Today's 5K was my fourth official, outdoor 5K. I commented to my husband what a difference between this one and my first. With my first one, I couldn't sleep the night before, I was wound up so tight. This one felt like old hat... until about an hour before the race when my nerves kicked in.
I really didn't know what to expect because I hadn't been training as much. My running lately has not been great. I've felt like I'm running about as hard as I can, but it's still so much slower than I was 6 months ago. So my expectation was finishing around 36 to 38 minutes. Nothing impressive, but I also didn't really care. Just have fun, pace yourself, enjoy, relax.
First, it was soooooooooo cold! My sister talked me into leaving the sweatshirt behind, and she was right. Once we got going, I was plenty warm. We started off in a big, slow mob, which was probably good. I've started too fast in the past and then burned out. This allowed me to pace myself better.
I felt energized and very comfortable at my pace -- not too slow or too fast. The only problem was, perhaps because of the cold temps, my very runny nose. I finally had to stop to blow my nose a few times. My one goal for the race was to at least run to each mile and stop to walk at mile 1 and mile 2 if I needed to. Well, they didn't have a first mile marker. I probably stopped around 1.5 and 2.5. I had just one Kleenex left to get me the rest of the way, so I pushed on and tried to finish strong.
My time? 35:22. I told my sister that I know each race is different, and you can't really compare. But some small part of me also thinks I should be improving all the time. So I'm okay with 35:22. It's certainly better than the 36-38 I was expecting, but I sure would like to get closer to 30. I could have pushed myself harder today, but ... well... I didn't feel like it :) I guess I have learned from experience that when you push too hard, it makes for a miserable race and then you're wrecked for the rest of the day. I feel great!
So... RAH! RAH! Another race, and running is FUN again!