I did something new this weekend. Normally, I plan my races to death. I anticipate them for weeks on end and carefully plan out my runs the week of the race. But my mileage is still in post marathon recovery mode and the longest I have run since then is 6 miles. I needed something to get me jump started.
There are many races over the Memorial Day weekend and the Salute Inc got freedom? 5k/10k takes place about five miles from home. I woke up early on Saturday and thought why not run it. As I drove to the race I wasn't even sure if I would do the 5k or 10k. Ultimately, I thought the 5k was a better idea since it's been almost a year since I've run one and I could probably use the practice. The race benefits disabled veterans and it was pretty inspirational to see whole families out there dedicating the day to someone they knew who was a vet. Sign up was a breeze and I was able to park less than a block from the start line.
I had no expectations of how I was going to run. I ran four miles the day before at marathon pace so I thought I'd just go hard and take whatever result I got. The temps were cool (53F) but there was a fog in the air due to the 100 percent humidity. I warmed up and did some strides to get the legs ready for the sprint start. Mile 1 was a very respectable 6:37. It did not feel all that hard at the moment but I knew I had to back off the pace a little. Mile 2 clocked in at 6:59. My mouth was very dry despite drinking pre-race so I grabbed a water cup just to rinse my mouth. I ran much of Mile 3 all by myself. I'm noticing this is happening more and more in my races. Well behind race leaders and well ahead of the mid-packers. I started to run out of gas on the final stretch. Even getting that famous "gotta keep from throwing up" feeling as was in the last 1/4 mile. I noticed the clock at 21:07 just before the finish chute. Final time 21:14.
A PR by 20 seconds! 4th in AG and 20th overall out of 662 which included walkers. I don't even think I ran a great race. Last mile was too slow. Maybe the first was a touch too quick. Maybe the humidity zapped me in the last mile. But I did follow the 5k strategy of go out fast and hang on for dear life. Either way it gets me ready for another local 5k in a couple of weeks. I credit the speed to all of the marathon training miles.
So if you want a running PR, don't plan. The moral of the story: "Do, or do not. There is no try"
Lastly, today is National Running Day. To me every day is that day. Well for the the last the last three years at least. Go and celebrate with a run. I do prefer Mark Remy from Runner's World suggestions to my own though.