When a friend asks, “Hey, do you want to do a race next weekend that gives finishers chocolate?” you don’t hesitate and you say yes. One text is all it took to get me to sign up for the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. Since it’s still early in the season, I opted for the 5k distance.
Race morning hadn’t started as planned. First, I went to bed way too late the night before and only got about five hours of sleep the night before the race. I went to grab my standard English muffin and peanut butter for breakfast, and realized I was out of English muffins. Dang, Greek yogurt it is, then! I planned on taking the public rail system to avoid traffic. I drove to a station where there had previously been ample public parking, only to find out the public parking was no longer available. Well shucks. Guess I was going to be driving to the race this morning.
Luckily, I made it to the race in plenty of time. Since it was rather cold, I stayed in my car for about 20 minutes before walking over to the start line. I warmed up with some squats, leg swings, calf stretches, and the shivering cold dance. Back in Corral E, I had about a 15 minute wait from the first corral before we set off.
I took off at a pace that felt very good. I didn’t feel like I was sprinting, but I could tell I was moving at a decent pace. I stayed to the outside of the course to try to avoid the mass pack that usually forms in the center. The first mile marker came up very quickly. Right after mile 1, I heard the sweet shouts of my friend who convinced me to sign up for the race! She had been stuck in traffic, but finally made it and wouldn’t ya know we literally ran into each other on the course. She has a strict ‘no talking during running’ policy, so I obliged by just running >really close< to her until she noticed me. That’s not creepy, right?
I considered stopping at the water station around mile 1.5, but I realized I had a really good pace going and I didn’t want to stop it. My negative thoughts tried to sneak in and tell me to walk, but I ignored them. Around mile 2.3, we had an overpass to ascend. I dug in and picked my pace up when tackling that hill. Dang that was steep! Was that Dallas’ heartbreak hill? Whew. Did I earn a walk break? Probably, but I was NOT going to take it. I just had a little over half a mile to the finish and I wanted to finish strong.
Goal: Race with a friend, enjoy a “fun run”, and eat some post-race chocolate
Date: February 7, 2015
Location: Dallas, TX
Distance: 5k; 3.1 miles
Conditions: 44 °F, 16 mph wind and 85% humidity. Quite cold and a tad windy.
Total time: 31:34
Pace: 9:54 min/mile
Mile 1 – 9:48 min/mile
Mile 2 – 9:44 min/mile
Mile 3 – 10:00 min/mile
Outcome: HOLY CRAP I JUST GOT A PR!
I hadn’t even thought about trying for a PR! It didn’t even occur to me that I was racing towards a PR until after I finished the race, stopped my watch and checked out my pace. I had just finished a 5k and maintained a sub 10 minute mile. BOOM! To be honest I don’t remember the total time 5k PR I previously had, but I know for a fact I had never sustained sub 10 minute miles. I hadn’t specifically been training for a 5K PR, so I was over the moon with my results!
The happy PR dance
It was even sweeter to share my PR with Novia. We grabbed some post-race hot chocolate, which was mighty fine on that cold morning.
Just last week, I made an internal recommitment to running. If I am going to tackle Ironman Augusta 70.3, I really need to refocus on my running. I ‘m really excited to continue to see improvements in my time over the next few months.