First, thank god it’s Friday, seriously. The. Longest. Week. Ever.
Wednesday night was the 4th race in the Al Goldstein 5k speed series, held in Prospect Park. I had big plans for this race, especially considering it was only going to be 80 degrees. They had to change the normal course up since the NY Philharmonic was playing in the park. The course ended up being hillier, but it also came up a bit short at 3.04 miles.
Most of my runs have been on the easy/slow side and if you couldn’t tell, I’ve been dying to bust out some speedwork lately.
I started out fast and I couldn’t slow myself down. I was seeing 6:xx and 7:xx, but I wasn’t worried because I knew they wouldn’t stay there long. I worked on evening myself and keeping my breathing under control. When I realized that 7:xx was here to stay, I forced myself not to freak out. I don’t ever run in the 7’s, so I usually force myself to slow down, but this time felt good and I didn’t want to let it go. I finished the 1st mile in 7:54!
I knew I banked some time with the first mile, but I felt pretty confident that I could at least hang onto low 8’s. The second mile was the toughest, probably due to the fact that I had no idea where the hills were and that there were so many of them. Despite missing the ‘big hill’ at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, the course was actually tougher and hillier, in my opinion. Mile 2; 8:14.
It was down to the last mile and I knew I could tough it out. My shoulders were getting really crampy and were bothering me severely at points. I need to learn to relax my shoulders and arms while running fast. My legs were okay and that’s what I kept focusing on. I had a hard time controlling my breathing, but as long as I kept my legs moving, I knew I would be okay. I saw a lot of 7’s during the last mile, so I knew I was going to PR. I also saw Rebecca and Jeremy during the last mile and made it my goal to catch up and pass them. I finished mile 3 in 8:06.
Jeremy and I RACED the last .04! He started to gun it and I didn’t want to lose him, so I gave it everything I had and booked it across the finish line. I heard Abby yell my name and that only pushed me harder! We either finished in the exact same time, or he beat me by a second! I immediately collapsed on the grass for some relief.
5k (er..) 3.04 mi.
Official Time: 24:31
Average Pace: 8:03
A new PR by over a minute! I think I’m actually starting to love 5k’s, maybe there will be more in my future 🙂
It was so nice to push myself, I don’t think I’ve done that in a long time! I even managed to beat my 5K PR from 3 years ago!