RR: Run for the Oaks 5k (PR!)

I hate 5ks. I still do.
So why am I smiling so much after one?
 
Not much of a spoiler alert since some of you already know I had a massive PR – one of those shocking, “OH-EM-GEE where the heck did that come from?” PRs. But it was more than a PR, it’s a big milestone for me!
 
Ok, well, the PR wasnt that big of a surprise. Even though I’m doing Shamrock on Sunday – I signed up for the race with the purpose of a PR. And I didnt really tell anyone I was doing this race because if I didnt PR, I wasnt going to bloop about it. Lame, I know…
 
But I did PR so here we go!
 
I signed up for the race at the last min. At this point I’ve done more marathons/ultras than 5ks…and my 5k race paces aren’t too far off my half marathon pace. See:
 
 
That little number on 12/3/11 would have been better if I hadn’t set a 29:17 in 2009….when I went to a race to cheer before my own run and ended up stealin my sick friend’s bib. Let that be a lesson, kids….bandit a race and actually race it = PR under someone else’s name and you’ll never be able to beat it!! I pretty much swore off 5ks after that Dec race. I was doomed to never get a sub 29. 
 
But my club run group has a new addition – a guy who pushes the pace. And I’ve surprisingly allowed him to push it. So when we completed the just slightly less than 3 mile route in 25:43 (I think only William knows how crazy fast this is for me to complete that route)…I knew it was time to try for a PR…on a course that’s billed as one of the fastest in Raleigh. 
 
Club run friend, Melissa, signed up too. We run well together and she might as well be a Loopster since I met her through the OSOM Medfirecracker. She and I met before the race and did a 1 mile warm up. Weather was clear and in the low 40s – perfect!!
 
Beautiful day in the City of Oaks
 
Based on the fast club run, I said I wanted to shoot for 9:15s the first 2 miles and then try to kick it the last mile. Then set the Garmin to show average pace per mile so we wouldnt go out too fast. 
 
Guess what? We went out too fast!
 
The first mile felt good, we were actually talking for most of it so it didnt feel too fast. However, when I glanced at Gary .8 into the run…I saw a pace starting with an 8. I rarely do sub 10s…sub 9s are WAY TOO FAST. My mind went into overdrive – one side saying “YOU’RE GOING TO DIE” and the other saying “Man up, you can hold this.” 
 
Melissa asked about our pace, and I said “you dont want to know.” I was scared to say the number out loud. How the pace felt to my brain was a lot worse than my body. Saying it out loud would make it too real. My body and my poor, asthmatic lungs felt stressed, but not nearly as stressed as my brain. Better to lie to the brain. Gary beeped mile 1 at 8:51. 
 
Mile 2 sucked. It got harder to breathe and the talkin subsided. Thanking the police officers and volunteers (a sure way to pick me up in a longer race) was nearly impossible. However, I knew most of the route since it’s part of the club run. I knew how long every hill was going to last and when I’d be getting the sweet, sweet relief of a downhill. Only there wasnt really relief because I was still trying as hard as I could on the down. I thought I slowed down a lot but, shockingly, mile 2 was 8:58. 
 
Another sub 9? 
 
At this point I knew I’d PR even if I slacked off to my beloved 10 min mile. But it’s not a 5k unless you want to die for the first 2 miles…and by the last mile you should wish you had died! So, I ignored the sirens going head. My lungs were going crazy and I was breathing like the principal in Forrest Gump. My inhaler was clackin around with my keys in my pocket, tempting clear airways in exchange for a break, but ignored that too. Melissa asked about my breathing, which I know sounded horrid, and I panted out I’d survive another half mile. I wished I was dead at this moment….so I was doing something right.
 
Finally, with the finish line in sight, mile 3 beeped. I refused to look at it. The clock said 28:xx…and I know I was about a minute behind the clock. PR! PR! PR! Oh, crap…don’t puke! PR!
 
 
Me and Melissa….in our post PR glory! 
 
Mile 3 was 8:49. The final .1 averaged a 7:20. Yes, folks….even better than a just a PR. This is my first race with a sub 9 average. I know it’s not much to most of you but my fellow slow pokes know this is HUGE!!
 
I never do dancing bananas…but I think I’m allowed one, right??
 
 
PR wasnt as big as I thought it was post race. My math skills were slackin and I didnt subtract the warmup run properly. So it wasn’t quite 2 minutes. I thought it was closer to 27:25 but official time was 27:40…still a lot better than the sub 29 goal I had coming in. And I’m still the proud owner of a race pace that begins with an 8!
 
 
 
The race benefited planting more trees in the city. They even gave away oak trees!
 
After the race we pumped out another 2 miles. 6 miles in 57:32. When I got home, I realized if I had just busted out another .2, I could have gotten my long desired sub 60 10k. Drats. Guess that means I have a 10k in my future, even though I’m pretty sure 10ks are trying to kill me too.
 
Taking it easy this week to get ready for Shamrock. My fav race ever – Loopsters and Yuengling on the beach = heaven. Good luck to everyone else racing!! Such a big weekend coming up!
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