Since my 50 state journey is nearing a close this year, I decided I finally want to get faster. I'm not the best with training plans, so I committed to at least doing 1 speed workout a week. After last week's double headers in Maine and New Hampshire, my calves were incredibly tight and by no means were they ready to tackle speeds on Wednesday (the day I designated my speedwork days)
Friday night I was texting my soon to be new roommate who is uuber fast, more on this exciting new information later, and she mentioned she was doing the Dairy Dash the next day and I should join in since they are both flat and fast.
I hate 5ks, I hate 10ks, but I knew I needed at least one day to practice going fast. I REALLY want a 10k redemption race since I've only ran one and it was in 1:00:01. My 7 miles during the half marathon is faster than that, so needless to say, one of these days I just need to suck it up and do one.
Although I do want my redemption race, it was pointed out to me that for working on turnover I would be better off doing the 5k so I could really push myself- so that is what I did.
As you might have guessed it, the race is sponsored by Purity Dairy, so not only are there a ton of their products at start / finish line, but the overall male and female winners get a YEAR's supply of ice cream. What is ironic is that proceeds of this race help fight juvenile diabetes... because that makes sense, especially the 100s of free Krispy Kremes given out before and after?!?!
Due to the great refreshments, along with a 1 mile fun run, 5k, 10k, and for the crazies running the 5k and 10k back to back, this is one of the larger shorter distanced races in Nashville--- as an added bonus, the race is held in Metro Center which is north of downtown.... one of the few rare completely flat areas in the city, aka fast times.
5k starts at 8am so I made sure to get there just a little after 7 to allow time for parking, registration, stretching etc. Thanks to the sock of the month discount (somf4) with Pro Compression, I was excited to rock my new purple compression socks! (the discount is also for baby blue, but I own that color already) This would also be the first time wearing my Saucony Viratas for a race-- I do love them, however I'm fairly confident I wouldn't be able to pull them off for a half marathon distance.
Weather was ABSOLUTELY pristine. Sunny outside, low 50s, no wind, really ideal racing temps
This is the first race in awhile that I did solo, so feeling like a loner I just stretched near a tree and kept to myself. I did have a few ladies that asked about my chevron skirt, but aside from that, I was pretty bored and kept an eye out for anyone I may know.... man I need to race in Nashville more often.
As we were nearing the start I realized my watch wasn't going to make it through the whole race due to low battery, rookie mistake. I had zero plans for this race other than to not die. Last 5k (real race, not virtual) was the Snowflake 5k back in December and to say I died would put it mildly... I walked a lot... DURING a 5k! Luckily there wasn't much competition in my age group and it still enabled me to place- I knew today would not be the same as 1.) I wasn't going to go out too fast, and 2.) chances would be be VERY slim if I placed at all due to large field size.
I wasn't able to get near the front and unfortunately got stuck behind a family who were CLEARLY going to walk- don't you hate that?!?! There was a faulty gun start (it wouldn't go off), so finally after a minute or so, they just yelled "go" and we were off.
After a little bobbing and weaving I found a comfortable pace- not too fast, not too slow. Despite being comfortable, my breathing was so erratic / "wheeze like", but since this was only going to be 3 miles, I figured just go with it vs. trying to breathe comfortably. We did a small out and turnaround after .8 miles- as I was watching the top runners pass by, I noticed my future roommate Leah was in 3rd for overall female, WOW is she fast. If I wasn't breathing so heavily I may have actually shouted her name, but at this point that would have been too much effort. Mile 1 clocked in at 6:48.
Mile 2 I just didn't want to lose too much steam. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up the current pace, so I told myself just to not get passed by another girl and if I did to hang on. In these shorter distances I really need to work on shortening stride so I can have a faster turnover, and I tried it, however my legs were not cooperating today, so I just had to do my longer slower strides and hope that would be enough for this go round. We passed the leaders again and Leah and I crossed paths RIGHT as I hit mile 2- 7:13- definitely slowing down
Last mile they say its all guts. I say its me just slowing down even further. I seriously don't know what is going on with my breathing. Obvious answer would be "i went out too fast" but that wasn't it because I was definitely holding back, AND my breathing was 'off' from the beginning. My watch died about 2.4 miles in, so I had literally no idea what I was running or what my finish time was going to look like. I decided I wasn't even going to attempt to kick it in till I saw the mile 3 sign as I was having trouble adjusting my stride. I finally got passed by a female, however she was much older (40s maybe), so I didn't bother to catch her. I saw the finish line in the distance, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't go faster. Based on miles 1 and 2 I knew I broke 23 which would be a new adult PR and that was good enough in my book.
Crossed finish line with an official time of 22:11, 7:09 overall pace.
I haven't seen 22s in the 5k distance since high school- normal times for me back then were in 20s and 21s. Although i don't think its realistic right now to get in the 20s, I definitely think I have it in my to break 22 the time is right.
Due to 2 of the top 3 females being in my age group, it bumped me up to placing 4 out of 132 in my age group, 98/1632 overall. My roommate did end up with 3rd overall with a time of 18:58- rethinking the idea of running with her as I will surely be left in the dust.
Overall I'm pleased to finally get in the 22s, however disappointed at not being able to properly pace myself and just get slower and slower. When I decide to do another 5k (probably not for some time due to heat), my goal will just be to have consistent splits, so for now, I'm happy!