I ran the PTI Run on the Runway 5K last year, and never felt worse during a race. This year, despite forgetting my iPod (to me, essential to a race! haha) and running a very uninspiring (to me) course, I ran one of my fastest 5K’s ever!
I didn’t bother doing a flat runner photo, since this isn’t one of my key races this year but a “test 5K”, and also because I couldn’t wear what I wanted to wear (my Oiselle clothes) due to being on my company team. My company is an apparel company, and since they paid for my race fee by being a sponsor, I thought the least I could do is wear some VF-branded clothing. So I wore my Smartwool shorts, same as last year, and a bright pink tank so my fam could easily spot me. I figured a pic with Baby Kitty would suffice for a pre-race pic (since she’s so cute and fluffy and all!) 😉
I made sure to drink my nuun electrolyte formula both the day prior and the morning of, to be adequately hydrated–my downfall last year. I woke up 5 (ughhhhh) to eat my eggs & toast, and looked forward to a bit of quiet time… and of course, my boys had other plans and woke up at 5:30 (double ughhhhh) 😛 I don’t usually drink coffee prior to a race, but I felt really tired, so I had half a cup and saved the rest for later.
Since I volunteered to be the corporate team captain, I wanted to arrive early to try to meet up with my teammates, so we headed over before 7 to get parking. We hopped on the shuttle bus, which both boys enjoyed (oh, the little things in life!). Asher’s “Look Daddy! An AIRPLANE!” made everyone on the bus chuckle. It was only 7:30 or so when we arrived, so I met up with some of my co-workers, applied sunscreen, and stood around for awhile. One of the race photographers got this pic of me & the boys 🙂
I ran into my friend SMC, who I hadn’t seen in months, and her two teenage boys–shoutout to them for being a fit family together!
Thankfully, blessedly, the clouds covered the sun for much of the morning, and it wasn’t blazing hot like last year. I didn’t feel like doing a full, proper warm-up (10-15 minutes), so I ran to the port o’ johns for my last pit stop, then ran back and did my pre-race warm-up routine. The 10K started at 8, and the 5K at 8:15. I grabbed some ice cubes to put in my bra and shorts, to keep me cool, even though it was only the low 70’s. I lined up somewhat near the front, and we were off!
I habitually go out too fast, due to the music and excitement, so I tried to contain myself and just find a good rhythm. I hadn’t done a race without music in a while, so listening to my laboring breath wasn’t too fun. I told myself to not look at the watch and just go by feel.
Before I knew, we were at the 1 mile mark! I grabbed some water, took a few sips and dumped the rest on myself to stay cool. Nearing the turnaround, I began counting the number of ladies in front of me. 1….2….3… and two pre-teens, so I was in 6th place.
I passed the two girls, and was solidly in 4th, with pretty much no chance of catching 3rd place. I estimated she was a minute in front of me. I tried to hold my pace steady, and focus on positive words like “Smooth” “Fast” and “Fierce.” The long straightaway of an out-and-back course is challenging enough, but this one is extra challenging because it’s a runway, so as you’re running, it feels like you’re hardly moving!
I stuck with a group of guys during the final mile, and did a pretty good job of staying at my threshold of running “comfortably hard.” My breathing was the limiting factor, but better that than my legs. I felt pretty good, not super strong, but gave it a decent kick at the end.
My time… 23:37. My best time, for reference, is 23:31 from last year’s Spring Folly 5K. 6 seconds from a personal best.
On one hand, I was a tad disappointed in myself for not pushing 6 seconds harder, because I definitely could have. But on the other hand, I thought, I’m training for the 4th of July 5K, so I will surely (hopefully!) pull a big PR there! This race was great training, nonetheless. And my friend Sandra crossed the line just 13 seconds after me, and said she paced off me the whole time! I was super pumped for her because she won her age group (and I did too!)
We sat around and refueled for awhile (bagels, pretzels, oranges, and water). I took some selfies with my biggest fans 🙂 These are my Instagram pics cuz Asher is using my phone right now, so I can’t get the originals off there! I also included a sweet shoutout from the PTI Run Facebook page:
The boys were getting antsy so we chose to leave after the awards ceremony. We were going to have them run the kids’ dash, but since Gabe had Tae Kwon Do class, we headed home to rest for a bit before his class. It ended up being a solid race! I might do it again next year, since my company will likely sponsor again, but I’m also thinking of pushing my comfort zone (big time) by doing the Ironman 70.3 in Raleigh, which was also this weekend. So we shall see!
Here’s my Garmin stats:
Next up: the 4th of July 5K, in my current hometown of Kernersville, aka K-Vegas! Exactly 1 month from today. I’m going to keep up my doggy runs with Luna, and stick to my Hal Higdon training plan.
Thank you for reading!