My most recent 5K was last March. There were several over the winter and late spring that I missed out on due to the tendonitis. With all the time spent not running this winter, I was beginning to think my new year’s running goals might not be in the cards this year.
My fears of decreased pace and fitness have been squashed several times in the last month. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the “fast” pace I’ve been able to pull out on several occasions.
The most recent pace surprise was this weekend at the First Hamden 5K on Saturday. My previous PR was 27:45. I wanted to beat 27 minutes so I set an ambitious pace into my Garmin of 8:40/ mi to ensure that I’d be over the line before 27 minutes, even if . This pace is about 20s/mi faster than my tempo runs for my half marathon training plan.
As I crossed the starting line, I knew I had to push my pace for the whole race if I wanted to PR. The first mile and a quarter was uphill! What the?! Note to self: pay more attention to the course when setting time goals. My tempo run mantra cycled through my mind. “Push it!”
Just after mile 1 at 8:10 pace, we turned the corner to continue running uphill. Will it ever end? Thankfully, the first short downhill was just before the halfway mark. I made up some time employing my attempts at Chi Running, leaning forward as I ran down the hill, increasing my foot turnover to use the downhill to my greatest advantage. Then another uphill till about mile 2.5.
The downhill finish was a real boost for me. Even so, I definitely wanted to stop. I think that’s a good sign that I was pushing it enough. As I came around the corner toward the finish, my friend Justin yelled “Push it, Carole!”. I kicked it out through the finish and saw a very gratifying 25:07 on the clock.
So much for being under 27 minutes! 25:07?! That’s crazy talk! Talk about satisfying. Note to self: who cares about the course? Don’t let anything throw doubts into your race plan, you may be very pleasantly surprised by your abilities.
5K: Sub 25:00
10K: Sub 53:00
1/2 Marathon: Sub 2:00:00
Full Marathon: Sub 4:30:00
What are your race goals for the summer?