So I’m not completely sure why, but I’ve PR’d in my last three 5Ks. Today’s was pretty awesome because we got to cross the Boston Marathon finish line. And, oh yeah, I got an amazing time.
When I woke up this morning, it was POURING. Hard wind, hard rain, just plain yuck. I seriously considered not going for a few minutes. Thank goodness I didn’t go that route, because the rest of the day has been beautiful and I would’ve been kicking myself hard.
The start of the race was pretty chilly. I was wearing a t-shirt and arm warmers; not much insulation there. But I figured if I had worn a long-sleeved shirt, it would’ve been bad news bears. The rain had stopped at this point, but it was still very overcast and misting. I claimed a spot in the corral around 7:40am (there were no pacing indicators, so I just went wherever) and just jiggled in place for 20 minutes. Whee.
Aaaand we’re off!
mile 1: 9:18
I wasn’t nervous about this race at all, and just decided to go with the flow again. I was very familiar with the course, and knew when to anticipate hills. There were a few walkers before we even made it a half mile in. Incredibly poor pacing, or intentional walker who placed herself way too far up in the corral? No idea. A lot of weaving was happening, and at one point I got caught in a half-circle of 10:30-11 minute runners. That was tough to break out of and set me back a few seconds. S’all good, though. Just before the 1 mile mark was the big hill of the course: up Park St to the State House. Wheeee hill surges!
mile 2: 8:41
What goes up must come down. The first half mile is all basically downhill, going back to a flat route for the rest of the course. Nothing too special here. I began thinking that maybe I was taking my pace too hard, but just kept rolling with what I was doing anyway.
mile 3: 8:32
It’s interesting to note that last year, my best mile interval time was 8:26. And I ran my final mile of a 5K only 6 seconds slower. Just sayin’. This was a straight shot up Comm Ave, a left onto Hereford, then we shadowed the feeling of finishing the Boston Marathon by turning left onto Boylston to cross the Marathon finish line. I had created a playlist with a set order of songs just for this race, and the best possible song to finish on ended just as I crossed the finish line. Perfect.
Garmin time: 27:18
Average pace: 8:48
I’m a sub-9 minute miler now. In the last month, I’ve improved my 5K time by more than two minutes. I can’t tell you how amazing that feels, considering just 4 months ago, I was battling some weird stigma in my head that I would forever be a 10 minute miler, and I couldn’t get through a 5K without walking. With every race I complete, I’m pushing all that bull away. Sure, this can’t keep happening for every race, and I know that maybe next time I might end up back in 28, 29, or 30. But I feel much more confident in my abilities, and for once I think that maybe in the future, I could run a Boston qualifier.
For now, I’ll enjoy my shiny new medal and PR.