Going into 2012, Sarah and I had lined up a number of races in preparation for this 5k (Scope it Out), which was to be my goal 5k of the spring season:
Love the Run You're With 5k: cold and windy: 20:40 - good effort in hard conditions
Four Courts Four Miler: super hilly and because of an oops on my part, ran in training shoes, not flats: 27:02
RNR Half Marathon: 1:34:03 - tempo run
I was really nervous going into this 5k. 1) I had such a lofty time goal in mind and I was worried how hard it was going to feel. 2) I was worried that the back to back races (this was my third race in 3 weeks) was going to take its toll and hit me during this race.
But Sarah had structured the workouts in-between to be such that they weren't too hard or taxing, but would leave me fresh and ready. And on my part, I was doing my best to rest and relax. I even got a massage on Saturday (which I haven't gotten one in almost a year), and it felt terrific. I was relaxed and loose, and good to go!
|Look for the pink and blue in the middle...|
Sarah said to just go out as hard as I can and try to bank some time. I got through the first mile in 6:15, and felt really solid, and I had now 10 extra seconds in the bank. There were a couple of women who were ahead of me, and I wasn't planning on making a move until later in the race, but I realized that they were slowing down, so I passed them decisively. Then, another woman passed me, but I passed her right back. We then hit mile 2 in 12:40, which meant that I had slowed to 6:26. Now, that was goal race pace and I did have 10 seconds "in the bank," but I did not want to finish in 20:01, so the final 1.1 was all about pushing hard. The woman in pink passed me again, and I thought I was letting her go. Yes, I was out there to race, but I was racing against the clock more than anything else. Start at about 15:00, I kept looking at my watch - I was definitely feeling tired, but was so fired up about PR-ing and breaking 20 minutes that nothing, even fatigue, was going to slow me down. The woman reappeared in front of me, only a few steps ahead, as was another woman with about 800 meters to go. I could tell that one of them was breathing heavily, and I just went for it at the 3 mile mark - 19:02. I knew at that point I had almost a minute to play with and had enough of a kick to pass these two, and I just went for it. I had the biggest smile on my face and they announced my name as I came in, "Here comes Vanessa ___, one of our top female finishers!"