For the fourth straight year I started my Thanksgiving off with a 5K road race that makes me more nervous than a marathon due its proximity to home and the fact that it is a distance at which I am not very confident.
When I am nervous, I apparently make really weird faces.
To give you a bit of my history with this race, my times in the past have been:
And today’s race, which we’ll get to in a moment.
I realize that my biggest problem at the 5K distance is the fact that I go out too fast and fade around mile 1.75.
Today my goal was to PR, pure and simple. I had no notions of placing, just to run as fast as possible without slowing down.
To achieve that I hired a rabbit: MFP. I told him to yell at me and make me swear under my breath at him at mile 2 so that I would not fade. I have no problem running and swearing at the same time. It’s a special talent of mine.
Since I had recently run a 5k, I remembered that about halfway through the first mile you feel like you want to step off to the curb and quit. And so when that time came, I tried to embrace that feeling and remind myself that it just means that I am running fast. And that it is okay to hurt. A lot.
I kept trying to channel the last 100 meters of the 800s I have been doing. It’s almost over. Just hold on. Almost there.
In addition, I lined up for this race just behind some of the bright young stars from our youth cross country team and gave them this challenge:
“Don’t let Coach Rebecca pass you!”
I played cat and mouse with a 6th grade girl, but she met the challenge and passed me handily by the last 400 meters. Ironically, I was pleased. Otherwise it would have been a bit awkward.
After much huffing, puffing and silent swearing, I came around the final curve and saw a clock for the first time. It was still on 20. I sprinted my heart out to get under 21. Well, the sort of sprint a 41 year old woman does anyway.
Unofficial time: 20:58? (ETA Official time: 20:47. Yippee.) We do not have official results, because the timing company does not post results at the race; instead we get to wait until they are posted online some time tonight. (I have a feeling all of the #runnerds are going to do some complaining. Also, they decided to not give age group awards, which the #runnerds will most likely also complain about. I don’t know anyone who is a #runnerd, of course. But I have a suspicion that they might not be happy that they have to compete with 16-year-olds for recognition. Just a hunch.)
The boys decided not to race today because they are fighting a cold. Two stayed in bed and one came to cheer me on anyway. Non-teenagers are good like that.
Overall, I am happy with today’s race. My goal is to run shorter races in the short-term to get faster in the long-term.
And since the last two races have both been personal records, I plan to stay the course and keep on chipping away at my times. Even if it means that I have to silently swear a bit here and there.