After National Marathon I said I was done with racing till Boston, but the marathon ignited a fire within me. All I want to do is race.
In my ideal world I would race a couple of times a month. I love the feeling I get inside on the way to a race, the excitement, the butterflies. I love not knowing what the outcome will be. I like learning something new about myself. I enjoy pushing through the pain. I couldn’t wait till Boston Marathon, I wanted to race, needed to race.
I found a local 5k/10K near my house but since I was signing up late it had already reached full capacity. I found another 5K that started and finished at my old high school – perfect – I already knew the roads and had trained on the hills when we lived in Reston.
It was a great day for a race. Temps in the 50’s, no wind and slightly overcast.
Within the first 1/2 mile I took the female lead and can only describe the following 2+ miles as Running Scared. I’ve only won 1 race before, B & A Marathon last March. In that race I had NO idea I was in 1st place so I ran my own race not thinking of what place I was in.
This was the first time I was ever in the lead in a race and knew about it. It was a VERY weird feeling. I had no idea how far behind me the next female was. Was she about to catch me? Was she close to me? When should I push? When should I hold back? I had no idea so I was literally running scared the whole time thinking that I could loose 1st place. I told myself that I wasn’t there to win or even to age place. I was there to chase a PR and that was it. Whatever place I came in did not matter, I wanted to run my best.
Mile 1: 6:28 I was really pleased with this pace. It meant I didn’t go out too fast and could drop it down in the following miles.
Mile 2 approached and I was ready for the 2 steady hill inclines I would face. I would consider these hills small in a marathon but for a 5K I considered them significant. Even a 10 – 20 second slow down would mean the difference in a PR. Though I knew my pace was slowing a tad I was still passing men.
I’ll apologize ahead of time if you are a guy reading this. I LOVE passing men. It’s such a cool feeling. It makes me feel like a strong woman. I want to pass them and say GOOD JOB[which I truly mean] with an little asterisk *ps I was up all night with a 5 month old and he’s my 3rd kid.
Mile 2: 6:56 Ugh. I was pleased with the pace considering the hills but new it would be near impossible to make up the time and get a PR. So my plan changed. I was racing to win. I continued to pass men and got a little more pep in my step with every person I passed.
Mile 3: 6:22 This restored my confidence and made me smile. You can go after a PR in your next 5K race Dorothy, it was the hills, not you.
Mile 3.1: I sprinted in at an average pace of 5:42
I won the women’s race on my birthday weekend and took 5th overall. Seriously.best.start.to.a.birthday.weekend.ever
I stuck around to pick up my prize and then rushed to my daughter’s ballet class in time to watch her twirl around and relieve my husband of the kids. With out his support I would never get to race on the weekends and I feel so appreciative of the sacrifices he has made for me to do something I love so much.
Behind every mommy runner there is a team of people helping her get to the start and finish line.
I like to take away something from every race I run. If I learn something I consider it a success.
What I learned: I’m going to hang up my racing flats for Boston and wear my Saucony Ride’s instead. While getting up on my forefoot during the hills of this short race I could still feel some residual soreness in my calves. I’m not going to take any chances in injuring myself on the hills of Boston. I don’t personally think that at my level of running [speed] that running in racing flats for a marathon makes a significant amount of time difference in my finishing time. I’ll err on the side of caution and go for the extra cushioning my regular training shoes provide.