Better Late Than Never

Last year, one of my 2013 Goals was to run a 5K at a pace under 7:30.

Didn’t Happen.

But Saturday, it did!

While Colby was tackling the mighty KeyBank Vermont City Marathon, I covered the other end of the running spectrum by running the Weston Memorial Day 5K.

I didn’t have high expectations for the race, as my running has been sporadic and, well, kind of crappy as of late. I am running the Heartbreak Hill Half on June 8, though, and thought it would be good to get back into racing mode with a small, local 5K.

Once I got to the race, I realized that I actually felt pretty good. And I figured, with my lack of distance running lately, my legs were as rested as they will ever be, so decided to go for broke and see what I could do. Last year, my 5K paces ranged between 7:37-7:43. I didn’t expect to beat them, but hoped that I could be in or around that range. Weaseled my way to the front and took off with the rest of the crowd like a bat out of hell.

As I closed in on the first mile, I saw 6:56 on the time clock. Holy Crap. HOLY CRAP!Way faster than I could have hoped. At that point, I decided I was just going to run as hard as I could until the finish – no excuses. The next mile had some rolling hills and my pace definitely slowed, but my effort did not. I cranked as hard as I could through mile 2 and kept pushing. More hills – nothing that I’m not used to, but I generally do not try to speed up them. That was hard. I’m used to distance racing and conserving energy and form on hills. Not this time. At this point, I figured I had a shot at breaking 7:30 and I couldn’t let it slip away. At least not without a heck of a fight. Plus, there was another runner who was right with me the whole way and I think we helped each other keep the pace up. By the time I saw the finish, I kind of felt like I might puke. And my legs were on fire. But I crossed at 22:56, with a final pace of 7:23. PR, Baby! I even placed 2nd in my age group and got a shiny medal.

 WestonMedalPic

Not a bad way to kick off a holiday weekend! I’ll admit it – I was pretty darn stoked. And I will now stop complaining that my running is not going so well. It’s different this year from last year – I have a lot less time to devote to it – but I guess I have to think of it as different and not necessarily worse.

Successful 5K aside, I’m still a little apprehensive about how I’ll manage the Heartbreak Hill Half in 11 days…a Half…now, that’s a whole different ballgame (and 10 more miles). And it will be June. I’m going to start praying right now for a cold snap.

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36 thoughts on “Better Late Than Never

  1. YEEEESSSSSS T-BONE!! I was so damn proud of you when you texted me the good news!!! Seriously. So. Effen. Proud. To run the fastest you have EVER at a 5K. At this fabulous age. With 3 children. And a wicked schedule. Beyond impressive. My little Zippy friend! I will be with you in spirit at the Heartbreak Hill Half. Considering I have blisters the size of chestnuts on each baby toe, I’m glad I declined. (Limits, Colby. Limits.) Once I can put a shoe on, I’ll be back at it. 🙂

    • Given that you would have had to run the Heartbreak Hill Half barefoot, it is a blessing that you have family commitments that weekend anyway. Next year, Dolly. Plus you have to heal those feet before our Run on the Sun on June 22! I mentioned the Fairfield Half to a guy in a running store the other day and his immediate response was: “Is that always the goddamn hottest day of the year, or what?” So it’s not just us.

      • After Sunday’s Marathon In a Lava Field with an Oh So Slight Breeze, I feel as if I may be prepared for Fairfield. Which we swore we weren’t doing. Which I CAN NOT WAIT to run with you so we can sweat, and bitch, and THRIVE! Together!! I call dibs on My Room! xoxoxoxo

    • Thanks so much! Totally different races – almost totally different sports. Since I started running distance races a few years ago, I kind of “forgot” how differently you need to run a 5K and tend to hold back. It was fun to run all out!

      • EVERY achievement is to be celebrated. One of my good friends competed in the Ironman World Championships – twice. And she still gets stoked for my PR’s!! Nothing like looking up at the clock and realizing you beat a goal.

    • I’m a shortie, but about 90% of my body height is in my legs (only a slight exaggeration). I discovered my love of running while playing soccer growing up – soccer is all fast starts and sprints, so I know those fast-twitch muscles are in me somewhere. I just wasn’t sure if I could access them anymore!

      • let’s not mess around. Hang the rosary. Bury St. Joseph (maybe we’ll sell a house while we run). Incense & candles. Ran 2 heat-stroke inducing Half’s last June and would NOT like a repeat! I was dehydrated for the entire month of June.

  2. Congrats on your PR & 2nd in your age group!
    I swore of racing for PRs in the summertime (and early June) after a crazy humid/miserable race last year. Hopefully the Heartbreak Half coming up will be cool and not too humid for you 🙂

    • Oh, I will in no way be chasing a PR at the Heartbreak Hill half – I just want cool weather so I don’t pass out by the side of the road! Hate racing in the heat. This past Saturday was pretty cool, but my favorite racing weather is late fall and early spring. Ill take clouds and 40’s any day!

  3. You’ll do great in your half. A half is not that much different from a 5K in terms of effort, sure you run a lot longer, but you run at a slower pace so it’s not so difficult to keep it up. Pace yourself well and you’ll finish strong.
    Congratulations on your PR!!

    • Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to it. I think that the half is my favorite race to run. I ran 6 half marathons last year and was completely in the distance running zone. This year, I’ve been doing a lot less running and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I’m wondering if I’ll finish slower but feel better because my legs are more rested. The hills on this one should be interesting. And painful.

  4. Aww yeah! 5K’s are the most grueling, you feel like you are going to explode until you final cross that finish line but man does it feel good to see a nice shiny PR staring back at you. CONGRATS and good luck this weekend.

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