- 2012 (mono)
- 2013 (stress reaction in shin)
- 2016 (mono)
- 2018 (mono)
- 2020 (we did the virtual, which was a different course)
I woke up at around 4:30 without an alarm, after having slept a solid 8 hours. My sleep was really great both last night AND the night before. My FitBit indicated that I got a high amount of deep sleep and REM sleep.
As for my race weather scale, this one is tricky. It was 71 degrees, sunny, with low humidity + a light breeze. Objectively, any race that is over 70 degrees would get a no more than a 3 out of 10. BUT - given that we are in the middle of the summer and it's almost always humid, we really lucked out. We couldn't have asked for much better weather on July 4th, so maybe it would be a 9 out of 10 given the time of year. So, balancing the 3 and the 9 - I give this race weather a 6 out of 10. At 71 degrees, it felt much better than my previous two 5Ks that were very humid with temps in the 60s.
My goals were:
- Set a course PR (sub 21:16)
- Run the last mile faster than 7:00 (I had never done that before)
- Focus on actually running- not the Garmin
- Stay mentally strong up that final hill
My plan was to go out hard, but not too hard. Since I wasn't planning on looking at my Garmin, I didn't have a particular goal in mind for this split. I wanted it to feel hard, but not all-out. I told myself before the race that in a 5K, mile 1 is supposed to feel really hard, so don't worry about bonking.
This is a fast mile. The first and last miles of the race are net uphill, which means nearly all the decline in the race is during this mile. I was really good about not looking at my watch during this mile. I knew that a pace that looked too fast would freak me out and a pace that looked too slow would discourage me. And I didn't have a target. I just ran.
Now it was time to rally. It already hurt so much, but I told myself I had less than 8 minutes to go and I could do anything for that amount of time. I had practiced this moment in my head several times throughout the past week. When you get to mile 3, be super strong. Run hard even when it hurts really badly. Since I had pre-conditioned myself to think these thoughts, they came easily. There wasn't any negativity.
As I approached the finish line, I could not believe my eyes. The clock read 20:xx. NO WAY! Could I actually get under 21:00? In the Firecracker 5K? Seriously? I ran my heart out once I saw the clock, finishing in an official time of 20:57. A course PR by 19 seconds! HUGE!
I am really, really happy about this! After having been disappointed with my previous 5K performance, this was a nice comeback. It's also a testament to going into a race really fresh. Low mileage, only one speed workout a week, lots of hydration . . . sometimes less is more. Particularly in the summer.
|Year||Mile 1||Mile 2||Mile 3||Final Kick||Time|