Even though it feels like I just completed my first cross country 5k yesterday, I actually ran my second this past Tuesday. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have a little hesitation going into this one, simply because the first one was difficult (albiet fun), and while I do lots of things that are hard and hurt, I don’t usually look forward to that pain. Plus, with the temperature a solid 10 degrees higher than it was last time, I knew it was going to be a sweat-fest.
Around 4:30pm it started to thunder and by 5p there was a torrential downpour. I started to get nervous that the race would be cancelled, or run in the rain. I knew that the park would yet again be muddy and gross, but since I experienced that last time, it was the least of my worries. As in typical summer storm fashion, though, the sun was back out by 5:15p. So I got everything together, and headed to the park for the 7p start.
Because it was so hot, I didn’t want to push it too much, but still wanted to run a competitive and decent race based on the conditions. I started in a much better position this time (the race starts diagonal across a field as you hop over a mini ditch), found the girl that had come in first last time, and set myself behind her. The grass wasn’t nearly as wet as it had been last race, but I still found myself slip-sliding all over the place. After one the diagonal hills, I lost my footing and nearly ate it.
There were two other women that started out in front of me, but by about mile 2 it was just me, the girl from last time, and a whole bunch of men. I was struggling to breathe and knew my overall pace was slower than the last 5k, but by mile 2 I wasn’t too concerned knowing that I was comfortably in 2nd. I had high hopes of being able to catch the first place woman on the second half of the last lap, but I just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to do it, and she beat me by 4 seconds… again. I ran a 23:01, which was 19 seconds slower than two weeks ago.
Just like after the first 5k, we got to hang out and enjoy some food and drinks (all I could stomach was a Philly pretzel, as seen above), and then it was awards time! Last time I scored myself a plant (that is still alive, wahoo!), and this time I got a neat little medal since I came in 1st in my age group. See that adorable shirtless man sitting on the picnic bench in the foreground of the picture? He’s 79, and ran last time too… in an impressive 41 minutes! Talk about inspirational.
I’d be lying if I said that this was so much fun the whole time and I wasn’t dreading it a little. I mean, the first 5k was successful and I was really proud of myself, but it was hard! I don’t think it’s abnormal for me to be a little hesitant for repeat pain. I found myself at the end when it really started to hurt, telling myself that it was worth it and that not everyone races a 5k on a hot and humid Tuesday night (yes, mid-race pats on the back are necessary sometimes). But since I came in first in my age group again, my time from the first race still stands as the course record which was reason enough for me to have run again!
Next up on my racing calendar is a 4 miler on the 4th of July with Ashley … we’re both going to PR, I just know it! Then it’s the third installment of the summer series on the 9th. And then the fourth summer series on the 23rd, and a road 5k on the 24th. So yes, I’m racing 4 times (all during the week) in July!
Do you have any races coming up?
If you race during the week, do you do anything differently during your work day?