psyched for you. You ran a smart race. Love the photo, too.

Marlene said...

Holy smokes J, you are so fast! Love seeing you continue to bust PRs out even with marathon training. WAY TO GO!

Kelly Janowski said...

That is amazing! Congratulations.

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

What an awesome time! I rarely race 5ks, but they are so tough when I do.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

That is AWESOME!

I have only ever done one 5K and, oh man, was it ever TOUGH! Running fast is hard!

kilax said...

Awesome awesome PR! What an amazing race! I wish I could have seen you run it. It sounds like it was really exciting!

I think the way some people do marathon training does not equate to a 5K PR, but you are actually paying attention to your pace! Some people just attempt to get the miles in :)

Running Librarian said...

Way to go!! Sounds like it truely was a perfect day of running!

dreambigrunner.com said...

You are amazing! Breaking the 20 minute barrier is HUGE!! Congrats!!

Marathon training is my best speed work, I always get so fast after a marathon.

pinkflipflops said...

Congratulations! You are super fast!

Sian said...

Hi reading from the UK here. Love your blog - it's inspiring!

Well done on sub 20 - great job.

Running Junkie said...

Thats an awesome time! Congratulations! I've only done one 5K, and that was two years ago, so I'm planning on doing at least one this summer. My long distance pace has improved by about 1:30 per mile, so I'm excited to see what I can do in a 5K. Need to do some speed work though.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Way to go! You are so speedy! What a huge milestone for you. :)

Johann said...

That is fast! Well done!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Awesome job!

Redhead Running said...

You are officially my hero!!! Congrats girl, that is HUGE!!!

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Congrats! That is so incredible - and speedy!!!

Christy MyDirtRoadAnthem said...

NICE JOB! I hope someday to be that fast, you are awesome!

Allison said...

Congrats on the PR! That's so fast!

Suzy said...

Wow!! CONGRATULATIONS!! You keep getting faster.