29 March 2016

The Unexpectedly Awesome Race

Confession: I really started to hate running at the end of last year.

After the Kiawah Half, I was done for quite a while. I didn't put on my running shoes for almost two whole months. I didn't want to run on the treadmill. I didn't want to wake up early on Saturday mornings to go run. I didn't want to run in the cold or the rain or at all really. Anyone remember this face post Kiawah Half?



But I also didn't want to give it up.

The last few weeks have reminded me of all of the reasons I like running. There have been good runs after work in the 75 degree sunshine. There were two 5K races. There was a 4.6 mile run. There was a shopping trip for new running tank tops, a sports bra, and another pair of running shorts. There was a track night at the local high school where we focused on speed and where I averaged a 8:25 pace for the repeats.

Then there was the 5K this past Saturday. The YMCA Bunny Hop 5K. The race that I ran last year and didn't love, even though I set a PR in it.

This year looked awfully familiar: humid and a threat of rain. But when the race started this time around, I did not take off at as fast of a pace as I did last year.



Mile 1
I kept repeating "run slow" in my head for almost the entire first mile. It wasn't that I wanted to run slow, it's just that I didn't want to burn out in the first mile like I did the year before. When I saw the mile marker and the water station for mile one, I was pumped. Not only did I not want to pass out or walk or grab water, but I was feeling pretty good at this point of the race.

Mile 2
Mile 2 was basically a repeat of the last part of mile 1. The course has a loop set up on it that you run twice in the middle miles of the race, which made mile 2 easier. I knew exactly what I was running because I had just run it. The difficult part? You catch up to the back end of the race with the walkers and the dogs and the baby strollers and the little kids who can't run in a straight line to save their lives. It also meant that the super fast people who finished the race in 17 minutes passed me at one point... including some runner dressed up in a full Easter bunny costume.

Mile 3
In mile 3, I saw every place that I wanted to stop last year. Didn't stop this year. I saw the exact spot I was when the sky fell out. I kept going which was all that mattered. At some point, I felt like I wasn't running as fast as I could be running. It was more like I was running to not burn out before the end of the race/be able to finish the race without needing to stop. It was like I was just hanging out in cruise control.

Mile 3.1
Confession #2: because I felt like I was running at cruise control, I didn't push myself at the end of the race. I was content that I would finish somewhere around the same time as the Get to the Green 5K and definitely under 30 min. When the race clock came into view, I was right on the money. It said 29:15. Good. I had 45 seconds to run the last tenth of a mile and call it a day.

But then I got closer.

It didn't say 29. It said 28!

Y'all, I kicked it into high gear when I realized that I could not only PR, but beat my old PR by a good 15-20 seconds.


Final Results
Watch Time - 28:36
Chip Time - 28:33 PR
Pace - 9:11/mile
Age Group - 4/25 {SO close to placing! Missed it by 15 seconds}
Gender - 43/207
Overall - 118/352

The biggest thing that I took away from this race was the reminder of why I run in the first place. I don't run to be faster than anyone else in the race. I run to be faster and better than I was yesterday. I run for the 2013 me who couldn't run a mile let alone run a 5K/8K/10K/half marathon. I run because I can. I run because I love the feeling of crossing the finish line knowing that I just set a new PR.

Here's how this race stacks up against some other recent ones:
Be a Fan 5K on 1/30/16 - 29:59
Get to the Green 5K on 3/19/16 - 29:25
Last year's Bunny Hop 5K - 29:09
ACC Championship 5K on 12/5/16 - 28:49 {previous PR}

Not only have I knocked a minute and a half off of my 2016 5K time, but I knocked off almost a minute off of the 5K from a week prior. Plus, I destroyed my course PR by almost 40 seconds and my old 5K PR by 16 seconds.

Win. Win. Win.

Bring on the next 5K on Saturday!

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Linking up with Tracy & Alyssa for Training for Tuesday.

alyssagoesbang

12 comments:

  1. Great job girl!! You've found a great groove and the best part is running a race where you've stopped before and didn't stop this time! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. Good work! I wouldn't call it "cruise control," I would call it "hitting your stride." Lol! I always have to pace myself. I'm terrible at figuring out what speed I'm running at, so instead I have to go by how my body feels (mostly lungs because that's my weak spot). Best race ever was the Reindeer Run back in December, because I hadn't quite lost my conditioning from doing a half in August and I got under 11 min miles for the first time ever! Now I'm back to struggling with a mile, which is a huge bummer, but at least I know I'm capable of working back up.

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  3. Good job for beating your PR girl! That's awesome! I was running for awhile and then I just stopped and I haven't ran in like a year now. I just can't find the motivation to do it so I applaud you for taking a break and getting back into it! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  4. That's awesome! I love reading your running posts, because I feel like we're usually on the same page. I hit such a wall with running after the Thunder Road Marathon in 2014...I still ran but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did before. I'm finally getting back in the swing of things and love going outside to get a good run in! Congrats on the PR!

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  5. I loved reading your race recap since I have a 5k I'm so nervous about coming up pretty soon. Huge congratulations on your PR & being so close to placing-- finishing 4th in your age group is amazing!

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  6. I love that you thought it was 29! What a fun surprise that must have been. Some days are better than others, but it looks like you are back on a roll. Also- please use the sad half marathon picture on a weekly basis... it is too funny :)

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  7. Great job! I used to run 5k's and haven't in years, you are inspiring me to get back out there!

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  8. So awesome!! What a pleasant surprise. Congrats on your PR and for that reminder we all need from time to time—why we're really doing this crazy running thing :) Thanks for linking up!

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  9. That face! I'm so glad you've gotten some good runs in lately and remember why you do it, because you are killing it! I like running races I've run before because I like seeing those spots where I felt horrible and wanted to quit...I'm always more motivated to be strong the second time around. Congrats on a new PR - can't wait to see what you do next!

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  10. Huge congrats, girl! You're so inspiring with all your running - almost making this non-runner want to get out there and do it... almost! Love how many improvements you made and accomplishments in this one race!

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  11. Congrats!!! A PR is always such a great feeling. So glad you had a better experience with this run.

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  12. damn, you go girl! seriously, win all the wins. but also, the fact that you remembered why you liked running and didn't hate this race? biggest win of all. i need to get back to that. i don't hate running, but i don't love it right now. that might be the treadmills fault.

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