Perhaps it was a bad idea to hope for a larger improve at a race dubbed the No Luck Run, but hey, I gave it my all. Yesterday I ran the No Luck Irish Run 5K, and I while won’t say I had no luck, I think I’m realizing there is no luck to be had in the 5K’s, i.e. it comes down to blood, sweat, and tears (or at least sweat and possibly some tears). My official time was 21:01, which was a 6:47 pace, and a 16 second improvement over my February race. Was I hoping to knock down my time more than I did? Sure, but realistically I know I did the best I could. These two 5K’s have played out the same way: fast first mile, second mile probably where I’d want to be, shitty third mile. My splits from my watch from yesterday’s race were 6:28, 6:44, and 7:07. Ouch. While this race felt less worse than last month, that last mile was a struggle. I did end up as second place overall (which was also second place female), so that was a nice, fun bonus.
This was a small race, and there weren’t a lot of people out in the front of the pack. I say this because I ran the entire race in second place and didn’t hear any huffing and puffing behind me. The first place gal was kicking it pretty far ahead of me, growing more and more distance as I faded, though in the beginning of the race I really tried to push myself to shorten the distance between us. I’ve wondered if I would have run a little better if I had had more people to feed off of, but I’m not really sure that would have helped much. I think gaining more stamina and consistency with these shorter races will simply require more experience and more practice racing them. When I stopped and thought about how many 5K’s I’ve run in the past three years, I realized that before the two I’ve done recently I’d only done one in 2014 when I was getting back into racing. I’ve made what now feels like a mistake in only racing half marathons. First, this severely limited the number of races I ran each year, which in turn meant I wasn’t gaining a lot of racing experience. Second, it meant that I wasn’t giving myself opportunities to work on my speed. Lesson learned.
I mistakenly thought the shorter races would feel easier as a half marathoner, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. So far they’ve served to make me really nostalgic for the longer races I can ease into. I can have an off mile in a half marathon and still do pretty well overall. There’s just much less wiggle room when you’re only working with 3.1 miles. I’d like to try my hand at some 10K’s as well, and certainly that would help me build up to a fall half.
My performance aside, this was a really great local race. I was so impressed with the race organizers and the energy and excitement they created for everyone running. The race announcer was hilarious and really made the whole shebang worthwhile. There was great music, and the awards were super cute. I mean, who doesn’t want to wear these every day?
Please excuse my crazy hair, but, you know…racing, and all.
Sitting here a day later, I’m glad I did this race and I’m glad there’s another one on my calendar for next month, and the month after. I know I won’t improve unless I keep at this, and if in the end it turns out that I improve my slowing making progress, then that’s okay. This morning I drug my post-race self out of bed for an easy 8 mile recovery run, and started to prepare myself for whatever comes next in my training. Excited to see what the next month will bring.
P.S. This is day 8 of my 30 day writing challenge.