I ran a 5k this weekend! It was my second race since having Grayson and my first time doing a 5k since March of 2018 before I was pregnant. First let’s back up and talk about the week leading up to the race.
I had been eyeing this race for a few weeks because it was pretty close by. About a week ago I signed up right before the price would have gone up. I structured my workouts last week a little differently so that I would have a rest day on Friday and not strength train too close to the race. This meant I only had 1 run during the week, on Thursday, with the stroller.
I did my strength training on Monday and Wednesday so that they were not back to back, and needed to have a rest day in there somewhere early in the week because it had been awhile. On Thursday I was hoping to run 4 miles but Grayson was not happy in the stroller after the first 2 miles. I think he is teething and nothing seemed to keep him entertained.
Weekly Run Down
Monday: Strength Training
Wednesday: Strength Training and 20 minute walk
Thursday: 3.4 mile stroller run
Friday: Rest- easy walk
Saturday: 5k plus warm up and cool down (just under 5 miles total)
Sunday: 6 super easy miles
The only problem with this race was the 9am start time. That time of day on Saturday is when we get so much done. Usually while Grayson naps Rob runs errands and I do stuff around the house. Not to mention I am just not used to running that late.
I woke up early, ate some oatmeal and drank coffee before the boys woke up. It was nice to at least be able to hang out with them for awhile in the morning before leaving for the race. At 7:15 I pumped, chugged some water, and headed out at 8am.
I ate a honey stinger waffle after I parked, and then headed over to the race area. It started around Lake Montebello, which is about a 1.5 mile paved loop around a lake. I ran a 1.25 mile warm up and did some dynamic stretches.
I knew this would be a small race so I headed towards the front when we lined up to start. There were a couple other women nearby but no one that seemed eager to be in the front row. I hung out about 3 rows back but it wasn’t packed in tightly at all so I knew I could get ahead if I needed to.
When I first started running I easily passed the other women who had started ahead of me, but within the first 1/2 mile two other women caught up and passed me. I was able to see them for most of the race, but by the second mile they had a pretty strong lead. My goal for this race was more about my own time than placing.
We headed out of the lake area at the start and mile 1 had a bit of a hill but nothing crazy. The first 2 miles are sort of an out and back with a little loop at mile 2. I ran mile 1 in 7:05, which was faster than I expected, and mile 2 in 7:14. I was hoping to run mile 3 at closer to a 7:00 min/mile considering it was all flat and we were running around the path at the lake. Despite feeling like I was pushing really hard, this was my slowest mile at 7:20.
When my watched beeped at mile 3, I still wasn’t even near the mile 3 marker. I’m not sure if it was because I was not running the inner loop of the lake (I wasn’t that far out, but there were lots of walkers in the inner lane). I gave a hard push to the finish but it felt like forever. My Garmin said my last .19 mile was at a 6:51 pace.
The hardest part of this race for me was the humidity. It was the kind of day that initially feels like its not too warm but then you start running and realize its totally gross. I was hoping for a cooler day at the end of September, especially since we have had some nice running weather recently.
I think this is a pretty good course for a 5k, although I’m not sure if it measured long or if I just ran extra distance because of using the outer lane around the lake. Honestly I don’t think I weaved at all and for most of the loop around the lake I was in the inner lane, so who knows. Mentally it was nice to know the hills were done after the first mile and a half or so. During the last mile you can sort of see how far you are from the finish, although I’m not sure if thats a good or a bad thing!
My official time was 22:56 and I was the 3rd female overall. After crossing the finish line I grabbed some water and jogged to cool down and then stretched. I needed to get home so didn’t stick around for the awards. On my way home I stopped at Panera for some breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
This time was actually faster than my last 2 5ks which were in March 2018 and November 2017. For awhile I felt like I was getting slower at the distance, so this was a nice confidence booster. I still have work to do but I feel like if all the stars aligned (perfect course, perfect weather, etc.) I could get closer to my PR.
While I felt like I really pushed myself, one thing I noticed was that I struggled with turning over my legs quickly at the end. I was able to push aerobically, especially knowing I was almost done, but my legs just wouldn’t go any faster. That makes sense because I haven’t done any true speed work for a short distance, like 400 repeats or something. So if I want to get faster in the 5k, that is something I will need to work on.
Now I’m starting to think towards a half marathon. Hopefully I will be sharing more about that next week!
How were your workouts last week?
What’s the hardest part of a 5k for you?