September 16, 2012

Race Recap: Firefly 5K (or SUB 30 FTW!)

At the beginning of this year, I set 3 big training goals:
In April, I crossed #1 off the list with the Kentucky Derby Half-Marathon, in June I crossed off #2 with the SheRox Sprint Triathlon, and last night I crossed off #3, finishing my fastest ever 5K!  Let me start at the beginning...

I've spent the last six weeks trying to cram some speed into my perpetually slow legs with track workouts and tempo runs, and it definitely hasn't been easy!  I've never worried too much about speed, so speedwork at the track was a bit of a rude awakening...pretty much every workout involved me wanting to give up running or say "screw it" to the whole sub-30 5K goal!  My first tempo run a few weeks back definitely left me wondering whether I'd EVER be able to run miles below 10min.  I kept at it, though, and put 4 5Ks on my calendar, figuring I'd be able to nail that sub-30 at ONE of them.  Inspiration (on my new chalkboard wall!)...
I had high hopes for yesterday's Firefly 5K--I was familiar with the course, it was nice and flat, and the race was at 8pm (I'm almost always faster at night).  That is, I had high hopes until I woke up with a cold yesterday morning...
Yup, we've been in school 4 weeks and my body is already shutting down...sweet.  I downed the maximum dosage of Airborne, took plenty of cold meds, sudafed, and zyrtech, napped on and off all day, and tried to stay positive.  Luckily, when the time to head to the race site finally rolled around, I miraculously started feeling MARGINALLY better, and decided I would at least go for it.  I said good bye and good luck to my friends and shoved my way as close to the front as I could, which was still pretty far back!  This race was super crowded and a little bit disorganized...Unfortunately, as soon as the gun went off I realized that a bunch of people at this race didn't get the memo that you typically line up in order of speediness...I was dodging WALKERS for the first mile!  Now I am the first person to welcome runners and walkers of ALL paces to a race, but it was a little frustrating!  Weaving through people on a dark race course is not easy!  I ended up running a good chunk of the first mile on the grass to the side of the path...

After the first mile, I finally was away from the super dense crowds, and was excited about how awesome I was feeling.  I crossed the first mile marker in under 10 minutes, and as I obsessively checked my average pace on my garmin, I was excited to see that I was holding an average under 9:30!  After 2.5 I started to feel a little tired and needed to take an extra minute walking through a water station.  Somehow I managed to pull it together, though!  When my watch showed that I was getting close to mile 3, I dug deep and pulled out a sprint to the finish that I didn't even know I had in me, immediately collapsing with a bottle of water in the grass.  It was so worth it though--My final time was 29:26!!  
Mission Accomplished!
After reuniting with my friends Katy and Pati who also rocked a strong finish to this line and waiting in line over an HOUR at the most disorganized gear check tent I have EVER experienced, we finally got a picture. Check out Katy and Pati's awesome light up accessories!
 I am SO pumped to have accomplished this goal.  Seriously, 2012 has been an amazing year of running, especially after my year of injury disasters last year!  When I finished my first 5K in 36+ minutes a few years back, I never dreamed that I would be able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes!  I am realizing more than ever that running is such a blessing, and I appreciate so much every time I am able to lace up my shoes.
Anyways, I had planned to cross those 5Ks off of my chalkboard wall as I worked my way to a sub-30 this fall, but after crushing that goal on my first try, and checking goal 3 for 2012 off my list, I decided today that I need to set my sights on a new goal:
Yup, as much as I hate it, I'm going to keep up with my weekly speedwork and hope that it helps me shave 7 minutes off my half-marathon time in time for the Space Coast Half.  I've had sub-2:30 13.1 on my 30 before 30 list, and I'm starting to believe that I might actually be able to do it this fall.  I'll never know if I don't try!  

What fitness goals are you working towards?


  1. Congratulations!!!
    So proud of you! Nice job!
    ❀Beth Ann❀
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

  2. That is completely awesome! Congrats on your 5k PR and all of your goal accomplishments!

  3. Whoa! You totally rocked that 5k. Way to go!!!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  4. Good luck on the future half and congrats on the 5K! You have rocked your goals.

  5. AWESOME sub-30 5k!! I don't really have any goals right now-I ran 4.16 with my XC team yesterday and thought I would die! :)

    I'm interested in hearing about your speedwork plan that you have been using.



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