After missing out on the Ottawa Race last weekend, I decided a mid-week 5k would be just what I needed for a good (much-needed) speed work session. The last 5k I ran was in 2005! I had no idea what to expect one month post-boston, but my goal was to finish sub 20 minutes. I wasn't really mentally prepared for this race (just found out about it the night before) and after 24 hours of pouring rain, I was ready to scrap it altogether. At 5:45pm after a call from Val who was headed down to the lake shore to cheer on Trisha (see Boston blog post) I laced up my Brooks ST racers (haven't been worn since Marine Corps) and also loaded up the BOB jogger and headed down to the start line. I was planning on at minimum running with the baby jogger (if they were allowed) since the hubby was still en route from his city commute. I resolved that if the hubby arrived before the start, I was going to race the 5k, otherwise it would be a fun run for baby and me.
I met up with Val and learned that she had already run 15k earlier that day and wasn't planning on racing, but instead cheering along her sis Trisha & her running partner in the race. I talked her into adding one quite energetic 18 month old to the pack of kids she was already watching during the race, rolled I the BOB jogger in her direction and bolted for the start line before she changed her mined.
Right before the gun went off I looked up to see my hubby at the start line giving me the thumbs up and off we went.
My first glance down to the Garmin reported a 4:57 pace - yikes - slooooow down or you'll be sorrry I quickly put on the brakes. By 2k into the run, I remembered why I don't particularly love running 5k races.....it's hard work! I managed to relax myself and hold my pace around 6:00 minute mile or slightly under pace through the first hair-pin turnaround. As I made my way back along the out & back course, I was noticed the 2nd women was about 150 meters or so behind so I tried to pick it up a bit and increase my lead. By 3k I was feeling the exertion, but I talked myself into holding the pace and tried to stay relaxed as we made our way back down the lakeshore to the finish area. Seeing the 4k marker brought relief that the end was near and I talked myself into holding the pace for a few minutes longer (vowing to my tired body - ok, no more 5k races for another 5 years I promise if you just finish strong). As we neared the starting line, I heard looked for my number one fan & cheering section (hubby) and expected to hear cheers and congrats as I passed by. He shouted "go pass those 2 guys - you can get em!". I looked in front of me and saw the first 2 men were about 40 and 125 meters or so ahead of me. Not a chance I thought to myself (so much for positive thinking!) It was then that we realized that the start line wasn't actually the finish line also. Instead, we had to run past the start and make another hairpin turn and then return in order to cross the finish (cruel, sick race course planning!!). I saw the male leader turn in to cross what we thought was the finish line and then he popped back out as he was redirected back to the proper course. This realization that the finish wasn't quite as near as I thought sucked some more wind from my sails and I turned the 2nd hairpin corner and headed for the finish line. As I made my way down the final stretch, I saw the clock and realized that I could possibly get a personal best if I stepped on it. I finished in 18:36.....my last race in 2005 was 18:36...no PR today. After I caught my breath & narrowly averted losing my lunch on my white ST racers, I said - wow - I love 5ks! They are over so quickly! (sorry legs, I predict another 5k in the near future).