HELLO NEW 5K PR!!! This morning I ran the Greenlawn Fire Department, Engine Company, Halloween 5K and was really pleased with not only the race, the organizers, and the weather (upper 50s, sunny but shaded by lots of trees on the course), but my 25:06 finish (8:05 pace). I beat my last 5K, which was 3 weeks ago, by 20 seconds.
My last three 5K races show a steady improvement:
Commack 5K, Aug. 12 – Time 26:39 / Pace: 8:34
Elwood 5K, Oct. 1 – Time 25:26 / Pace 8:12
Greenlawn 5K, Oct. 21 – Time 25:06 / Pace: 8:05
Here I am jumping after the race next to the parking lot, because I am very cool:
I really want to run a sub 8:00 pace 5K. That’s one of my goals, and I think I’m close to breaking it. That would be, at most, a 24:48 finish – just 18 seconds faster than today.
The frustrating thing is, I think I could have done it. I think I held back.
First of all, I should mention that this local 5K was a costume-optional race, so some people came dressed up. I did not because I am a no-fun bore. Here are some of my favorites:
I think Halloween is fun, but I also think it’s for kids. And like, maybe if I had kids, I would dress up? And care about it? But I don’t have kids. I showed up to this thing alone. I knew no one. I was fine in my tank top and leggings.
This was a really nice course: a clockwise loop with a few dips and inclines, but no crazy hills. Traffic was closed for some of the roads but not all, so we had to stick to the shoulder for some of it. I discretely found myself a pacer: let’s call him Blue T-shirt Guy. Blue T-shirt Guy was maybe 20-30 feet in front of me for the first two miles and was running a good pace for me to follow: pushing but nothing I couldn’t handle. I stayed behind him until we hit the 3-mile mark and then it hit me: I could be going faster. I had been so fixated on Blue T-shirt Guy, I forgot to check in with myself and, you know, race against myself.
So with one mile left, I focused my gaze straight ahead and kind of imagined a rope was pulling my body forward. It was a slow and steady quickening, and I soon pulled ahead of Blue T-shirt Guy, never to see him again. Well, I mean I saw him afterwards. He didn’t die or anything.
For the last three-quarters of a mile, I found myself running alongside two younger ladies as they became my new unknowing pacers. We all finished within seconds of each other. Thank you younger ladies!
As I approached the finish, I think I knew right then that I’d had enough gas to go harder during the race. I think I actually felt too comfortable throughout. Maybe next time I’ll allow room for a little more discomfort and see if I can get my 7-something time.
And here’s a fun fact: the overall female winner, who is my age, is the SAME overall female winner of the last 5K I did. And since overall winners don’t get age group medals, I have received the 1st place age group medal in BOTH races. I actually want to meet her at this point. She’s become a mini-celeb in my eyes.
After the race, I had one of my favorite decadent snacks: a Dunkin’ Donuts plain old-fashioned donut with black coffee. Unadorned. Simple. Classic. Delicious. Dunkin’ Donuts. This is not an ad.