I registered for the Crime Prevention 5K because:
A. It was an evening race, and we usually run after work
B. A very flat course
C. The start line is outside my office window
What I didn’t realize was:
1. It’s still August in Mobile, so HUMIDITY – duh!
2. When I got to the start line I would’ve run all of 5 miles in the preceding week and a half. #stupidshinsplint
So I taped up my shin and knew I wouldn’t get under that elusive 40 minutes, and frankly, hoped I wouldn’t have to drop out. This ended up being a bigger local 5K, with almost 300 entries, not including the 2 baby stollers and 2 dogs. Between the crowd and stress about my leg holding up, I totally lost composure at the start and with it, my game plan to stay calm and cool and use this as a supported training run. I had at least programmed my Garmin for 5 minute run/1:30 minute walk to hopefully keep my shin at least placated.
When the gun went off, instead of starting slow and controlling my pace, I reverted back to race panic mode and took off like lightening had just hit. I thought I’d lost Mark for good. On the up side, I didn’t feel any pain.
Mile 1: 13:26
For some people, that isn’t a fast pace, but I know for me, it’s not sustainable for 3.1 miles. I haven’t run more than 3.5 miles at a time since November, and at my best, a 14:00 mi is good for me. Mark caught up to me, and I tried to pace myself off of people I thought looked to be about my pace. But the damage was already done. I had a hard time catching my breath and had to walk extra.
Mile 2: 14:59
Mile 2 was pretty much a suckfest. I walked way more than I wanted to, and got really down on myself. When I did run it was only for about 3 minutes at a time. My legs felt wiped out already. I made the fatal mistake of not taking a handheld with Nuun. The race was well supported with water, but I’m used to drinking Nuun in addition to taking a salt tab. The effects of the salt tab faded pretty quickly, and by 2.5 my fingers were swollen like sausages.
Mile 3: 15:10
I asked Mark to help pace me during the last mile. I still wasn’t running full intervals, and I was feeling nauseous from the humidity. At least there was a breeze that kept us a bit cooler.
Mile 3.2 (yes, this course was long. Get it right, Productions by Little Red Hen!): 12:27
So obviously my legs had more left in them than I thought.
Official (Gun) time: 45:51
Garmin time: 45:42
As bad as I felt about my effort, Strava let me know that for the actual first 3.1 miles I ran, this was my second fastest 5K. That really made me feel better since I see some improvement over my first 5K 2 years ago. I learned once again I need to work on my hydration and make a real effort to hold back in the first mile. I also need to get better at my mental game and digging in deep when it hurts. I keep learning these same things over and over. I just need more practice.
And yes, I did pay for the effort in my shin the next day.