I ran in our local St. Patrick’s Day 5k race yesterday morning. It was a gorgeous, sunny morning. A perfect day for a run. I met up with one of my former students to catch up before the race. All of these things sort of distracted me from the fact that I don’t like 5k races. They scare me so much, in fact, that I have not run one in 2 years. I always feel like I am good holding my fast pace for the first two miles, but it’s that last 1.1 miles that kill me. Still, I decided I need to run them to just have fun and also because I would never push myself as hard in a personal speed workout as I would in a race environment.
There was a decent sized field for a local race, and I had no expectations other than to beat my PR from 2 years ago that was somewhere around 27 minutes. And to enjoy the weather, the distance, and the experience. I got off to a fast start and was feeling great, so I went with it to see how far I could push forward around that pace. I wasn’t wearing my contacts or glasses, so I couldn’t see ahead far enough to get an idea of where I was in the pack. I felt like I was somewhere near the front. As we neared the turnaround I watched the leaders pass and realized how close I was to the front and that I was the lead woman. I was definitely surprised, but it kept me pushing forward at that pace. I was good, as expected, until we hit mile 3. Then I really just wanted to slow down, but I knew I could not slow much. I did my best to distract myself from the pain in my lungs and stomach from continuing to push at my max pace. I realized I was not going to have many opportunities to actually win, and I think that more than anything gave me the strength to continue pushing to the finish. I finished in 24:18. A PR for me, a 9th overall finish, and a 1st women’s finish. I am pretty sure I had the help of some leprechauns along the way.