2015 is off to an amazing running start! Between my unexpected PR at the Charleston Half and my shiny new (and also unexpected) 5K PR at the Wando Hearts & Soles 5K, this year is shaping up to be a good one.
When I set my goals for Saturday's 5K, I really didn't think I'd hit any of them, but I ended up within a few seconds of my "B" goal. For some reason, I just thought I'd hover around 24-something for a while before dropping my times again. But nope! Yesterday, I ran a 23:34, a 7:35 pace (they told me at the end that it was 23:32, which is also what my watch said, but when I checked the results later, it was 23:34) - either way, still a PR, so no complaints here about that. I came in 3rd out of 29 in my age group (30-39 bracket for this race), but they only gave out awards for the 1st place finisher in each age group.
This was the first year for this race (I think) and it took place at the local high school. It was pretty no-frills (see: awards only one person deep per 10-year age brackets), but well organized and executed, with about 250 participants. They allowed strollers on the course, so D pushed B in the stroller and they came in at 43:16, nearly 6 minutes faster than their time at the Turkey Day Run. D didn't lose his timing chip in our front yard this time (unlike the Turkey Day Run), so we have an official record of B's second race.
Despite my PR, I executed this race rather poorly. Since I was sort of testing the waters, I wanted to see how fast I could really go and I may have taken off a bit too fast and been unable to sustain that. My first mile clocked in at 7:04. After that, I pulled back a bit to make sure I didn't run out of steam and could still hold onto a PR, so my second mile was my slowest, then I picked up a little bit for the last mile.
Had I not gone out as fast (maybe at a 7:15/7:20ish pace instead), I probably could have maintained that for the duration of the race and ended up with an even bigger PR. But these things happen and now I know for next time. I also know now that I can run a 7:04 mile in a (short) race and not completely fall apart. Someday, I'll run a whole 5K faster than that pace per mile.
Based on this race and given the past few weeks of regular running, I feel comfortable saying I have now passed my pre-baby fitness levels and I'm ready to keep on moving forward and dropping those times. It took less than 8 months for me to get there, which makes me pretty happy since I was banking on a full year at the least. Next race: my first trail race at the Race & Roast 5K on March 1.