Race Report: YMCA 5K

Yesterday I ran my first race of the season. And it just happened to fall on the day after my “runiversary”. It was on March 22, 2012, when I logged my first “official” run on Runkeeper in training for my first 5K that I ran with my son. I remember that run. I remember it being incredibly hard. I remember collapsing on my dining room floor afterwards while my cats and dog stared at me slightly confused. I especially remember it being a warm, sunny day.

Yesterday was cold and bitter. At least it was sunny though. I have to say, the beginning of this training season has been a bit of a mental challenge for me. All the running I’ve been doing in this unseasonably, bitter cold weather has been discouraging. I’ve been slow, sore, and just plain tired the last couple of weeks. I felt like my running has been stagnant and I haven’t been making much progress. As a result, I entered into this race with a bit of a bad attitude. Thankfully, the night before the 5K I read this article about the impact cold weather has on running. It planted enough of a seed in my head that I managed to buckle down and PR yesterday. My final time was 33:25. I placed 91st out of 220 and 4th in my age group – only seconds off the 3rd place finisher, which was frustrating. I’m very competitive and hate losing by such a small margin. I feel like I should have pushed a little harder, but I gave as much as I could in the cold yesterday. My leg muscles and lungs were on fire at the end. And I know that is not a very fast time for a 5K, but it was my fastest time yet.

The course was pretty, but I wasn’t fully prepared for it. The first half was all uphill and shaded. I’ve been trying to work some hills into my training runs, but I haven’t run a course with such a long, steady incline. During the back half of the course, we ran along a scenic lake, but the wind coming off the lake was bitter cold. It was tough, but the adrenaline, and my competitive nature, helped push me through. The biggest mistake I made was leaving my gloves in my jacket pocket, which I left with my husband at the starting line. I don’t know what I was thinking. My hands were so sore and chaffed by the time I got to the finish line.

And my husband is great at some things, but he’s horrible at photography. I’ve tried teaching him, but he just doesn’t get it. So this is the best photo I have of the day.

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All in all, yesterday’s 5K was the kick in the pants I needed. I finally saw some progress and results for all my hard work. And I’m imagining how much faster I’ll be when it’s finally warm outside.

****

Half Marathon Training Week 5

  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: 4 easy miles + core workout
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: 3 cold and very windy miles + core workout
  • Thursday: 2.5 easy miles
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 3.1 miles at race pace
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