Sooooo, hi. It’s nice to see you around here again… so sorry I’ve been neglecting my little corner of the internet. I’ll try to get out of the bad habit of starting a post and not finishing it til weeks later… like this one.
I ran this race on Saturday, April 14th and I’m just getting this recap up now. I don’t think I’ve ever waited this long after a race to post a recap, but I’m a busy college kid with a lot on her mind, what can I say?
Let’s just start off this post with the best news of this race: I came away from it with a shiny new 5K PR!!!
It was definitely not easy and parts of me were definitely not cooperating but I pulled it off. I was aiming for anything under 32:00 because my previous PR from last September was 32:46. A new PR was long overdue at this point.
According to my Garmin, I came in at 32:01 but when I saw the official race results, I saw a pleasantly surprising 31:44 with a 10:19 pace on the list. Saying I was thrilled would be a huge understatement. I could’ve done cartwheels.
I signed up for the Chase the Gorilla 5K just a few days before the race. It was one of those “I really need a race this weekend” moments and since this one ran through Ipswich, I knew it’d be great. I convinced my mom to come with me so we were up at the lovely hour of 7am (on a Saturday morning mind you) for some pre-race festivities. And by festivities I mean I ate two pieces of light wheat toast with peanut butter, drank some (but not enough) water and got to the race to pick up my number and a bright blue technical t-shirt a mere 5 minutes before the gun went off.
Timing has never been a strong suit.
I knew I wanted a PR and after running my 10K without stopping and getting in a few solid runs since then, I figured I had it in the bag. Still, I was nervous. And sore. The day before, I decided that doing a full gym workout followed by a 90-minute Vinyasa yoga session and a 2-hour dance rehearsal was a good way to prepare for the race. My bum was very very sore.
It was a small race of 400 or so runners and of course, a gorilla. Races nowadays are a little bittersweet for me. As much as I love having my mom there to take pictures of me and hug me at the finish line, there was always a special someone there who I could literally collapse into. It was one of those things that kept me going I guess.
But I digress.
For the first time since I started running/racing over a year ago, my legs felt like lead. I only have myself to blame for not taking a rest day on Friday, but after the first mile, they loosened up. It was warmer than I’ve been used to running in but managed to make it to mile 2 to the water station without wanting to die too bad. I took a few sips, dumped the rest over my head and kept going.
By the end of mile 2, I was ready to be done. My breathing was really heavy, my face was on fire and my right shoulder had developed a strange twinge-y feeling that I couldn’t shake. I kept saying “32 minutes, 32 minutes” over and over as I rounded the corner to the finish line.
With Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” blasting in my ears, I surged to the finish line, and I-Kid-You-Not did a full on leap to the timing chip platform thing to stop my timer. Embarrassed? Nope.
I glanced down at my garmin, saw 32:01 and had to use what little energy I had left not to burst into tears. My mom came over with water and hugged me and even though I don’t think she fully gets the whole “running thing”, I could tell she was proud.
Overall, despite being a little overheated and having dead legs for the first mile, walking away a new 5K PR felt incredible and I really enjoyed this race. It’s always fun to beat your personal time and leave what you have out there on the course, even if it’s only 3.1 miles.
The calorie burn doesn’t hurt either.
So, what’s next? I’m signed up for one more race before the summer kicks off. This Saturday, I’ll be running the Marblehead Beach to Beach 5K. For those of you just joining us, this was the first race I ever ran, exactly a year ago. I plan on being very nostalgic. Of course you’ve probably figured out that I’d love to PR this race too but I’ll be content of beating my time from last year, 33:38.
I want to know! Do you run the same races every year to kick your old PR to the curb? What is your 5K PR and what is your secret to beating your time? What mantras do you use to get you through a tough or not-so-tough race?