I’ve had the opportunity to run this race a number of times and I don’t know what my deal is but I always race bad at this one. The race is through a familiar neighborhood that I get to train in often, it’s flat and should be fast. However, every time I run this race, I feel like the race is so much longer than a 5K. It’s entirely mental but I keep coming back for more. This is race is held at the church I attend so it also holds a special place.
This race held another special place this year. The week of the race, we had to bury a good friend. This friend was also an avid runner and popular athlete in the area. His death came as a huge shock to us and I’d be lying if I said we were over this or at peace with it. It’s never easy to say goodbye but some people I’m just not ready to lose just yet and this person shouldn’t have left us so soon. But some people are fighting a battle you just can’t understand.
The week of the funeral, I buried my thoughts in running to try and distract myself. To say I needed a race was an understatement. I just wanted to run in memory of Bob. Although the funeral was earlier in the week, some friends put together a group run the morning of the race to remember Bob. It was so nice to get his friends together, some I knew and some I didn’t but we all got together to run for Bob.
We only did a short run with the group above because we had a race to get to but it was so nice to get together.
Luckily the race we were doing was small and close by so after the short group run we still had plenty of time to get to the 5K in time.
This race is for a local school n West Park so it draws a lot of kids and families from the school and neighborhood. Which is another reason why we do this race. However, it makes for a tricky start as all the kids want to be at the front of the start line. Also makes it comical because most of them will go out fast and be walking after 400 meters.
I tried to start off conservative for this race but I definitely went out way too fast. There were so many kids in front of me I couldn’t help it. After about half a mile, I was able to slow myself down and be more conservative. I took the lead early on but the problem with that was I didn’t know where the other women were. Were they right behind me? Were they waiting for me to slow down to overtake me?
At the 1 mile mark I could see there wasn’t anyone immediately behind me. Phew. But I knew from the past that there was a woman who always wins this race so I figured she would pass me soon. At the 2 mile mark, I still didn’t see anyone immediately behind me but I knew there was at least one woman creeping up so I had to keep my pace strong.
As I neared the finish line, it was so adorable to hear all the younger kids who did the 1 mile cheering. They were so excited to see the 1st girl coming in. (I think my husband told them to cheer loudly)
I ended up finishing 1st overall female in 21:59 but also 3rd overall. I forgot I was passing a lot of boys because I was slowing trying to pick them off. I really was not super happy with my time after this race but it was also a very humid race. Looking back, my time was fine and I really should be happy with that.