Back in January when I was assembling my mental running goals for the year, I set my sights on setting a new PR for my 5k distance on the 4th of July. Let's face is; getting a PR on one of the hottest days of the year just makes the PR that much sweatier, I mean sweeter.
The 5k is organized and run by my friends and neighbors, and the start is less than a mile from my house. It's a great event for our community. It's a little bit different than your typical race because I run the route, with a couple variations on a weekly basis. Most races you don't have the advantage of knowing the course like the back of your hand.
I ran this 5k last year intending to PR and ended up having a horrible race-- finishing at around 31 minutes. The course is pavement, with a 1/2 mile stretch of gravel and at the 1.5 mile mark, there's a gradual-appearing-but-actually-butt-kicking-incline. Last year I crashed and burned on the incline, and this year I was looking for revenge!
I had been so excited about this race all spring, so when I was shocked to wake up on the 4th with zero desire to run, let alone race. I woke up and wasn't feeling the greatest and completely unmotivated. I decided not to run, but at last minute talked myself into going because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. I immediately chucked my idea of PRing, I was going to be happy just to get my butt to the finish line.
The race started and I still wasn't particularly feeling it, but I started to find my pace and just enjoy myself. It's amazing though, because it didn't take long for my inner race monster to wake up and shake the decks. Hey, if we're gonna race........let's RACE!
I set an slightly uncomfortable pace and just hung on. It was warm, but there was a good breeze- not strong enough to be difficult to run into; just enough to keep you cool. The end was tough, but you when you finish smiling and on empty- that's a win in my book!
In the end I finished with a brand new of PR; 25:37 which demolished my previous PR of 28:27! I was elated to meet my goal, despite not feeling the best!
My current training plan is geared towards longer distances, but I'm looking forward to another 5k sometime this fall, and this time the goal is to sub-25!
Post-race text out to my sister, who was also racing that morning, just in a different state. She set a new 2 mile record, like a boss. Last year we raced together, and I definitely missed having her race with me.