Last year at the Human Race 5K, I placed 4th overall for women. I think I came in just under 25 mins. This year, I decided to try and place 3rd and PR. I have not focused on speed at all this year, but on hills and trails. But in that, I was hoping that I have improved my speed regardless. Not to mention that I am 10lbs smaller (woot!). My surgery in March really slowed me down… I have no idea why. I only took 2 weeks off and was back to training, but I was so fatigued during runs until the week after the Human Race.
I have been battling with myself about improving. I believe I am slow by nature and I think in a way it’s sabotaging some improvement. I mean, in the 5 years that I have been running, I have taken my 5K time from 29 mins to 24:++, so I have improved. But I am in that spot where my friends are either WAY faster than me or a bit slower, but no one is right there with me. So, I kind of feel like I am in nowhere land. I feel like I’ll never catch up with my fast friends, so why try. That’s what gets me.
Anyway, I went into the Human Race feeling pretty confidant. And then I got there… oh my word, the crowd was 3x the size as last year’s crowd. No wonder I placed 4th. I decided that my goal was silly. Then about 10 mins before the race started I thought, “Why the heck not try to place 3rd still?!?” And this was one weird race where only the top 3 finishers had their times posted. I decided that every step of the race needed to hurt – that I would test how hard I could run without backing off and slowing down when it hurt. Cause that’s what racing is supposed to feel like – like you are pushing yourself to the limit that you have trained for. It shouldn’t feel like a training run.
So at this race, the 5K’ers and the 10K’ers run together til about 2.5 miles in and then the 10K’ers split off to the longer course. So, I have no idea who my competition is. My goal, since I knew my MIL was running the 5K, that I would keep her in my sight at all times. She usually runs a 22 min 5K, sometimes faster. She is recovering from pneumonia, so I knew it’d be easier to keep up with her. When I turned off toward the 5K finish, I had no idea how many women were in front of me, except for Hanna. I turned a corner and a flagger said, “Good job! You are the 3rd woman through!” WHAT!?!?!?! I turned around to see how close anyone was to me and there was no one. Not a soul. I knew I had it pegged. I entertained the idea of slowing down, but then remembered that I wanted to PR. I came in at 24:25 – 16 seconds faster than my last PR.
The award ceremony was completely disappointing. They spent more time on the costume awards and fundraising awards (whom also received better prizes) than on the runners. The costume/fundraiser winners were actually called up front and awarded… the runners’ names were called and nothing else. How disappointing for someone who never places…. I was excited for a photo with my ribbon or something. Really anticlimactic. Oh well.
My dad shaved 6 mins off his last 5K time… Son shaved 6 mins off his last 5K time… Reatha shaved a minute or two off… basically my entire group of friends PR’ed. It was a great day.