I have been both nervous and excited about this race. Excited to run a short distance in the midst of 1/2 marathon training but also excited because I felt I had something to prove to myself as well. My running has never really been planned, I always aim to run one 5k a month to try and ensure that I stay in shape, but I would at most really only run once a week and mostly on the treadmill. Training for the 1/2 has been my first real training program and has me running 3 days a week and working out 6 days a week. My times this year have all been slower than in years past, I weigh more which I know accounts for longer times as well. So today's 5k was to prove that I could be faster and that I could get it done.
I knew there was a strong chance that I would be running in the rain, that's what I planned for. I had my running tights, running jacket and a hat and even wore my sunglasses to help keep rain off of my face. It's always weird to be up and ready to run while it's still dark out and most are still cozy in their beds. I made my way to Robertson Park in Livermore with plenty of time to get through packet pick-up. Which apparently not everyone else did.
The1/2 started late, so in turn did the 10k and 5k. I decided to make one last run to the bathroom before the start of the 5k. Glad I did, but bummer that everyone for the 5k was already lined up. I tried to make my way through the crowd and managed to get in front of most of the strollers, it was chip timed so I wasn't worried about my start knowing it would be worked out. As the sent us off, it was excruciating. This was a pack of people that didn't want to run until they hit the timing mat, frustrating. The course was pretty narrow considering how many people were running today. To make matters worse, because of the rain there were huge muddy puddles that people were trying to avoid which caused more back-up and stress as I tried to maneuver around people who were walking, etc. Lets just say I used up a ton of energy trying to get around people, I was frustrated to say the least. I saw the 1 mile marker and was shocked that I was only a mile in, I had used a lot of energy in that first mile. Although I knew two more miles could be accomplished, I think it's safe to say I was frustrated.
At the water station I used this opportunity to run past many people. It's only a 5k, I didn't need water and this would help get past a lot of people, which it did. We were approaching a bridge that we were going to run under which meant downhill, flat, uphill. I took advantage of the downhill and blew by lots of people who were not taking advantage. I was strong and steady up the hill until the person in front abruptly halted to walk mid hill. I nearly cussed out load as I nearly collided into her. Once up the hill I could see the turn around, sweet. I still was bitter because my return trip felt much slower than the way out, I had really used a lot of energy the first 1.5 miles. I tried to find a nice pace where I could lower my heart rate a tad, I knew I would need energy for the last 1/2 mile that would be dirt and grass to the finish line. I was beat but I knew had some left in me for the finish line. By this point I was mostly by myself and was no longer battling through the crowds. As I rounded the corner and approached the grass I stepped into high gear and booked it across the finish line, passing the only person in front of me.
Damn, that felt good! Official time was 34:14. Not a PR, but my best time of the year. While frustration was the word of the day and I really felt like I had a 33 minute run in me, I'm pleased with this time. I proved to myself what I needed to today and that was that with all my training I could run faster than I have all year. Even though this training is about endurance and not speed, you better believe I was out to be faster.
Did I mention it didn't rain?! Could have gone with just a long sleeve shirt today since I didn't get rained on, oh well, better to be prepared. It didn't start to rain until about 10am when I left the park.
Next up my very first ever 10k!
Week end totals
Run: 11:10 miles
Bike: 5.85 miles