Saturday I did something I’ve never done before: I did day-of registration for a race. I used to plan months in advanced and train specifically for a race, but with all of the training and running I’ve been doing lately, I knew 3.1 miles would be fine. I woke up early Saturday morning to help M get ready for work and I had to decide between going to CrossFit or run in the Race for the Cure downtown. I was still pretty sore from Friday’s WOD, so I decided it’d be fun to go for a shake-out run with 8,000+ of my closest friends.
I met up with a couple of my friends before the race and did some dynamic warm-ups and stretches. The weather was uncommonly warm–I remember running in long sleeves in past Race for the Cures, but this time I was able to rock my SweatPink tank!
I went into the race just wanting to push myself and see what my time would be. I haven’t run in a race since the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon, but I’ve always loved the Race for the Cure–it was my very first 5K (first race, period) back in 2009, and I’ve only missed it once (which was last year because it was the morning of my wedding and I didn’t have the time to squeeze it in).
The start of the race was crazy–so jam packed with tons of people. I ended up starting near the back half with my friends because we lost track of time, but it wasn’t too hard to weave in and out of traffic. It’s frustrating to me how some races don’t separate runners from walkers. They’ll announce “Walkers, please line up in the back” but most don’t follow and will be in the front. I think with bigger races like this there needs to be staggered starts (a couple of years ago they actually ran 2 races–one timed for the competitors, one not timed that started 30 minutes after…it worked great!). It was an out-and-back course, which is a change from years past, so that was a little boring. However, it was nice because the first half was all uphill, while the second half was downhill. Towards the end of the race I actually started to get tired–my legs had finally worked out their soreness, but now they were tired–but I saw the finish line up ahead so I kept pushing through.
No wonder I was feeling so tired: My final time was 26:46 (official chip time)!! I crushed my 5K personal record by more than one minute from the Alltech Countryside Canter last November! According to my RunKeeper app, here were my splits:
Mile 1: 8:34
Mile 2: 8:37
Mile 3: 7:55
Did you see that third mile?? 7:55? That’s the fastest I’ve ever run a mile!
I felt awesome, totally proud of myself. I remember when I ran this 5K the first time in 2009, I walked once or twice. This time it was like a walk in the park. I have to say that I haven’t felt so fit and so strong ever in my life. I’m running only once or twice (if I’m lucky) a week, and doing CrossFit at Man O’War CrossFit everyday, and I think that has been a big difference maker for me. I’m so much happier after discovering CrossFit.
The results still aren’t up, so I don’t know where I finished in my age division, but that’s OK!
Your turn: What was your first 5K (or race)? How different do you feel now compared to then?