I don’t run a lot of 5k’s but now I am left thinking maybe I should!
This race is 4 years in the running and each year it gets better and better. My work puts it on which makes me more nervous because everyone I work with knows I run, so I put an absurd amount of pressure on myself. Saturday was no different. It’s also odd showing up at work on a Saturday, couldn’t get over that one either.
Anyway, I got there about 8:20 and it was starting around 9:00. Start lines always freak me out! I have to get better about staying within myself and not letting other people intimidate me based on their warmups, etc. I found my running buddy Kailey and we did a quick mile warm up before the start. There were also people leading stretches and warm ups which was a cool addition this year!
The start is in the street outside my work and before I knew it we were walking over. All night I thought about how I don’t know how to race 5k’s and I woke up feeling sick. I think I was making myself sick with stress. I told myself when I woke up that it was just a race, it doesn’t matter where I place or how I do because Chicago is my goal race. Chicago is everything I have been training for. Except then as we were on the start line and I lined up in the front another running friend Kim gave me better advice, she said just run. It doesn’t matter if it’s a PR just run. I like that, just run, just run, I started repeating it to myself.
The horn sounded and we were off. I went out fast and then tried to reign it in a bit because the first part of the course is slightly uphill. I only glanced down at my watch a few times to see the pace but didn’t check any of my mile splits. I raced like I used to back in high school, by feel and by effort, just running. It was awesome, I felt strong and comfortable despite the 100% humidity!
After mile one I felt I was going a little fast and wasn’t sure I could maintain it so I let the hill slow me down a bit for mile two. At mile two I knew there was a girl behind me comfortable following me. I also knew if I kept this pace up she would definitely pass me. I asked myself how bad I wanted it, how much more did I want to push or could I push? Then I just tried to catch the guys in front of me. There were about four. I passed two right away and the other two were farther in the distance. I focused on my breathing and holding on.
Once I reached the corner I would go. I kept telling myself that. Hold strong now but don’t go full out yet. I reached the corner and I tried to kick it in. I had no idea if the girl was still on my tail. I heard people cheering for what sounded like “lauren” and I ran faster. I looked at the clock and saw 19:xx and ran harder through the finish. I crossed the line first female and third overall!
I looked back and didn’t see a girl right away, she must have been 20 seconds or so behind me. Turns out the second place male’s name was “Loren”, but hey the cheering made me run faster so I should thank him! Official time was 19:07, even though I had the course a bit short, it would have been a PR regardless. I ran 20:30 on this course last year!
The second I stopped running I felt like I had gone swimming, I was soaked! Happy but soaked. I stayed at the finish and cheered on my friends and colleagues. It was a PR for a lot of my friends! I won an amazon echo for coming in first! I also gave away some free months of Coaching for some of the top age group placers.
Overall it was a great race and a great day. I left wondering if I should run more 5k’s and switch to shorter distances post Boston Marathon and I think that is definitely what I will do. I love the marathon but I also want to work on my speed again, now that I had a taste for what I fell in love with in high school track again 🙂