Race Recap: Bastille Day 5k

5 kilometers. 3.1 miles.

Most long distance runners I know would much rather run a half marathon than a 5k. And I definitely feel the same. Call me crazy but there is something about sustaining a quick pace for 3.1 miles that seems more mentally & physically difficult than running a slower pace for 13.1 miles. Luckily, my speed training has been going really well in the past month after focusing on my half marathon time this past spring.

I ran the Bastille Day 5k last year with my boyfriend as his first official race. We ran it for fun together as his first race. The last 5k I ran was the Elvis is Alive 5k last August. That race was less than ideal, as I went out way too fast and slowed considerably a half mile from the finish line. (I suppose just like any other race, going out too fast is never the right strategy). My previous 5k PR was 23+ minutes.

This year was different. This time around, I wanted to break 21 minutes. 

My goal was to run the first 3 kilometers as close to 4:15 as possible and push the pace in the last 2 kilometers to come in just under my goal time. I managed to squeeze in a 1 mile warm-up while the 8k began and then jumped into the 5k ‘corral’. The gun went off and I went flying. (JHeath told me that he blinked and I was gone.). I was sleepy and groggy all afternoon and I really wasn’t looking forward to the race. But the start line can be pretty powerful; my legs were ready to get those 3 miles over and done with.

I looked down at my watch about a half mile in and realized I was running WAY too fast–my Garmin read 3:33/km. I spent the rest of the first mile telling myself to calm down and get closer to 4:15. At the turnaround, the field had thinned out and I felt pretty comfortable. My breathing was steady and my legs felt good. I knew that I was running a quicker pace and might be closer to 20 minutes at the finish line. It was just a matter of holding on to the pace and kicking it toward the finish if I had anything left in the tank. Less than 400 meters from the finish line, I tried to find my kick. I had been kicking it the entire race and it was hard to find that last little bit of energy. I saw the clock, crossed the line, and stopped to catch my breath.

I was really happy that I was able to tell my body to slow down enough in the first mile to make it to my goal. In the last mile I was able to pass a few gals and gained mental strength from that. I am pretty sure I earned 2nd place in my age group. (That’s silly business compared to Chicago Runner Girl’s overall female win!!! Congrats again, girl!)

Overall place: 42nd

Age group place: 2nd

Gender place: 5th

Official time: 20:38

~3 min PR

This was my first race in the New Balance RC 1600s and I couldn’t be more happy with them. I only logged 10 miles on them this past week but they felt fresh and formed to my foot nicely. I think they will be a great addition to the shoe rotation along with the Saucony Kinvaras (because I’m obsessed). I likely still need to find another shoe for a full rotation but I am happy with these two for now.

It is so relieving and refreshing to have a good race after my post-Bayshore Half temper tantrum. I needed a full 6 weeks to recharge, reassess, and prepare for this summer’s marathon training cycle. I’m happy that the rest has paid off and my head and heart are happy to be at the start line again because they definitely did not show up to compete the morning of Bayshore. For now, my racing schedule is completely wide open as Coach and I decide which races to add to the calendar. I had an amazing 16 mile long run on Saturday morning at an 8:09 average pace and I managed to make it through a full weekend of my sister’s bachelorette party festivities without crashing. I’ve been good to my body lately and now it’s rewarding me with some fun and competitive long runs and races. 🙂

[Note to self: read this post next time a run/race doesn’t go well and learn to suck it up and attack next time around!]

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