Each step I take while running reinforces just how much I like it.
I ran another 5k today. This time I ran at my alma mater and soon to be the location for my grad work. Talk about a whole new running world. I was the only woman running in something other than long windbreaker type pants or basketball shorts. I’m pretty sure I heard someone say “aerodynamic running clothes” as I passed. Yes, my alma mater is conservative.
This race was much bigger. I kept telling myself as I got packed in further back from the starting line that I just needed to run a good race and not worry about placing or getting a PR.
The start was terrible. I wish I could have gotten further to the front but unfortunately I got jostled around and bumped into for the first 100 or 200 meters and ran the first couple tenths of a mile at a much slower pace.
I could feel the days off from exercise this week. I ran the same pace as last week but I felt it. I am not doing that again (lack of exercise that is).
The course markers were at every k and then mile 2 and 3. I’m not sure if I like that or not. I did like knowing my time at mile 2. It told me that I was still on the same pace from last week.
As I ran I kept telling myself that since this was a much larger race than last week with a lot of very fit college students running as well that I had to be okay with a good time and not placing or winning my age group or getting a PR.
We finished the race on the track coming into the stadium. At mile 3, the turn right before the straightaway I heard the time of 24:13 and immediately started running as fast as I possibly could knowing that it would be close but I might just pull off an identical time. I couldn’t tell as I came in the finish chute whether I had tied the time or come in just after so I decided to stay for the results just in case.
As the times were read all of our jaws dropped open at the time of the overall winner, 16:04. I cannot imagine running that fast. It’s unnatural…well, just really, really good.
Then the age group winners were read. I thought maybe I might just squeak out a third place finish in my age group especially after the time for the third place 20-24 was read: 23 something.
When the announcer said “For the 25-29 year old women, in first place, from Taylors, SC with a time of 24–” I couldn’t believe it. I won my age group! Not only that but I got a mug I can use for a discount on coffee at the school cafe (definitely going to use that) and a twenty dollar cash prize! My race paid for itself!
I’m glad I stayed because before the results I felt lackluster about my results. After the results I felt awesome. I can’t wait for Thursday. I’ll get an automatic PR on that race. Of course, it is my first 8k.
Here’s to running! (And hopefully more diverse posts in the future.)