I absolutely love this race. In 2013 and 2014, I ran the 15K as my season opener but opted for the 5K this year. As I was trying to write up this race report, I tried to figure out WHAT my 5K PR was going into this race. I don’t race the 5K often and I knew my open 5K PR was somewhere low 19s but the fastest I could find was from January of this year, at 19:11. I covered the last 5K of the my half marathon PR in about 18:40 but don’t count “en route” PRs for straight PRs.
This race was a good reminder to not always trust your Garmin. I planned to run the first mile relatively easy, then crank it up as we went along. When the airhorn sounded, the race went out hard. About half a mile in, I saw 5:51 on my Garmin and put the brakes on. I’ve been running faster recently but not THAT fast. I felt very in control for the first mile but stressed about having two other women right on me. As we turned onto the dirt path about 3/4 of a mile in, I started to pick it up. Went through the first mile in 6:04, which is the last time I trusted my Garmin. The second mile is dirt, mildly uphill and has a very tight 360 turn in it, so I knew it wouldn’t be screamingly fast but was discouraged that my watch was telling me it was a 6:25 because it definitely didn’t FEEL like a 6:25. I just kept pushing and tried to remind myself that the point of this race was effort, not outcome. The turn also gave me the opportunity to see where I was and I was happy to see that the second woman was now 20 seconds behind me. For most of the second half, I was just behind a clump of guys who had gone out too fast and I went from 10th to 6th, but in striking distance of 2nd. As we hit the long paved stretch for home, I focused on using my “working hard” breathing pattern and just keeping good form. Ultimately, I couldn’t catch the last group of guys and my watch still said I was running a 6:16 so I was beyond thrilled to round the corner to the finish and see 18:30 something on the clock. Finished in 18:44 (6:03 pace), a 26 second PR for me. 1st woman, 6th overall.
I’m thrilled with the results from this race; I’m still hacking from my hospital cold and definitely still adjusting to running fast, so I’m psyched to get some good feedback on my progress. I also enjoyed recovering from this race; my legs were a little tired on Monday but otherwise I felt completely fine. Onward and upward!