Jingle 5k Race Recap: An Unexpected PR!

This was an unexpected race, followed by an unexpected PR! After I got injured at the end of October, I pulled out of all other races for the remainder of 2017. However, since my work supports so many local 5k events {and there are a ton of holiday 5k events around here}, I was able to go to this one via work and received an entry from the race director. While I wasn’t specifically training for a 5k, I had been training for distance running and I decided that I would just go out there and see what happened.

Originally I didn’t plan to push myself, but the more I thought about it, I really wanted to see if I could go sub-30 in a race. My goal has been to do that in a race since 2014 and I’ve only ever done it in training. I told myself I’d try my best and pull back if needed (and if my ankle started hurting). When it was about time to race, I went over and lined up in my corral- I was in corral “A” which never happens. Typically that’s the really fast people and I’m not really fast. I don’t know if maybe they put me in that corral because I work for a running store and they assumed I was fast…oh well. After the local high school band played the National Anthem, we were sent off!

Mile 1

The first mile was when I felt the best. I decided I’d pick a few people who were running the pace I wanted to run and settle in with them so I wouldn’t go out too fast. I found two girls who were averaging about a 9:20 pace so I stuck with them for the majority of mile 1. Right before mile 2, we came to a water stop, but I was feeling good so I kept going through that stop. When we hit the mile 1 sign, my first split came in: 9:24. 

Mile 2

I was still feeling pretty good up until the turn around at mile 1.5. That’s when I started to feel the beginning of a side stitch. Seriously?! I thought, why does this always happen to me when things are going well? I can’t figure out the mysterious side stitch. I get it if I eat, I get it if I don’t eat. I get it when it’s hot out, I get it when it’s cooler out. There’s no rhyme or reason to those damn things. I tried to tough it out by shortening my stride and telling myself, “There’s only a mile and a half left, you can do it!” But by the end of mile 2 it was just getting too bad for me to continue to try and push through. My second split: 9:34. 

Mile 3

I forced myself to keep going until we got to the water stop. Just before we hit the water stop on the way back, I slowed down to a fast walk. “This is it,” I thought to myself, “I won’t PR now that I’m walking.” I took a water cup, gulped some down and sped back up after I tossed the cup. I wanted so badly to keep going and finish strong. The side stitch had calmed down so I dialed up the pace again. I had set the pace alert on my watch to trigger if I went faster than 9 minutes/mile and slower than 9:45/mile and it kept beeping me telling me I was running too fast! I was running about 8:56-8:57 a majority of that last mile once I felt better. Being that I started it off with a brief walk, my split time was the worst for the entire race though: 9:45. 

Since the finish line was in sight and I knew I had only a tenth of a mile to go, I pushed hard, running an 8:34 pace to the finish line! My finish time ended up being 29:10. That was a 5k PR for me in a race! The best time I’d run in an official race was 31:10 previously, and the best time I’d run in training had been 29:35.

According to my Garmin the course was a little short, but everyone says because it’s an official race it counts! So I’ll take it!

After crossing the finish line, I saw one of my employees who had also run the race, Haley, waiting for me. She’s super fast and finished in under 22 minutes! I couldn’t talk for about five minutes after finishing though and just doubled over breathing really heavily. She handed me water and I gulped it down. After I managed to catch my breath, we walked back to the main area where we had tents and sponsor tables and mingled a bit. Some line dancing ensued and we had a good time chatting with other friends who were there.

Me trying to be all cute and stuff 😉

It was a great local event and a race I’d totally do again. I normally don’t do races that don’t give out medals, but since this one was free I tried it and enjoyed it immensely. I still wish I had something to commemorate my accomplishment. I feel like getting closer to 28 minutes is totally within my reach now. The weather was pretty good last night and I feel I would have been under 29 minutes if I hadn’t gotten that damn side stitch. Overall it was definitely a happy moment for me, especially since I had been bummed that i couldn’t race the last two months of the year!


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