My second 5K is in the books!
It’s interesting to compare this 5K to my first 5K in August. I planned on running that 5K for months. I decided to run today’s 5K seven days ago. Granted, I had been following the same training plan and just happened to get to the end in time for this 5K, but my attitude overall just seemed completely different.
There were a lot of different things about this race, really. This was an independent 5K instead of part of a triathlon. This race happened in November on a mostly flat course instead of in August on a mostly hilly course. This race had over 250 runners instead of just under 50. This time I spent my non-running days strength training instead of pretending to strength train. (This time I also did the race completely by myself, hence the lack of photos for the moment.)
My race today was a turkey trot held at a university about half an hour away from my college. Their running club put it on, and I’ve got to say, I was beyond impressed with how they ran the race. It felt like a very professional event, which I think is a pretty admirable feat for a bunch of college kids to pull off. I’ve been (a very minor) part of race planning before, and it’s a lot more involved than you might expect.
The run itself was also fantastic. The course was almost entirely flat and took us through most of the campus. As a student at a relatively small private college, I found it really interesting to see all the sights on the campus of a much larger state school.
I started the race somewhere between the front third and front half and maintained that position for most of the run. I wasn’t looking to win or do anything spectacular: I really just wanted to get some more racing experience under my belt, especially since I hope to run a 10K in May. When I checked my watch at the first mile and saw 8:57, though, I was a little annoyed with myself. I picked up my pace and managed to maintain that through the end with 8:21 and 8:28 splits at miles 2 and 3. I was pretty thrilled when I hit mile 3 at 25:46. I ran a 26:55 5K in August, and it seemed awfully unlikely that it would take me more than a minute to run .1 miles, which meant I would probably PR. I got a little held up behind two women right after the 3 mile mark where the bridge we had been running on bottlenecked onto the path, but all three of us picked it up after that spot onto the finish line. My final official time: 26:27.
That’s right, folks. I shaved 28 seconds off my previous 5K time. Needless to say I was absolutely thrilled, especially since I had no intention of PR-ing. I just wanted to run for the sake of experience. I know it’s not *really* fair to compare races on different courses, since a lot of factors make up a race, a PR is a PR, people. No need to get caught up in details :)
I’m done hardcore running for a little while now. There’s a 2.2 mile race I’d like to run on New Year’s Day (also a 4.4 mile race, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves ;)), but that won’t require a whole lot of training. I hope to keep running about once a week while integrating other forms of cardio (swimming, elliptical-ing, stationary biking, and stair stepping, to be specific) into my workout. I expect to start seriously training for my 10K around the beginning of March, but between now and then I’d like to keep up my fitness in other ways. I think that’ll be a healthy and productive way for me to maintain my love for running while avoiding burnout.
Completely unrelated side note: As I type, it is 3:50 p.m. All the cars driving past my apartment have their headlights on because it’s dark enough to warrant headlight usage. It’s 3:50! Something is seriously wrong here.
What are your training/fitness plans for the winter?