Last Friday instead of relaxing and going to bed early, I ran a local 5k the night before my long run. I was satisfied with my 5k time from the previous week, but I really wondered what I could do with fresh legs. The Run.4.Fun is an annual 5k put on by the Medina City Schools Foundation. And even though I don’t live within Medina City School limits, I was happy to run a race where money would be going to a good cause.
I spent all Friday watching what I ate, over hydrating, and making sure I was mentally ready to run. Knowing that I’d only have an hour until the race started once I got home from work, I rushed to get everything ready and made it to the high school by 7:00. I ran into a few MCRR members and asked them about the course. The said it had some gradual inclines, including the last half mile. Hearing this I immediately threw the thought of a PR out the window, and just hoped to have a strong race.
Right before 7:30, everyone lined up, and I felt ready to go. Instead of focusing on my watch, I wanted to listen to my legs and see what they were truly capable of. The first mile was very similar to the Frosty 5k course and I was thankful I didn’t have to be cautious of the ice. We headed out of the high school and around one of the developments that is part of the Medina Half course. I was feeling pretty good, but noticed I was hanging around a 7:56 pace.
I wasn’t sure how long I could hang on, but continued to keep a steady pace until the end of the first mile. I knew if I wanted to survive, I’d have to slow it down. We passed the first water stop and I made my way to the outside to avoid the hustle just in time to see that mile 1 was in the books.
Mile 1- 8:08
The second mile has always been the hardest for me. Usually because I’m regretting how quickly I went out on the first mile. I knew I wanted to keep this mile a little slower, but not as slow as last week’s second mile. I was still feeling comfortable enough that I wasn’t sucking wind, but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to push it during my last mile. We covered a few neighborhoods with some slight inclines, but they weren’t too awful.
Mile 2- 8:34
I’m not sure why or how, but in the beginning of the third mile, seconds began to fall off my pace instantly. I started to pick people off, one by one and could feel myself getting quicker. We rounded out towards more neighborhoods and made our way back towards the high school.
And then I saw the last half mile. We had a gradual incline that pretty much lasted the entire last half of the third mile. I tried to be strong, but couldn’t help but slow down some. I made my way around a few people, and was so glad when I finally saw the mile 3 marker. At this point, all I needed to do was round the last turn up to the track and finish that long 100 meter stretch.
Mile 3- 8:08
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t constantly checking my Garmin the last part of the race. I hadn’t done much math, but I knew I’d be cutting it close, especially after the long incline. I gave it all I had and crossed the finish with a new post college PR!
Last .1 – 7:00 pace
I was ecstatic after I finished, and very close to losing everything in my stomach. I made my way to the inside of the track and spoke with a few MCRR members who all seemed to have a great day out there too.
This 5k was a great race, not only because of my time, but it was also well organized. Since February I’ve dropped almost 3 minutes off my 5k time, and I couldn’t be more excited. I still have about 3 minutes to drop to beat my all time PR, but I’m getting closer. I’d like to see if I can get under 25 this year, but for now I’m content with my 5k time.
I didn’t stay for awards, but I ended up with third in my age group and won a medal and a gift card to Active Runner. Completely unexpected, but very grateful.
AG 25-59: 3/14