5K Race Report--- A New PR!

This morning I ran in the R-3 (it's a local running store) Anniversary 5-K Run. As I said the other day, one year ago, it was the first race I ever ran.

I knew I needed to remain between 8:45 and 9:15/pace per mile to meet my goal of sub-29. Maintaining 8:45 is a big stretch for me, but I always start out too fast, and I planned to NOT let myself go faster than that in the first mile. It was nice to have a range to stay in.

The gun went off, and I took off. My friend was there and we started together (in matching pink shirt/black shorts outfits no less, not planned). She's typically a little faster than me, but I hoped to stay with her most of the race. I looked down..... 8:30 pace. Uh-oh. Too fast. I forced myself to slow down and got down to about 8:35. I knew I'd pay for this later, so I finally made myself slow to about a 9:00 minute pace. End of first mile-- 8:57. I had passed "my twin," but she was hanging in right behind me. I could hear her about 1 or 2 steps back. I'm not an overly competitive person, but I found myself thinking, "What if....?"

In the second mile, I planned to walk through the water stop at 1.6. Knowing I could walk for a few seconds helped me to maintain my pace goal, even to speed up a little to make up in advance for the lost time at the walking stop. My twin and I both stopped to walk and drink. Then she took off. I still needed a bit more time to drink/walk, so I let her go. She got an 6-8 second head start. For the rest of that mile, I tried to catch her! At least it gave me something to do.

(Unbeknownst to both of us, there was another girl in a pink shirt trying to keep up with us!) Mile two with water stop was 9:10.

Mile three was all about hills. It started with a long gradual incline that just wore me down. During the incline, I caught up to and passed my twin! But I may have expended a bit much energy. I slowed down some and finally agreed with my body when it said, "Hey, You, I need another walk break. Then I promise I'll finish strong." I took a 10 or 15 second walk break and she passed me. So, I was again chasing my twin until about the 2.5 mark.

At this point, I was feeling nauseous. This hasn't happened before. I knew I was truly running my hardest (and that perhaps I had eaten too much breakfast!). I just breathed in through my nose and tried not to think of the possibility of throwing up. I now had three goals: to make my finish goal time; to catch up to and pass my twin; and NOT to vomit.

Coming upon another hill, a fairly steep one, I told myself (really LIED to myself), "I'm strong on hills. Maybe I'll be able to pass her then." And. I. Did. Woot, woot! Mile 3 with that very brief walk break was 9:19----outside of my range, but I knew I had extra time from mile 1.

Finally, I could see the finish. I did NOT want to play "cat and mouse" with my twin anymore. I knew I could sprint the rest of the way. Did I mention it was down hill?? I looked at the finish clock---28:18 or something. I realized I could make it under 28:30! The last .11 was an 8:39 pace, but the final kick was 6:38 according to my Garmin. I saw 28:22 on the clock as I passed underneath, but the "official" finish time was 28:24.


It was a good day. And I managed not to throw up. I felt it would be rude. :-)

My twin was in the 30-34 age group and got 3rd among those young 'uns. I think we both probably owe one another thanks for the motivation. It kind of felt like a race of two.


Lisa said…
wow! Congratulations on a GREAT race. I loved reading how you had a plan and worked within your plan to exceed your goal. I hope my plan goes as well tomorrow.

Did you get a ribbon or something for your 2nd place division finish?
RunnerMom said…
I got a medal. :-)
Tina said…
Congratulations on your PR and placing second in your age group, too! How exciting!

And I'm glad you were able to finish without throwing up!
tamara said…
Great job, girl!! The feeling of accomplishment is so nice, I'm sure. And a medal to boot! Be proud of yourself!!
Jules said…
a winner! CONGRATS!!!!! woot! I bet you never would have "think" it a year ago!
April said…
Woo Hoo!!! Way to go RunnerMom!
Oh my gosh, congratulations, Donna. What an excellent time! And it's so great that you got to have your own little Olympic moment with your second place finish!!!