The morning of the race was mid 40s, a tad breezy and alternating between sunny and cloudy. There was also scattered rain, but nothing major. Overall, perfect for racing!
I got to the race a little more than an hour before the start and used the time to relax and mentally prepare for the work to come. I waited to do my warmup until 30 minutes before the race start to avoid cooling down before the gun. While I was warming up, I noticed a few ladies who looked like they would be pretty fast - and sure enough - they lined up at the front with me.
During the first mile of the race, I was mainly focused on not going out too fast. As always, the first 0.1-0.2 were a bit faster with everyone rushing out and establishing pace and pace, but I felt like I quickly locked into a good pace that felt hard, but not like a death gallop. Within the first mile, I found myself in 4th place, with the 3rd place lady about 20 feet in front of me.
The course was an out and back - my favorite for races because you get to see exactly who is in front of you and how they look (i.e. do they look like they are tiring?). As we approached the turnaround, I picked up the pace to get on track for a PR. As I passed the two mile mark, the volunteer giving times yelled 13:53! That was super motivating because I knew I was doing okay for pace even though my legs were pretty much on fire at that point.
The last mile was endless. I started to gain on the 3rd place woman only to have her pull away when a volunteer yelled 0.3 to go. I tried so hard to catch her during that last part of the race but she was too quick. However, I think having someone to focus on helped me run solid during the last bit of the race. Every bit of me was so tired and my throat was burning but I kept going, thinking about all the training and workouts that went into this race. I especially thought about my last hard workout and remembered how this exact pace felt - and how I survived that workout and would survive this race!
As I approached the finish line, I could see on the clock that I was going to PR and that was motivation enough to finish strong.
I was so excited that all the work this winter/spring paid off! Hopefully a sign that more fast times and PRs are to come this year. Working with Coach Matt has really helped and I think it's what led to this PR. Putting in the work = Confidence = Meeting Race Goals!
As always, chocolate milk and a cookie post race!
As always, I ran back on the course after the race for my cooldown and ran Mom into the finish line. She did great - I think her fastest time this year - and is feeling good about running this summer/fall.
Mom and I celebrating at the finish line!
Overall, a fantastic race weekend! I definitely recommend the Nicolet Bay 5k to anyone looking for a spring 5k. In fact, it's already going on my calendar for 2015 :)
My questions for you:
- What do you think the magic formula is for getting a new PR?
- What workout gives you the most confidence heading into a race?
- Random: What is your favorite spring activity?