As I was driving away from the Halloween 5k race back in October, I sent Coach Dino a text and told him I wasn’t very happy with my results. I finished in 21:08 but didn’t feel like that result reflected the shape I was in. His response was that he didn’t want to hear it. I was still coming off of marathon recovery and hadn’t done any speed work yet. He said that after a month of focused workouts, I’d see at least a minute improvement on that time. And so, I dove into the every workout he gave me over the next 4 weeks, hoping that I’d see the work pay off on Thanksgiving.
I felt nervous in the couple days leading up to the race. I knew that I didn’t race well at the last 5k and the turkey trot would show me if it was a fluke or if that was really what I was capable of right now. I wanted to do well. I wanted to break 20. I wanted to feel like I ran as well as I could. Dino predicted a 19:52 for me and I wanted to prove that I could do it.
I warmed up with my brother. We did 1.5 miles or so and then I changed into my racing shoes and did some strides. I could tell during the strides that it was going to be a better day than a month before. My legs were turning over well and I just felt good. The warm up gave me confidence that I was really ready to race again.
The race was pretty much pancake flat. I went out a little faster than I meant to as I usually do. I started with my brother and as we were running side by side (which we shouldn’t have been since I finished a minute behind him) he said to me: “Find your pace, Tara, find your pace.” I tried to reign it in, hit the first mile at 6:11 and was 3rd place woman at that point. I felt a little sorry for myself during mile 2. Brendan had already passed me and 2 women came up behind me and flew past. One of the women, said, “Come on let’s go, stay with me, you’re doing great!” I said I didn’t think I could but it gave me enough of a boost that I got back on pace. I looked for her at the end of the race to thank her but unfortunately missed her. I ended up passing both of them by mile 2 and was back in 3rd. Second mile was 6:28. The third mile I spent trying to hold on and reign in the second place woman. She was running about 5 seconds or so in front of me but I could tell she was hurting. I made up my mind that I was going to push it and try to pass her before mile 3. I passed her with probably half a mile left in the race and hung on to second place. Third mile was 6:31.
At the end I was just trying to hold onto my lead. I knew there were two women close to me and I just wanted to stay in second. I kicked it in as fast I could. According to Garmin: the last .12 in 40 seconds or 5:42 pace.
I’m definitely happy with this race. I wanted to go under 20 and I did. I do think I could have executed it better. Gone out a little more conservatively and come back a little stronger in the 3rd mile. But I think that as I run more 5k’s I’ll get better at racing them, not faster (although hopefully that too!) but just better at pacing and race strategy.
Brendan and Ryan also ran the race. Along with my brother, brother-in-law and neice and nephews. We had quite a group!
Brendan and I had a little friendly competition going on and I narrowly squeaked by him. But I think it is most likely the last time I will beat him in a 5k. It’s kind of amazing to me that with very little training he can up and run a sub 20 5k! He came in first in his age group.
Ryan got a little caught up in the start and went out too fast which I think everyone does in their first 5k. After I finished, I ran back to find him and he was hurting but really pushed through and finished right around 27.
I thought it was so sweet that Brendan also ran back to find him. Brendan really motivated him to push hard to the finish line.
The next day Lauren and Sean did a one mile race.
Lauren has that competitive spark. I asked her a few times if she wanted to go out and practice for the mile. She did once, for a couple of minutes, but she didn’t really like running for the sake of running. Running in soccer? Yes. But running just to run? No. But as soon as they said go, she took off. They only kept track of 1-3, but we’re pretty sure she came in 4th girl at 7:30!
Poor Sean took off at the start like he was running the 100 meter dash. We need to have a talk about pacing. He was really suffering so Brendan hopped in with him to give him a pep talk and get him to the finish line. Love that kid. He’s so good with his siblings. We were so proud of how determined Sean was. Really how determined they all were. It was a great couple of days of running and I couldn’t be more proud of them!
So now I’m getting ready for my half this weekend. I’m a little nervous. And excited. And nervous. The weather’s looking a little iffy and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed the rain will hold off.
Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving. We definitely did!