My second 5k of 2015 arrived much like the first… A little too fast, preceded by much too little preparation. I mean, let’s face it, babies don’t exactly plan their nap schedules around their mom’s workout routines. In fact, I’m fairly certain that my little guy finds great satisfaction in throwing tantrums just around the time I planned on going for a peaceful walk through the neighborhood.
Well, so much for that workout… There’s always tomorrow… Or, even better, there’s always Monday.
So there I was, warming up on the morning of yet another 5k and feeling very much unprepared. My dad patted me on the back and said, “Just make sure you don’t come in last!” That’s his pep-talk before every run… My dad is insanely competitive, but he takes it easy on me when I haven’t prepared for a run. But still, there’s no excuse for me to let myself come in last. 😉
Normally that isn’t a concern of mine, but I quickly realized that this race had the least amount of runners out of any other race I had run. It was a local run to benefit bullying prevention and pop warner, and I’m talking under 40 runners in all. And there were a lot of fit-looking women lining up in front of me, ready to run the race.
I groaned. Last place, here I come! Sorry, Dad!
The gun went off (or, well, a woman shouted ‘go’), and the crowd of runners took off. Now if there’s one thing I’ve learned from running 5k’s is that everyone likes to start off fast and strong, because there’s this adrenaline rush to get to the head of the pack. I used to get caught up in that too, but I found that I would burn out quickly. Now, I usually line up towards the very end of the runners, and I start off very slow and steady, gradually picking up speed throughout the race as I catch my stride.
Soooo, the entire pack of runners took off, as usual, and I was left in the very back, just feet behind my sister. It was a hot day, and she was unfamiliar with the racing route (as was I). So she decided to pace herself as well.
I was very soon relieved that I had started off slow and steady, however, because the route had hills. No sooner would we be up one hill, when we’d see another hill in the distance. I also quickly realized that the route was marked by traffic cones, and the runners had to know to turn when they saw one. But I was so terrified of missing a marker and running straight (therefore getting lost in a local town that I wasn’t all that familiar with) that I came to one conclusion.
I couldn’t let my sister out of my sight.
Her pace was slow and steady for her usual speed, but it was much faster than I’m used to. But still, I actually felt pretty good. So I stayed a few steps behind her, and sometimes even ran alongside her. We’d chat occasionally and it just kept my momentum going. I soon realized that we were passing a ton of people, some of who had stopped to walk and others who were just running very slowly.
So many times I wanted to stop and walk, but I pushed through the pain and decided that I was going to finish this strong! And in the end, it paid off… Not only did I not finish last, but I was the second woman to finish!!! And my sister Sarah came in first!!!
I was pretty pumped, especially since I had shaved 7 minutes off my last time, crossing the finish line at around 32 minutes. Hey, I’ll take it!
Now let’s hope I’ll actually prepare for my next 5k, which is in two weeks. 😉