Last Thursday, my husband asked me if I wanted to run in a 5K in our neighborhood on Saturday. My immediate answer was “Hell no, I’m too slow for a 5K.” I’ve been wanting to hold off on running a 5K until I can improve my pace a little. I haven’t run an official 5K race in 2 years. The last one I ran was the Baltimore Women’s Classic in 2011 and I was pushing the stroller. I’ve run unofficial 5Ks the past 2 years on Thanksgiving. Other than those races, the last time I ran a 5K was back in 2007 and I don’t even remember my time! I know it was above 30 minutes though.
I decided to run the 5K even though I knew it probably wouldn’t go as well as I was hoping. Not only am I slower since my return to running after having the baby, but I’ve only been back to running for a week and half after taking a break for a few weeks after the More Fitness Half because of my pleurisy. The pain in my chest/back has gotten much better, but I still don’t feel 100% when I breathe. Even though, I’m not having the sharp pain when I breathe, I still have a hard time sometimes taking in a full breath of air.
My sweet husband not only encouraged me to run the race, but he even went and registered me at packet pickup Friday afternoon. I’m so lucky :). On Saturday morning, I planned to run a mile to warm up before heading to the starting line. Baby duties made it a little tough to get out of the house as early as I planned so instead, I just ran about half a mile to the starting line. It was a small race – just under 200 runners.
I made a typical stupid mistake in the first mile – I started way too fast. Remember, I’ve been back to running for a week and a half and my typical pace these days is about a 10:30 mile. My first mile of the 5K was 8:58. Sure, it was exciting to see that I could get my pace under 9 minutes, BUT that wasn’t sustainable by any stretch for me. I felt alright in the second mile, but there was a good bit of uphill so my pace slowed to 9:24. The last mile was pretty ugly. I knew I had a huge hill to climb and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it up that beast. I even considered walking, but I was not going to let myself walk in a 5K. Plus, I was wearing my Badass Mother Runner tank – I couldn’t walk wearing that shirt!
I managed to drag myself across the finish line with my last mile being 9:30. There was no chip timing, but my clock time was 28:51. I know that’s not a terrible finish time. I should just be happy to have been able to finish with how out of shape I felt, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for something a little better. Because I haven’t run many 5Ks, my time is still a PR so there’s that! Now I have something to work toward improving. One major perk of this being such a small race is that I even managed to place 3rd in my age group! I’ve never placed before so that’s pretty exciting for me :).
Official time: 28:51
Sex place: 38/91
Age place: 3/15