I've been forgetting to write recaps lately but I just happened to fold my shirt from this race and figured no time better than the present!
I have never run this race for a couple of reasons - it is pretty far from me, which makes it inconvenient to travel to - especially for a 5K and it is a notoriously hilly course - which also doesn't make for a great 5K.
This year however, I am running for a team, Quicksilver Striders and this was the first points race of the year for NYRR so, obligations drove me to it!
I literally didn't have expectations. In fact the day before I took a bootcamp class and then ran 10.5 miles - so was thinking it would be painful.
The morning was so so cold. So cold that I wore pants. Not quite sure who I am. Since I didn't have plans of "racing" I didn't warm up either (sorry coach!). My warmup was a half assed jog to my coral.
My pace with NYRR (8:26) put me in coral F which would prove to be frustrating for a 5K but a bit of a blessing.
The race began in waves which meant more cold waiting; and when we finally crossed the start I found myself having to weave and try to run to the outside to try and actually run.
I haven't been running with my Garmin much but did throw it on for this race. I felt pretty good and thought I was running in the low 8's but honestly wasn't paying much attention and just tried to get to that sustainable hard 5K pace.
I was consistently passing people the ENTIRE race which was a first for me. I felt really strong and with the hills was trying to make sure that I didn't kill myself too early on.
The good thing about an out and back course like this is that you know exactly what is waiting for you when you turn around - so I made a mental note of that lovely down hill early on that we would be going back up it.
At the turn around I looked down at my watch and realized I might be running myself to a PR. Not going to lie, I was now motivated times 10 to keep up the pace. I kept on passing people and then the final hill came. It definitely slowed me down but at the same time I knew there was a downhill to the finish.
As we crested the hill I just focused on making sure my breathing was under control and then gunned it again. I passed my coach about .5 from the finish and was able to yell out a greeting and was now motivated to move my legs as quick as possible.
I crossed the finish line amazed, PR city!
Garmin stats: 8:05, 7:37, 7:36, 6:54 (<--kick!)
I'm not going to lie, I was shocked. This is NOT a PR course. I was not rested. Technically my legs were shot. But I did it! AND with a negative split (not sure if I have ever negative split a 5K before).
That first slow mile was perhaps a blessing that held me back from going out too fast but I am thinking give me a flat course, smaller crowd and I can probably shave at least 30 seconds off of it. Coach said after that I looked really in control (and I felt it as well towards the end) and thinks I can run a 23 flat... I am not saying no but that's fast!
I still have shock as a former fat girl - and still not lean - that my 160ish pound body can run that fast. Breaking the 8 min/mile barrier has been HUGE for me, both mentally and physically.
I do feel like I continually prove to myself that I know my body and what training works for me. I don't do mile repeats, specific intervals etc. I find the more structured I make training the worse off my results and the more in my head I am. That is not to say I do not do work, I just run by feel. My favorite hard workouts are long tempos (7-8 mile runs with 5ish at tempo) and fartlek runs.
Also bootcamp. 2 -3 hours of bootcamp a week consistently for about 6 months now have paid HUGE dividends. The strength I felt going uphill made me thank all the trainers in my head during the race!
I would be lying if I said I didn't plug in the results to see what they translate to for a half marathon (1:51 and my PR is 1:53). While I am 100% not in shape enough for a PR half - that does make me think that I shouldn't discount the idea of running a fast one this spring. If I can get back to 1:55 for spring to bounce off of I will keep my eyes on it for the fall!
But then again, who knows. If the stars align and I have a good day, anything can happen!
Oh AND new NYRR pace, 8:09!! Woo hoo!