When I didn’t get into the Chicago Marathon originally, I decided to spend this summer focusing on shorter distances and going for PRs in the 5k and the 10k distance.
Before my first summer 5k on Memorial Day weekend, I had only done 3 timed 5k races. All three were not raced at all.
My first “raced” 5k came on Saturday May 23rd. I had heard about my local town race called the Elgin Fox Trot a few years ago. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out last year for me to run and I wasn’t sure if it would work out this year either. Especially since my outdoor pool opened on May 23rd!
I decided the day beforehand to register for the 5k. In my half marathon training, I needed a 5 mile run, so I decided that I would run 1.5 miles there, run 3.10 in the race and then run .4 miles home (and walk the rest of the way back).
I’m actually really glad that I was able to run to the race site b/c they were already blocking off roads all around the route and by my house (there was also a 10 mile race… so lots of roads were blocked off for that).
Elgin is a very hilly area. The downtown boosts lots of hills and sure enough there were hills in the race! I raced as hard as I could and ran a 30:36. It was good enough for 5th place out of 28 for my age group! I was happy, but I know I could have done better… I was less than 1 minute from placing 3rd in my group and getting an award L It was a PR for me… but I still really wanted that under 30 time. I knew that the next 5k would need to be flat, fast and if I wanted to race well, I’d need to just focus on 3.1 and not do warm up miles.
The second 5k of the summer came on June 7th in the southwest suburb of Chicago in a race called Running for Hope. The registration fee was for a children’s hospital. It was advertised as a flat and fast course… just what I needed for a 5k PR attempt to break 30 minutes!
Unfortunately, I started out very fast in this race… my first mile was 9:01… that is fast for me! I knew that if I was going to break 30 minutes, I would need to pace myself. I tried to slow down to conserve energy but it was hard and by mile 2, I was getting tired. By the time mile 3 came around, I knew I had to continue to push a little bit so I could get that PR and break 30 minutes. I squeaked in and finished the race in 29:29!!! I was so happy!! I finished 16th out of 59 in my age group.. not too shabby for the middle of the pack girl. Literally as I crossed the finish line, it started to pour! I was so glad I got done in time to avoid the crazy rain.
I was extremely tired after this race… keeping a fast pace is difficult for me. I would honestly rather run a half marathon than a 5k. I prefer running long distances at a 10 minute mile pace rather than trying to run super-fast (9:30 is super-fast pace for me) for 3 miles.
So for now, I am done with 5ks… honestly! I have the Disneyland 5k in September, but the only reason I am signed up for that is character opportunities in the park and just to have fun! We’ll see if I can break my 55 minute 5k that I had in Disneyworld in January.
As for my 10k goal of 1 hour… we’ll have to see when that happens… maybe I’ll save that for next summer!