I am registered for a ton of half marathons for the 2011-2012 running reason but not many 5ks. As a matter of fact, I think I was only registered for two and they were in September. I just ran that Halloween Half Marathon two weeks ago and had the 13.1 Fort Lauderdale today (report to come) so it didn’t seem likely that I’d be able to squeeze in a 5k between them. However, there is a 5k that happens during the week and at night so it was perfect. I decided to register with only a week to go and I”m so glad I did. It was the Waterford 5k and I figured I’d use it as speedwork for the 13.1 three days later.
Going in I knew that the weather was favorable for a PR, or at least the most favorable it had been in months and would be for months. My last PR was set on a very cold (for South Florida) day and on a very long, not sanctioned, course. So, I went in with the idea of running the shit out of this course and beating my best time…then I saw just how crowded the race was. It was insane! I couldn’t even line up behind the starting line because I had been warming up for too long and there was no room for me. I had to stand to the side and wait as people funneled in after the start to merge with the masses. The first mile or so was pretty much shoulder to shoulder but I was still running hard (for me) and it was my fastest mile of that race. I was doing pretty well at that point and I thought that if I could keep it up I’d end up with a huge PR, but alas, I couldn’t.
After the first mile I slowed down a bit or I wouldn’t be able to finish. The whole time I was just concentrating on running and nothing else. More than running faster than my fastest time, I wanted not to walk. My will is weak and I have walked at least a few seconds at pretty much every race I’ve done bar my second 10k. I REALLY wanted not to walk this time around and much to my pleasure, I did not. I just ran, slowing down a bit if I needed to, just telling myself that I could do it. I didn’t even take water because I knew that if I did, I’d stop to drink it.
By mile 2.5, I was ready to be done. I could see the finish line (I HATE that!) and it was taunting me. Of course, we had to run past the finish line and then back around another quarter mile. I didn’t even feel that I could really push harder on the last stretch as I felt I didn’t have much in the tank. It was pretty windy too, and it has been weeks now, so that didn’t help either. The last stretch, coming into the finish, I had to keep chanting in my head “Pain is temporary, finish times posted on the Internet are forever!”, cliche as it may be. I knew that the goal of a PR would be a close call but I thought I could still make it. I did. I ran 20 seconds faster than my PR from earlier this year. I’m happy with that for two reasons: 1) a PR is a PR and 2) I PRed in weather that was considerably warmer than when the first PR was set. I am most happy with the fact that I actually ran the whole way. When I crossed the finish line, I had to walk straight to the sidewalk to sit down because I was faint and I thought I was going to toss my cookies.
I ended up with a chip time of 29:28. I came 11th out of 79 women in my age group 325th out of 1095 overall finishers. Not bad!
Here’s the Garmin info: