This is the second time that I've done the Frozen Foot series that starts and ends at Elizabethtown College. This year I wanted to take it up several notches. It is a 3 race series and by the end of it I had a goal of running the 5k in less than 30 minutes. I thought I could do it today, but I wasn't sure because of the weather conditions.
Today was windy and I almost disregarded my goal of trying to get my PR of under 30 minutes. However, I decided to do my best and see what would happen. I had no idea that I was about to crush that goal by more than 3 minutes and run the entire race under 9 min/mi when my normal pace is a 10 min/mi.
I knew that I did not need a hat of any kind and I knew that even though it was windy I would get warm fairly quickly. I realized about a mile in that that I had one too many layers, but that didn't impact me too much. I did not wear any gloves either. I did have my MCM jacket that I wore proudly :-).
I started out the first mile at 8:53. This did not feel that hard and I felt like I was holding back. That last statement seems crazy to me because I knew going into the race that if I ran at a 9:40 pace that I would accomplish my goal... I already had more than 40 seconds in the bank. I then slowed down ever so slightly during mile 2 (which had slight "hills" - I like to think of them as ramps because they are nothing like the hills at Messiah College (AKA "Friends" as we like to call them). Mile 2 I ran at a pace of 9:02 which was only slightly slower. This was when I felt a little warmer, but I kept telling myself things like "I love hills," "I can do this," "I got this," "I'm going to crush my PR," "I feel good, I feel great," "I've run a marathon... this is easy." I'm sure I told myself others and my mental chatter wasn't perfect, but it was very good for this race. Mile 3 I ran faster than the other 2 miles at 8:48. The coolest part about this is that I was not pushing hard at any point during this race. I wasn't "comfortable" either, but I wasn't sprinting or doing anything foolish like trying to kick it into gear too soon. Reality is I probably could have kicked it a little earlier, but I am SOOO happy with this race. I had a specific person that I wanted to pass before the race was over and I did it at the end. I passed at least 3-5 people right before the finish line. I am amazed that this race went this well. It just goes to show that as I'm working hard I'm getting faster. I KNOW that I can get faster for those other two races. Technically, I've already accomplished my initial goal for 5k's for 2013, but I'm going to raise the bar for the other races. Not sure exactly what my goal will be, but I'll let you know before the race.
To make this PR even better I looked at my race time from last years race. Jan 15, 2012 official time 33:37.2. My unofficial time this year was 27:29. Wow.... SIX whole minutes off my time last year. I'm on cloud 9 right now. I know I need to be reasonable with my goals for the rest of the year. My most important goal is to get under 2 hours in the half marathon. I know that I have what it takes... I just need to apply myself :-).
Thanks for reading and remember that I run happy for those who can't run themselves.