Before I begin this post, another running history reflection. :) Get accustomed to this theme in future posts because, now that I have more than a "year's worth" of runs recorded, I intend to celebrate, "that was then; this is now" ...
Exactly one year ago on this day, I ran 3K @23:21, at a pace of 7:47. I am very proud of this pace and mileage from 2010 because I found the courage to put myself out there. Regardless of my fitness level at the time, my lower mileage ability, my slower pace, my heavier body, I still tied on my running shoes and went for a run. And I just kept telling myself, this is going to improve! I will get better at this! And now, here I am, a year later, posting the following 5K race report. :) I just want to appreciate the significance of this before continuing with my update ... :)
Avg. Pace 6:23/km
Gun start/Chip finish
As you can see, there's a reason why I'm posting my 'cartoon happy girl jumping in the air!' Today I accomplished all the goals I established in yesterday's post:
1. I ran this 5K race. Period. Just to be able to run in it after missing it last year is a great achievement. :)
2. I beat my Really Chilly Road Race 5K from February. Woo hoo!
3. I beat my fastest 5K time from 2010. Another woo hoo!
I expected to go to my race alone today. I don't "make" my partner attend all my races with me. He's not a runner, but he's there for me whenever I ask him. As a result, I am accustomed to being at a significant number of races on my own. I expected this again today because Ben had plans; he has committed to being there for me at the Forest City Road Race 10K next weekend, and this is good enough for me! :)
Because it is the Easter long weekend, my family is in town staying with us (my mother, sister, brother-in-law and three kids). However, they are usually busy visiting with other family members when here so I assumed they would have plans during my race ... it was a last minute surprise for me today when they decided to re-arrange their schedule so that all the female family members would be there to cheer me on - girl power !! :)
Because my family had to scramble a little to make it to the race, Ben dropped me off at Victoria Park so I could mentally and physically warm-up for the race on my own. He asked before leaving what I was really wanting to achieve today, and I told him 'sub-33'. He laughed and said he was betting on me to run 32:15. :)
According to the posted race results, 589 people completed today's race and 58 DNF'd (did not finish). It was very crowded at the start line and unfortunately for a gun start, I was quite far back from the starting line. :( Running around the first corner of Victoria Park was a little challenging as most of us had to stop and wait for the runners in front to funnel through safety barriers before we were able to pick up the pace again. This was the only time in the race when the numbers affected my pace as the starting mass thinned out within the first 2km.
As always, it was very challenging to have so many people swoosh by me and pull ahead without being caught up in the speed and adrenaline rush, but I used my Garmin to watch my pace and to hold it. I chose to run this particular race without any pace splits in mind. I just wanted to run it as it unfolded to see how I felt in this specific race situation. I wanted to go by 'feel' and then carry the lessons into next weekend's race.
1st km - 6:22/km
2nd km - 6:32/km
This was a 2.5K loop x 2 race so we looped around the finish line in order to start the second and final leg of our run. It was here that I experienced two of the best moments of the race. The first was when I looked to my left and noticed two amazing little girls with signs cheering. They looked very familiar to me and then I looked up and saw their mother. It was Shawna L., my DailyMile friend, who was there with her family cheering the runners. It was wonderful to see them and without fail, it always, always feels great to have someone there cheering me on! As I passed them and rounded the NW corner of Victoria Park again, I looked right and saw waving 'Fairy Barbie' dolls in the air ...
... and this is my reaction to seeing another two amazing little girls cheering! It was so great to see my family on the sidewalk whooping and clapping. :) :) I think all of this support accounts for a faster split!:
3km - 6:12/km
I usually do not enjoy 2 X 1 loop races as much, but in today's case, I did not mind it as much because it helped me to know what the last few km were going to be like ... and because it was a shorter race! :) :) I only checked my Garmin a few more times to see how I was doing. I felt very steady and consistently strong. It was great to feel this steady strength throughout the race without any periods of sluggishness or tiredness.
4km - 6:26/km
I pretty much knew by this time that I could push myself a little more. By nature, I am more conservative when running, reserving energy until the end, and as a result, I end up sprinting toward the finish. As I rounded the SW corner into the final straight stretch, I started pushing my pace just a little more, gradually getting a little bit faster and faster. It was a rewarding feeling being able to pass a significant number of slowing runners as I closed in.
This is when I could finally see the clock: 31:15. I then felt really really motivated to run much faster! I ran as fast as I could ...
5km - 5:52
This pace average says it all. This is the first time that I have seen 5:52 appear in any one of my splits. I didn't just crack my 7 min/km pace average, I cracked the 6 min/km pace zone, too, if only for just one km. I've been doing the happy dance all day whenever I think of that number! Oh happy day! :) Because one km at that pace soon becomes two, then three ... :) :)
A final, lovely moment occurred at the finish line. As I crossed over the mat, the owner of Runners' Choice and the organizer of this event, Paul, was there to congratulate all runners as they finished. Not only is he simply the nicest man in the world, but he exclaimed, "Evelynne! That has to be a new PR for you the way you ran in!" which made me grin as I told him yes (no need to explain PRs from 2003!). Sooooooo rewarding to see that someone else is noticing. :)
As you can tell from this post compared to my last race post, it was a very different day for me. I ran the pace average I had hoped/expected I could run, I felt good the whole time, and of course, it truly helped to have two different groups cheering. :)
I hope this is a sign of even bigger and better things to come! :)
Tomorrow - 13K LSD
Next week: Week #8 Road Work, my final week.
Sunday, May 1 - Forest City Road Race 10K