If you don’t know I work for a sports ministry that influences athletes and coaches on a daily basis. One of the campuses I love going to is the University of Valley Forge because I am really close with their Women’s Basketball Coach and some of the players. A few of the players are involved with a campus organization called the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee which deals with issues athletes have on their college campuses and community service activities. Well, this particular committee is holding a 5k race to benefit Project Purpose in Pottstown, PA.
These basketball players know I love to run, so naturally they asked me to participate and I couldn’t pass it up. I have to admit, this is the first time I truely raced a 5k in a while because I am usually not fond of them. But I am anxious to see how I do and to see if I can PR after the summer of training I had. Even though I have taken a bit of a break from speed work the last 2 months I am still interested to see how this race turns out.
I had a hard time picking a race outfit because it was going to be a bit misty and in the mid-50s. I decided to go with a complete Lululemon outfit.
When I got to the race site which was at the University of Valley Forge and running through Charlestown Park. I was excited to see one of the teachers I know from one of the local schools I am involved in running the 5k too.
Thankfully, I wasn’t nervous about the race at all. I used to get a lot of race anxiety but I have tried to take my mind off the race and just talk to people and have fun. The buzzer went off and I definitely started out in the front and started out at my 5k race pace of 8:00 minute pace. I was planning on starting out a little bit more conservatively but of course I didn’t out of excitement. The beginning of the course was flat through the university but then you headed into the park and it got hilly! Ugh, hills! The entire 2nd mile was through the park and it was up and down the whole time. I honestly was dying, my pace slowed to a 8:30 minute pace for the last two miles. I felt I was having an asthma attack but I refused to give up. I wanted to push myself and I wanted to PR. I knew I was capable of it and I didn’t want to settle.
I crossed the finish line in 26:27 which was a PR of over a minute! I couldn’t believe it! I had an 8:21 average pace and I finished 2nd overall female and 1st in my age group of 30-39.
The girl in the picture below, her name is Teelah and she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. We honestly were battling it out the entire race. This was the first time I felt I was in battle with someone during a race. I went into this race knowing that due to the amount of runners that were there I could definitely pace in my age group, but honestly I saw Teelah and I thought, “Crap, she is in my age group. She is sure to beat me!” Well, she passed me right after the 1 mile mark because we had hit some hills. She was ahead of me for a little bit but we hit a flat portion through the university at the beginning of the 3rd mile and I pulled ahead of her. But I was grateful we were in it together pushing each other to be better.
This is the first time I had officially placed in a race and I was super excited even though the field was low. The last time I almost placed was the Super Hero Showdown 15k in June when I placed 4th in my age group. I was so disappointed that I had just missed a podium finish. So during this race, when I realized I could place I refused to settle for anything less.