So I ran this 5K on Sunday. I signed up for it a few days ahead of time purely so I could race in this shirt again. Except then it was too warm on race day for long sleeves so I had to settle for the race t-shirt. (My race shirt is currently buried in my laundry basket and not feeling very photogenic. Picture this graphic on red technical fabric instead):
I did not have high hopes for this race. December 13th was the day we had to be out of our old apartment, so I spent the majority of the weekend on my feet, moving the last boxes, cleaning, etc. On Saturday morning I went for an “easy” 8 mile run and it was awful. My legs were tired and it was 75 degrees and incredibly humid. After that I set two goals for the race:
- Run faster than I did at the epically hot, epically miserable Margarita Run in June
- Don’t go out too fast
I felt pretty confident about goal #2 because the race was held on the standard Camp Mabry 5K route I’ve run more times than I can remember. I know all too well that there’s a sizable hill right before the halfway point and then another hill around mile 2.5, i.e. right when I’m starting to really curse myself for signing up for another 5K.
I arrived at Camp Mabry on Sunday morning about 30 minutes ahead of the start, which allowed me time to do a ~1.5 mile warm up on the track plus some striders. My legs still felt pretty dead as I did my slow running but perked up after the short bursts of speed.
I checked my Garmin a lot during the first mile to make sure I wasn’t running too hard. I seemed to bounce between 7:15-7:30 pace. About 0.5 miles in I caught up to a woman who finished slightly ahead of my in a few of the 5Ks I ran in the spring and summer. So I made it a goal to hang with her and another woman who was running the same speed. Except then I passed both of them on the first major uphill and I made it a goal to stay in front of them.
I should mention here that part of the race packet included jingle bells with safety pins that runners are encouraged to put on their shoes, hence the “Jingle Bell 5K”. (I didn’t do this because I promptly lost the bells in the chaos of my apartment. They will probably resurface when the cat conveniently finds them under the couch at 2 AM.) A lot of runners seemed to have the jingle bells and they were surprisingly non-annoying. They are also helpful for alerting you to runners coming up behind you.
I managed to hold off those two runners for the rest of the race, which was really satisfying since I know one of them has outkicked me in the past. After the halfway point I quit looking at my Garmin and just settled into a hard but manageable pace.
My official finish time was 22:15– a PR!– but of course these things are never that simple:
To further complicate matters, my Garmin went haywire during a decidedly easy paced run this afternoon:
LOLOLOL. The last time I ran anything close to a 6:07 mile was high school track.
In conclusion, I don’t know what to believe anymore regarding my current fitness. Clearly my race times and Garmin data are not to be trusted.
But at least Sunday’s race was a good, steady, hard effort. I plugged my time for 3.03 miles into a race time predictor and it converted it to a 22:52 5K finish, which is only a second slower than the Turkey Trot I ran a few weeks ago on much fresher legs. So that’s promising!