I decided to race a 5K this weekend a couple weeks out from my half to get an idea of where my speed was at. For me, I do some of my best work in races. I am pretty competitive and will often push myself harder in a race environment than I will during a speed workout.
I was coming into the race not exactly rested. I did a tough bootcamp the day before and an 8.6 mile long tempo the day before that. Also the course is very hilly it is in the army base at Fort Totten. I ran the 5K the year before – plus it was where my July ultra was. It is a lot of up and down. This year they changed the course and race timers and had it USATF certified (or so they said…).
I was able to get in 3.5 miles to warm up prior – the race was in my town so I planned to sandwich it into my long run. My legs didn’t feel great on the run so knew it was going to be a hard day.
It is on the small side, and would only be timed by gun time so I lined up near the front. My goal was 100% to PR – which meant going under 25 mins.
The race took off to an immediate down hill. I went entirely too fast down it which you know is the way to go in a 5K, trash the legs immediately! It was followed but a longer up hill and then another downhill until we got to the flat path way to the water front.
Within a mile, honestly even less, my legs were completely shot.
My motivation? A young girl, probably 9-10 who was keeping pace.
There was a cone turn which killed any momentum (I think I audibly groaned as we went around) at about 1.5 miles. I knew that would be the only way to turn but it still sucks.
Then we went back into the Fort and it was uphill for about .5 miles.
Totally over the race at this point. I knew I was fading but just tried to keep moving and powering my arms.
Finally got a bit of reprieve with some flat, a short slightly downhill slope and then a turn and uphill before flat to the finish.
My goal was to not let a woman who I eyed as about my age pass me. And mission accomplish, by maybe a second.
I love this pic of us all coming into the finish. The man was coaching his daughter in (and running our pace like it was a walk in the park)!
I saw the time on the clock and was immediately in shock. Then I also realized I hadn’t heard my watch beep for mile 3.
The result – all of us showing that the course was just shy of 3 miles.
Considering my goal was to come in under 25 minutes and I came in at 22:39 – totally bummed. Especially considering they said it was certified. I don’t know who bungled that up but it is really disappointing.
All things going I would have come in 23:xx which would have been a massive PR. I left it out there. I was completely done at the end.
But, this was the first time a race course has been really under for me.
I did get a 3rd place AG so that was nice (although I won it last year with a MUCH slower time!).
Goal now is to find another 5K – that is flat because that was really punishing!
Who else has dealt with this? I was proud of my time and posted my official results and felt a bit guilty like I needed a disclaimer – but end of the day it’s not my fault about the course but, I am not using this as my PR I don’t feel that is justified.