Race to Erase MS 5k

I ran my fastest race 5k ever this weekend.

I even scored third place in my age group!
 My running buddy Carly also won third in her age group!

 {she’s running her first official triathlon next weekend – good luck, Carly!!!}

I still can’t believe the speediness. My goal for the race was to run hard, period. This summer, I’ve been in training mode for longer races (10 miler in Annapolis and my upcoming half marathon in Chestertown), so I haven’t done any speed work.

With the longer distance training, I’ve gotten into a happy routine of running between a 9-10 minute pace for at least 4 miles at a time. When I ran more short races this past spring, I practiced with lots of speedy miles and interval running, focusing on fast, hard, sprint runs.

For me, speedy is an 8-minute mile. The fastest I’ve ever run a speedy training mile is 7 minutes, and my “comfy” mile is around 9 minutes. I learned this by running and using the Nike+ app on my iPhone [ run with the iPhone in my hand! Don’t try it at home].

I recorded all of my runs this past spring and tracked the results. I enjoyed this because it let me set realistic goals for myself as a runner. For example, even though I knew my fastest mile was 7 minutes, I knew that most of my training runs were between 8:30 and 9 minute miles. If I decide to add a time goal to one of my races, I could easily reach the goal because it would be realistic, based on my training run times. {setting myself up for success!}

But not all of my races are about finish time. Actually, most of them aren’t about finish time.

For the Chestertown 10 mile race earlier this year, I wanted to finish. For all races, I have the goal of sprinting through the end. For my upcoming half marathon, I want to run with a smile the entire race [annnnd beating my first half marathon time would be pretty sweet, too].

For fun, my results for the Race to Erase MS 5k:
Finish time 25:47 (third place in age group)
Mile 1: 7:16
Mile 2: 8:40
Mile 3: 8:35

So, the first mile was a little fast. Maybe it was a little too fast, as I dropped by over a minute to mile 2. I know this lesson: first mile should be the slowest, with a gradual increase toward the finish. Ideally, I should’ve started at 8:30 and worked my way toward the 7-minute mile. Next time?!

The race was hot, humid, muggy, and tough. But I did it!! And now I can set my sights to the next race: the Chestertown Half Marathon at the end of the month.

I run three times a week, usually early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day. I’ve even been running in the mornings with a new running buddy, which has made training more fun! We covered 6 miles this morning, and I’ll add two miles to my weekend run each week until the race.

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