So this morning was the Annual YMCA 5K Turkey Trot in Towson. My plan was to attempt to finish in 31 minutes or less so I could use this race to qualify for the National Half Marathon. My fastest ever 5K race was 32:56. That's a lot to shave off in 3 miles.
I woke up at 6 to hear rain pounding on our sky light. But I thought, "Hey, I've woke up to rain on a race day before. No need to worry. 1: it's just a 5K. And 2: Lots of times the rain stops before the start. And sure enough, once I got into my car, the rain stopped; well, for a little while, anyway. When I got to Towson, the rain started up again. I thought, "No big deal; I've run in rain before."
I spotted Katye of Long Legs on the Loose with her family. To make it to 31 minutes, I thought I'd keep up with Katye for as long as possible. I figured with her speed, if I could cut it with her for at least a mile, I'd get a lot closer to my goal (look, she's not called Long Legs on the Loose for nothing! This girl if FAST, especially for a penguin like me). She's such a sweet bubble of positive energy. She always makes me feel like an amazing runner. And I really LOVED starting with her and her family.
So long story short... Well, I didn't qualify today. In fact, I had one of my worst 5K times ever (with the exception of the race run in 100 degree temps). But I am totally and completely cool with this. In fact, I'm pretty happy with how I did today.
And the biggest reason why I am okay with what would normally be considered a begin to sob bad time: I kept up with Katye for a whole mile. And I kept her in my sight up until about 1.25 miles into the race. When I was finally brave enough to look at our pace, we were running a 8:30 mile. Just so you know how much of a big deal this is for me, the fastest I've ever been on race day is 10:30. After that 1.25 miles, I just couldn't cut it and ended up slowing down, eventually walking with a cramp in my side. But I started back up eventually, just no where near as fast as the start.
And the second reason I'm feeling pretty good about this race: Not only did it rain the entire run, it also sleeted. Yes, I ran with sleet slapping me in the face. I just had to laugh. This was a tough race; it was seriously hilly, blisteringly cold, and raining and sleeting the entire time. The rain did stop, however, just in time for me to get in my car and turn on the heat. Too funny!
So today, I ran a 37:00 minute 5K, but I'm cool with that. I get to eat that pecan pie I've been drooling about for two days, and even better, I realized I am capable of being fast. Even though I could only do it for 1.25 miles today, with a little extra training (and maybe slowing down just a tad), I can make it to the running time of my dreams, which will hopefully be a reality in time to qualify for the National Half Marathon!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
PS: I am so very thankful for my little family. My little guy joined my husband and I in bed this morning. What a lovely way to wake up, to absolute and unconditional love.