Saturday I ran the WNC Run/Walk for Autism 5K Race. It's the 1st race of my ‘season’ and I finished in 23:42 at 7:36 pace, 17th out of 188, and 2nd Masters Woman. Looking at the finishing time, you can say that it was a pretty good run. I improved my 5K time by 16 seconds. But I probably could have run faster had I run 7:35 pace instead of 7:30. But I let my wishful thinking get the better of me.
Here's how the race unfolded:
I warmed up like normal and felt pretty good. The race was a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be, so it was pretty easy to get up to the starting line. I was able to get a good position at about the 3rd or 4th row. Looking at the other runners, I noticed a wide variety of runners: young high schoolers, older people and many more. I wasn’t sure how tough the other runners that I would be racing against were going to be. However, I had my eye on one lady that was talking to someone to me. She looked like she might be in my age group, and she was talking about how she qualified and ran Boston.
So we got started and I went out too fast at first, but slowed down to my target pace of 7:30 within the first 100 meters. I ran a 7:30 first mile, which is the target pace I was hoping I could maintain through the entire race.
What happened after that first mile was that my split for mile 2 and 3 dropped significantly. I don’t even want to say it, but will: 7:40, 7:46. I ran positive splits!! Now, I know when you run a race you’re a lot more tired than you are during a regular workout, but I could hear myself breathing a lot and very hard for the whole race. I was pretty tired at mile 2 and definitely at mile 3.
For as much as I slowed down after the first mile, others must have done an even worsejob of setting their pace. I passed people the entire race, setting my sights on the next girl who could possibly be in my age group, then the next, until finally, right before mile 3, the Boston Qualifier lady was right in front of me. I wanted to catch her so bad! I ran the last tenth of a mile at 6:23 pace, but I simply ran out of race. She beat me, even though we were given the same time.
Despite choosing too fast a pace, I was still pleased with the overall time, a 16 second PR. For the next race, on Octtober 17, I will have to try harder to set the pace correctly. I just need to get it in my head that it will benefit me and my overall race time to choose the pace I can run the entire race in.
By the way...Great shwag at this race! I won a $50 girft card to Diamond Brand, and Leopold won a $30 gift card to same. Leopold also won a Timex IronMan watch in the raffle. Very cool!