I know I’ve probably written about this before, but I really enjoy participating in local races. Living an hour’s drive from Dallas area, there is no shortage of races, but there can be the problem of getting up early to beat traffic and parking issues at race sites. I’m the type who gets there early and has plenty of time to
hit the porta potties get ready to race.
So when I saw an advertisement for a 5k in my city, I decided to run it. I don’t usually run 5ks while marathon training (my last one was Labor Day), because I have trouble finding a day for my long run. I decided to test the waters a bit this time. My plan was to race the 5k after some warmup miles and do my long run on Saturday -cutting it short if I noticed any problems from racing – and that’s exactly what I did.
Since the race was so close and I missed packet pickup, I ran to the location (3/4 of a mile) to pick up my stuff and then ran it back home. I headed back to the race site with my husband who was on his bike. After a warmup with some other members from my running group I had a little over 3 miles.
I decided not to check my Garmin the entire race after reading this article earlier in the week. Planning to have my heaviest training week of the year so far, I didn’t want to have false expectations. Training for marathons doesn’t usually require short, fast running but mostly higher mileage runs. I had the plan to stay with a few runners from my group that I knew were planning 7:30-7:45 pace. I ran based on my effort with my eyes trained on their backs. My course cheerleader (my husband on his bike) kept alongside me using his own form of encouragement. We need to have an intervention before OKC or he might get a cup of water tossed on him. Ha! Seriously though, it’s nice to have someone call you out when you need it.
I passed a few people in the last mile, so I may have sped up in the second half. It helps that I knew how close we were to the finish since I wasn’t relying on my Garmin. That’s another advantage of a local race. I was excited to cross the finish and see 23:xx on the clock.
The result: a 14 second PR. My official time was 23:09 with an age group win! I was the 17th finisher out of over 350 runners! If you had told me that I would be faster now at age 39 than I was in high school, I would’ve laughed in your face. I am not saying this to brag. I’m simply saying this because I’m definitive proof that hard work does pay off. I have never been a fast runner.
I also like the idea of running without a timepiece and the importance of listening to my body. Oh, and the guys I was trying to gauge my speed off of – they ran a 7:14 pace.
Sunday, I did my 16 mile long run after spending the rest of Saturday working in the yard. I tried to use a run/walk method to change things up. 9 minutes of running/1 minute walking. By the third segment I was tired of checking my Garmin, so I tossed that plan and just ran.
I went back to work today to get some rest.
Do you enjoy local races? Do you race without a timepiece?