I signed up for this race last year as part of a race series. Then in February another race was announced for the same day that I really wanted to run for the social aspect. Fortunately this race started early enough and the next race started late enough so I could MAYBE do both. It was worth a shot even if I was late for the next race I knew I would still enjoy the after party. There are worse things.
I didn’t want to drive to Norfolk in rush hour traffic the day before so I planned to pick up my race packet the morning of the race. I got to the race an hour early and was shocked by how empty the parking lot was. It at least made getting my packet really fast. I had a great spot close to the start line so I could just hang out in my car until the race started.
I was really excited when I realized I had matching bib numbers for both races!
I got out of my car and headed to the starting line just in time to hear the National Anthem and to find Kelly and Lisa from the training team!
I knew they would crush their 5K time- just a few weeks after running a marathon 3.1 would be a breeze. I still wanted to start with them and I figured they might be good for pacing, maybe I would surprise myself and push myself a little more by trying to stay with them. I quickly dropped back to a slower pace when they were doing 9mm. I wanted a sub 30 5K, but I also didn’t want to burn myself out too fast. I did have two races to run today.
The race was along the Norfolk harbor waterfront. Beautiful area, one of my favorite places to run. It is flat and scenic. This race was TINY. I actually prefer small races these days though. It is harder to find people at your same pace and you know someone will notice if you slow down. There is a good chance they are pacing with you. I appreciate the social pressure from strangers motivating me. I felt really good for the first two miles. I knew a PR was in my reach.
I won’t lie though, that last mile I was fighting with myself not to walk. I saw another woman slow down to walk, and had to push her out of my head. I mean who cares if I walked for a bit, I will probably PR anyways. I didn’t even know for sure if I could get a sub-30 today. Also I had another race right after, I didn’t want to burn out. I had all the negative thoughts telling me to slow down. I don’t know what did it though… something helped me push past those thoughts and finish strong!
We finished inside the baseball diamond at Harbor Park. Really cool finish, but wow the field was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The final stretch was a beast mentally, but the announcer encouraged me (okay everyone) to push though to get that sub 30. It was like she knew why I was out there. I chased down that finish line and finished with 29:51 per my watch. I think the clock time was 29:48 or something… either way… SUB 30!!! I was SO HAPPY!! My watch also shared that my best pace was 5:19mm. WOAH!
After a few pictures I grabbed my free sandwich and headed to the beach for my next race! Recap of the crush n run coming soon!