Saturday I ran the First United Methodist Church Missions 5K. This was the first 5K put on by my church so I was very excited to participate! Hubby and I went out a few days beforehand and ran the course just to see what it was like. The course was 3 laps of a 1-mile loop surrounding a local park. It was a nice course, but there was a long gradual incline on one side of the loop and a short, steep hill on the other side. There was also a nice downhill portion.
When the alarm went off at 7:15am I did NOT want to get out of bed! Even when I got up and got moving I just wasn't feeling like running. I kind of resigned myself to having a bad time because I couldn't get myself geared up. But I got out there anyway and decided to do my best!
Pete has been running all fast lately so I knew he would leave me in the dust early on. It seems that in 5Ks I'm always the very last runner before all the walkers. I don't love it, but I remind myself that this is the pace I'm comfortable starting out with and if I run faster my legs will cramp and it will take me 40 minutes to finish! According to Toby I was starting out with a pace of 10:30 anyway so I enjoyed the scenery and kept my pace steady.
I finished the first mile at 10:44. Right about the time I reached mile marker 1, the boy in the lead comes flying past me. Fun - I'm getting lapped already! As I made the next loop a few more of the lead runners passed me as well. The two mile marker happened to be right next to the finish line and as I was approaching it, some of the first runners were finishing. This was a little annoying because the people who had come in first had turned around to run backwards on the course and give encouragement to other runners. I happened to be right next to the woman who actually won First Overall Female. The guy was shouting, "You're almost there, this is the home stretch!" to us and I wanted to say, "Nope, not for me. One more lap to go." Also, a very speedy friend's wife was standing on the sidelines as I ran past and she saw me and said, "Tina?" in this stunned voice! I laughed and told her I was just starting my final lap.
I finished my second lap in 10:33. I was feeling tired and not wanting to do the uphills again, but I pushed through and tried to keep my pace up so I could finish with a kick. Lately, the final mile has been where I really shine in 5Ks. I start passing people like crazy - they've used all their zip at the start of the race and mine is just kicking in!
As I came over the hill and started approaching the finish, Pete was there cheering me on! There was a clock at the finish line, but I couldn't see it until I rounded one last curve. It was at 31:40. I found new energy to try and beat 32:00! I really kicked it into high gear and was running about a 7:00 pace as I barreled towards that finish line! I crossed at 31:58 - a PR for me! *Does this count as a PR since it's only my second 5K? I'm counting it!* I took second place in my age group (out of two, but I still did well) and Pete actually took first in his age group with a time of 27:29! Great race for the Smith family!
My third mile was completed in 9:43 and the last .1 (Toby measured it as .13) was in 00:57. I'm really starting to enjoy 5Ks and I can't wait for the others we have on our schedule this summer!