I get so nervous about 5k’s!! Isn’t that weird? I don’t get very nervous for a full marathon and I look forward to the challenge! But 5k’s cause me to lose sleep, give myself a stomach ache, and basically freak myself the heck out all over 3.19 miles. I think I would feel differently about the 5k if I had grown up a speedy runner who worked her way up from the 5k to the marathon. Instead—> I am the weirdo who’s first race was a marathon…and then worked BACKWARDS. (who does that???)
Anyways. I ran a 5k Tuesday night. I’ve been itching to get back into a solid routine of weekly speedwork. I did the Good Times race series that is in downtown Lowell. This is a great race series for runners of all levels. You can choose to register for the entire series (they have a spring series and a summer series), or you can pay for one race at a time. And the cost is pretty cheap- $15!!! The races are run out of a bar…I think all runners like this! It’s really a great time and it’s packed with people! They typically give awards to the top in each AG as well as the overall male/female. And if you hit a new PR, you get a “miley” award. They have some really fun incentives for runners!
For me, I like the series because it’s really close to my house. I like the idea of getting some speedwork in on a course I can run weekly and see improvements. The 5k is NOT a distance I excel at. I would like to go back in time and smack the old Nicole who scoffed at 5k’s because the distance was “too short for her daily runs.” Stupid, uninformed runner! If you are racing a 5k-than you are pushing your body to its limits. I don’t care if your race pace is a 4 minute mile, or a 15 minute mile-the effort on your part is the same. AND IT HURTS. Speedwork in the form of those 5 kilometers is a b****. I’ve only ever raced 2 (now 3) 5ks. And man they are tough!!
I’ve been making myself a mental checklist for the things I need to do next week:
-Line up more in the front, if not the very front. I was a lot further back than I thought I was and it was hard to bob and weave. I’m not the biggest fan of that!
(I have on a blue headband, sunglasses, and blue tank-All you can see is my little head and a bit of my top….I’m about 7ish people-rows back from the front)
-I need to learn to dominate the second mile and not “just get through it”. I do not like mile 2!!!! It’s the toughest one!!! I really get in my own head, the waaahbulance gets fired up and I think to myself “I can’t do it! I’ll never get faster!” and of course, my fave–“When will this freaking be over??” The second mile on this course feels long- you are going from bridge to bridge and there aren’t any turns or twists-its a straight shot and it feels like it never ends!!! I think I swore off 5ks at least 10 different times during Mile 2.
-Don’t forget to take your GU Nicole! I meant to take it 10-15 minutes before. Whoops.
Things that worked:
-I warmed up and cooled down beforehand. Patting myself on the back now for that! I think the warm up helped loosen me up a LOT since I was still sore from my 16 mile run on Sunday. By the time I was through with the warmup, I felt a lot better. The cool down was great too. My muscles thanked me for letting them run a wee bit longer.
-I picked off people one by one. I would hold their pace, and when I knew I could take them-I would pass them by.
My goal is to get down to a 19:xx 5k soon, and then see how I feel after that. I know that I need to get even more “comfortable” being “uncomfortable” because 5ks are anything but “comfy”. They are hard work. This was my first solid effort at a 5k since August of 2014, so I’m pretty happy with my result of 21:03. 13 seconds off of my PR. I was 3rd woman overall and 22 finisher out of 378 runners. (Splits: I started my watch exactly when the race started, not when I crossed the start line)
Some fun & random facts for you:
-My playlist. I made it 38 minutes long to include any little hiccups and also my cooldown miles.(and I made it longer because I like variety and i like to be surprised at what song is coming on next!) thanks to everyone on my FB & my IG who gave me some awesome song choices! “Guts over Fear” came on at EXACTLY the right time. Some dude was trying to pass me–All i needed was Sia’s gorgeous voice singing to me telling I had Guts and NOT Fear…And before i knew it, that dude was in the rearview 😉
-I have learned that (most) men do not like when a girl beats them. And, They like it even LESS when the girl is in a skirt. Just a little fun fact! I am going to keep wearing my skirts while racing! Not only are they adorable, they are sassy, I feel cute, and I like beating boys whilst wearing a skirt! Sidenote...I don’t mean to sound sexist!
-The run the day AFTER a 5k is just not fun. Not fun at ALL. I could barely hold an 8:30 pace….my “fastest” mile was an 8:09 mile! Its crazy what a good race effort can do to your legs/body!
And that is where I leave you today! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I’m really sorry at my extremely sporadic posting patterns of late–> My seniors have their LAST WEEK of school next week and i’ve been pretty busy with school/life lately and haven’t had much time to post! I promise to be a much better running blogger come the end of May!
What is the scariest distance to you?