Fast & Furious 5K

So, today was the day that I attempted to run the fastest 5K I have ever ran in my life.  Actually, I haven’t really ran very many 5K’s in the past so I don’t have much to compare it to.  I did run the Woodside 5K back in 2006.  That was located in the woodsy hill area south of San Francisco.  Needless to say, I wasn’t very well prepared for that race and I also had no idea that it would be straight uphill for about a mile of it.  Regardless of the circumstances, I somehow managed to finish in 37:02 (funny how I can google that and still see that my time is posted online… otherwise there is no way I would remember that).  I’m pretty sure that was my first 5K unless my mom made me do one at some point during my childhood (a time when I dreaded running).  Let me think, 2006… my first daughter was only about 2 years old at that time.  Yep, I am pretty sure that is when I started having a slight interest in running.  After that there was no stopping me (well, except for the two pregnancies that soon followed).

Oh, back to today’s 5K.  Sorry, I was just having flashbacks.  Most of you know that short distance hasn’t really been my thing lately.  No, if I am going to run a race then I usually want it to be 13.1 or 26.2 miles.  As I recently considered my New Year’s resolutions I thought about the need for speed (in addition to the weight training and core training so I could hopefully improve my form… no luck yet, my form still sucks).  When you start working with something new, like speed, it makes sense to start from the bottom of the mileage chart again (nope, I couldn’t do that to myself on a 10-mile run).  So, the fun-loving 3-miler that seems to be the point where runners can call themselves runners if they can run 3 miles without stopping (some kind of unwritten rule).

There I go getting off topic again.  Let’s go back to this morning when I woke up and looked outside and felt a little perturbed that it was nasty gray and drizzly.  “Please don’t let this affect my time!” was all I could think. Then we got in the car and obnoxious little drops of rain pounded on our windshield.  As we drove south, the rain subsided.  I was hopeful.  When we got to the race area, I jumped out and headed to the booth to pick up my number.  This was a little race in comparison to the marathon of 17,000 people I just participated, but for some reason I was so focused on getting everything done quickly and making sure I was at the starting line well ahead of schedule.  I was basically stressing out for no reason (as my husband will tell you, that is my typical behavior at functions).  My running buddy and I get up to the start.  Then of course I start thinking about the kids in front of us and I get annoyed thinking that they are going to get in my way once this thing starts.  Gosh, I have just turned into a sour puss.  Just relax lady!

The gun goes off and I jet!  I think that maybe I am starting off too quickly, but I can’t help myself.  I want to pass these people and find an open area where I can run free.  Then I find it.  The space that no one is occupying.  I settle in and then realize that I am still flying.  I am worried, but I still don’t slow down.  I try not to think about how I might die by the time I get to mile 1.  But then I pass mile 1 and I am not dead yet.  I still have some gas and I might be able to maintain.  We round a curve to the other street and I keep wishing that the mile 2 marker was in sight.  And it wasn’t… still not there yet… nope, not there.  I am chugging along hoping that I don’t run out of fuel when I see it… mile 2!  The nice lady holding the sign tells me my time (still doing good) and mentally pushes me forward by telling me I am one of the top 10 females.  Okay, I can do this.  Then I see the walkers (it was a loop that repeated itself) and I started flying past them.  Now I have to focus on weaving in and out of traffic again.  If anyone gets in my way, oh boy, I will yell so loud that they will jump to the other side of the road.  Then I pass this Marine/Airforce/whatever looking dude. Well, that seemed to irritate him because a minute later he flew right past me.  That only made me run faster even though I wasn’t able to keep up.  Then, there it was!  The finish line!  Oh my, I was losing steam.  Just pick it up for one more 0.1 mile!  I did and I crossed that line in 24 minutes 24 seconds!  Whew, that was fast… for me.  It was my personal record.  That’s a pretty good feeling.  Just a little while later it starting pouring rain.


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