On Thanksgiving I ran my local YMCA’s Gobble Gallop 5k. I finished in 25:19. 8:09 average pace, 149/788 overall, 38/430 females, 7/38 age group and 14 seconds shy of a PR. I did finish faster than McMillan (and I) predicted (25:43), so even though it wasn’t a PR, I am pleased with the effort.
I have a lot of ‘missed connections’ when it comes to the 5k. I’ve done a couple with the jogging stroller, a couple while pregnant, a couple while recovering from pregnant, and the latest one, recovering from the marathon and the plague. So my PR doesn’t really reflect what I’m capable of. I’d love a 23:XX…some day.
Anyway. This was my fourth year running this race, and it’s one of my favorites. As I have noted in race reports past, it takes place half a mile from my house. I can pick up my race packet the day before, warm up on the way there and jump in line five minutes before the start. (Because of limited parking, it could be a pain for those who have to drive. Carpooling is recommended.)
AND I just have to note that on Thanksgiving morn, I woke up naturally around 7 and had time to get dressed and make coffee before the kids began to stir– a rare and tremendous luxury!
This race is inexpensive and low-key, but it’s also chip-timed and well organized. There are no mile markers on the course but I was wearing my garmin so it wasn’t a big deal. My one complaint in previous years was that the race started on a narrow area of the Y trail so as the event grew in popularity, it became increasingly congested at the start. This year they fixed that by starting on a stretch of road that is much wider, and organizing pace groups better. Feeling like an impostor, I seeded myself in the 8:00 area as soon as I arrived. (Yeah, I thought 8:00 might be a stretch, but I decided to go for broke with this race).
The race began without a gun or lot of fanfare and I settled in at what I felt was a reasonably uncomfortable pace. I was OMG SO GLAD I’d warmed up. I predictably overdid it in the weight room earlier in the week and my quads were still tender, but a lot of foam rolling the night before, and that warm-up run, saved me.
Right away this kid kept leaping in front of me as he dodged other runners. I sped up to pass him and then had to pass a group of three runners just ahead of him. The group of three were two girls and a dude who were probably all at least six years younger than me. I was running a little faster than I thought was wise at that point but I decided I wanted to stay ahead of them because arbitrary goals.
Mile 1: 8:09
We took the Y trail around to where it opens into my neighborhood and I was seeing about 8:1Xs on my watch. I decided I’d try to hold onto that for the first two miles and then try to get down to 8:00 or just under for the third. But at around 1.5 I glanced down and saw 7:50 and thought fuck it! I was FEELING IT. Those two young girls were right behind me and I wanted to beat them. Pride is a hell of a drug.
But apparently they hadn’t even turned on yet because as we approached mile 2 they casually worked up to probably 7:40s, passed me and I never saw them again.
Mile 2: 8:01
It was when I had a mile to go that I realized I’d probably blown my load too early. I started seeing 8:1Xs again and my legs were starting to feel sluggish. But I realized if I could just hold on, maaaaybe, possibly, I could PR. We turned back onto the Y trail from the neighborhood, I was starting to feel trashed.
Mile 3: 8:09
As we came around the last curve to the finish, I was feeling rather like throwing up and my legs were on fire. I ran my last .1 (but really .17 because TANGENTS ARE HARD) at a 6:55 pace.
So. Not a PR, but not bad for still being moderately sick (GOD fucking-A you guys seriously, I’m still blowing snot like it’s my JOB), just running a marathon, and doing very, very little speed work over the last four months, and literally NO speed work over the last four weeks.