A 5k PR! Wowza, I’m so excited.
I feel like something inside of me has awakened in the past year when it comes to racing. It’s like I am finally understanding how to manage my effort level, in shorter races at least, to something that is challenging and sustainable. Maybe it’s that I’m taking my running a bit more seriously or that I have a better idea of my fitness level now. It feels good!
5ks, in my opinion, are very painful. This one was no exception. My nanny was sick last Wednesday so I made the trek to NYRR HQ to pick up my bib with the babies in stroller. Of course, there are several stairs to climb in order to get into the NYRR building, which left me wondering how the hand cyclists access it to retrieve their bibs, but that’s a question for another day. In an effort to avoid coming back later that day, I flagged down a friendly looking lady, gave her my ID and asked her if she would please grab my packet for me. As someone who typically goes to great lengths to avoid talking with strangers AND who prides herself on doing it all, asking for help is a big step for me. But it’s something that I do more of now that I have twins. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a comment to make, which I actually find sweet. It makes avoiding conversation challenging. Sometimes when you haven’t slept or showered, you’re covered in someone elses bodily fluids and you find yourself in the elevator because you have to take the dog (and the babies) out, all you want is an invisibility cloak so you can avoid those comments. The kind stranger at NYRR obliged and 15 minutes later, I was power walking home in an effort to arrive prior to nap time.
The race was in Central Park on Thursday evening – a 7pm start. I intentionally avoided my usual salad lunch that day for fear that my GI system would act up. But still, my stomach didn’t feel great by the end of the day. Nerves, probably. The temperature was cool compared to the other days that week – 75 degrees and only mild humidity. I was thankful. I peed 3x 5 drops before leaving my apartment and ran to the starting line to warm up (a 1.5 mile run) and got into my corral far too early. I was waiting there nervously stretching and swaying back and forth, watching in awe as runners shamelessly took selfies (can’t wait for this trend to pass – see above photo… even I’ve succumbed) and updated their social media networks, for at least 20 minutes.
Finally, the gun went off and I prepared myself for the pain. My first mile, as always, was fast. This time, I knew it should be a bit faster than miles 2, 3 and .1 because it was a net downhill. Still, I kept telling myself, “slow down and stay within yourself”. Mile 2 was up Cat Hill and I slowed appropriately. I kept imagining I’d see my SO with our dog and the twins in their usual spectating place. I knew they wouldn’t be there. It was past the kiddos’ bedtime, but it was a nice fantasy to focus on. I had to look strong for them and muster a smile… maybe a wave… definitely no words. Speaking would be difficult. After passing the usual spot with no sign of them, I had just over a half of a mile to go. There were fans now, cheering, so I focused on them, taking brief breaks from the pain. Mostly I was monitoring the distance on my watch. 0.4 miles to go. 0.3, 0.2, 0.1. I can see the finish line. Done. Instant relief.
I waited at the finish for my friend Danielle, who also set a 5k PR. We congratulated one another, chatted and cooled down together. I felt on top of the world.
I did run 4 other times this week, but those runes paled in comparison to my 5k experience so that’s it for now!