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 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!
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 :(