Wednesday, November 23, 2011

5K History

I've probably run about 7 5Ks in my life.  I know, not very many right?  It seemed low to me, but then I realized how much I hate 5Ks.  I MUCH rather run a 1/2 marathon.  In fact, 3 of the 5Ks I didn't even actually race.  Instead, I ran them for fun with friends.  Why do I hate 5Ks you ask?  Well, the reason is simple.  I feel like there is so much pressure to do well.  So much pressure to be fast and push myself out of my comfort zone.  Who likes to be out of their comfort zone?

My first 5K was in 2004.  My friend Michelle asked me if I'd do the Susan G Komen with her and I agreed.  She said we'd walk.  When we got there, the two of us, COMPLETE NON RUNNERS, did a walk/jog method and crossed the finish line in 41:24.  I remember how we laughed at ourselves for being so slow (and we were) but we were out there doing something neither one of us had before, and 41:24 will forever be my first 5K and it will forever be in the record books.

Up next, in 2008-- The Steelers/Gatorade 5K.  I really started getting into health and fitness in January of 2008.  By August (the time of this event) I had lost over 30 pounds and was really changing my life.   I signed up for the 5K because I had NEVER run a race before and I thought it would be fun.  I gave it everything I had that day and stepped on the finishing mat in 31:18.  I think I was pretty impressed with myself.

I continued working out through all of 2008 and 2009 and came back once again to tackle The Steeelers/Gatorade 5K in August of 2009.  This was my year.  I wanted to break the 30 minute mark and prove something to myself.  I remember that day very vividly.  I ran as fast and as hard as I could, yet I had no idea how to run.  I didn't know how to pace myself, I didn't know what to drink or when to drink.  I was just running.  Nevertheless, I clocked a 29:29 that day and it remains my personal record (PR).

Then there was a small local race supporting my son's catholic school, the St Kilian Parish 5K in September of 2009.  I was so motivated to beat 29:29.  I was motivated my previous 5K showing just a month ago and by the bitchy other moms walking the course (what? I hate to admit it but it's true).  I wanted to prove to myself and to the other moms I was a runner.  Well, yeah who makes a 5K course that makes you go 3 laps of the same damn loop with hills every other foot?  It was the most ridiculous course and it kicked my butt.  I logged a 30:32 that day and I was pissed.

I'd train and wait again for the next summer and the return of the Steeler 5K.  But then I got injured in June of 2010 and wouldn't be able to even think of running again until September of that year.  I lost so much fitness during my 8 weeks of bed rest and during my recovery.  I became such a slug.

By May of this year, I was ready to redeem myself.  On Mother's day I ran the Dukes and Daisies 5K with one thing on my mind-- beating 29:29.  My redemption run.  My come back, my proof to myself that all had not been lost due to a couple of broken bones.

Well, I did return that day, but not fast enough.  I missed my personal record by 12 seconds running a 29:41.  

Since then I think I've been a little scared to run another 5K.  Scared that I'd never be able to run faster than my current personal best.  I've run a few 5Ks with Nicholas (and friends) since then, but I was there to have fun and not to race.  

I am completely fine, by the way, with running races with my friends and with Nicholas.  I love running just for fun too and don't think every race I register for has to be to earn a new PR.  The question is, was I REALLY running with Nicholas and my friends because I wanted to have fun or am I really afraid?  

Well, today I conquered that fear when this happened.  

There wasn't a race, there wasn't a timing chip or 1000s of other people running beside me to keep me motivated.  It was a random Wednesday morning with Bianca by my side and I ran 3.1 miles in 28:15 shaving one minute and 14 seconds off of my previous record.  I didn't do it for any record books, I didn't do it to prove to myself that I was "back" or to redeem anything,  and I most certainly didn't do it the prove anything to anyone else.   I did it on a random Wednesday just because I could and I'm NOT afraid.  


robringer said...

Nice! sometimes thats all it takes. I on the other hand dread running another half marathon...i would rather run 5k's and 10k's for the rest of my life. Doesn't mean I won't do it...but man, no desire! Have a great thanksgiving susan!!

Steelerfan said...

I hate 5ks too. I haven't broken the 28 min mark either my pr is 28:02. But in the great race I was at 27 min at the 5k mark but it was a 10k!! I like 10ks and half marathons best!

Letty :)

tracey smith said...

Good for you!! I feel the exact same way about 5ks. Hate them. In fact, the last one I raced was the St. Kilian one with you two years ago. Crappy course as we know (I think it is my fastest time though- can't understand that one). Anyway, I have been trying to talk myself into attempting another and you just inspired me (yet again!) to go for it. I will have to be on the hunt for one now.

You are getting speedy!

G. said...

You see, when you do it for fun, it all just happens! xoxo G.

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