Happy 4th of July!
Well, by the time you read this, it's probably over so I hope that you had a fun one. :)
Today, I ran the Freedom 5000 in Claremont, CA. It's a popular local race to kick off the town's 4th of July celebration. This year there were over 1200 runners of all ages. I love seeing all the red, white, and blue at the race! It's fast becoming my favorite way to spend the morning of the 4th.
I really had no expectations going into the race except to use it as maybe this week's tempo run (my plan called for 5 miles so I'd run a 2 mile warm up and then do 3 at tempo). My tempo miles lately have been 9:30/9:45 but I thought I might be able to pull out 9 minute miles during the 5K. Honestly, I thought that would be a stretch so I figured I would be close to 30 minutes. The problem is I haven't really been doing much speedwork since probably December! I just started doing tempo runs in June again and added in hill sprints and strides too. No intervals or anything. Which I hate. I know I shouldn't be that way but they are sooo boring. And 400s just kill me. I'd rather run 20 miles than do 10x400s! Bad, huh?
Anyway, since I wasn't planning on running very hard, I decided to ride my bike over to the 5K which was 8 miles from where I live. I woke up late so didn't eat anything before but planned to take a Clif bar with me and eat it when I got there. Guess what? I forgot it. :( Oops!
I got there, locked up my bike, and did my warm up. I felt okay when I was running it but still wasn't expecting anything exciting. I finished just a few minutes before the start and looked for the 25-30 min corral and got in. Then what do you know...when the gun went off and I started running, I decided to see what I had! The start was really crowded and we start off going uphill which makes it really hard to go out fast but once I got clear of the crowd and the course flattened out, I felt awesome and let my legs fly. Then I looked at my watch and it said I was running an 8:50 pace. I took inventory of how I was feeling and thought I could pick it up a bit more and maintain it for the 3 miles. So I did. That's one very cool side effect of ultra training...3 miles feels like a piece of cake. :)
I ended up doing the 1st mile in 8:29. Mile 2 had some awesome downhill so I picked it up even more and did that one in 7:54! Seriously, where did that come from? At this point I was starting to calculate what I would need to run for the last mile to beat my PR of 24:59. But then we hit 2.3 miles and the next half mile was uphill and I started running out of steam and slowing down. :( I tried to hold on as best I could but did that one in 8:34. Not too bad but definitely no PR happening. I ran the last bit as hard as I could and finished in 25:48 per my Garmin (official results are 25:53 which is gun time, no chips).
I think I might have been able to hold it if I'd eaten something before but it is what it is. I can't really complain because I'm happy with that time. It was a pleasant surprise and tells me that my speed isn't completely gone like I thought it was. It's just a little rusty! I need to work on sharpening it. And finding a FLAT 5K to run!
I've got to say I enjoyed the hurt today. It felt good to go all out like that. I haven't run that hard in forever and I really need to do more of it. It's just really hard to fit in 5Ks or 10Ks when I usually have back-to-back long runs happening on the weekends. If only there were more races during the week around here.
Oh, when I looked at the results tonight, I saw I was 12/68 in my age group and 104/612 for women. Not bad, eh? Today was definitely a fun day for me. :) Thanks for reading!