Day 10: Reindeer Run 5k: December 7th, 2013 – 5k PR!!
Last week was the Reindeer Run 5k. This year was the 4th time Jeff and I have done this race, and it’s one of my favorites! The race is here in Beverly, and within walking distance of our house, eliminating any parking issues and standing around before the race. One of the best parts of the race is that the entire course is made up of sections of routes I do every day or week. It’s kind of cool to run these areas with a few hundred others. And, in a reindeer hat 🙂
This year, I decided to try for a 5k PR. It was kind of a last minute decision. All spring, summer, and fall I was doing marathon training and doing very little speedwork. I started out with some faster runs, but the heat was just too much and I stopped doing those in mid-July. But even without speedwork, I started to notice in September and October that I was getting faster in my shorter mid-week runs as well as the long weekend ones. While I was still focusing on the marathon, this did make me wonder a bit. After the big race, I had three holiday 5ks lined up…and after doing well in the thanksgiving and hanukkah ones, I thought it would be worth it to try and break my PR from summer 2010.
Jeff agreed to pace me in the race, even though he wasn’t very confident that we’d be able to do it. The course is VERY hilly. It started out flat, but after the first tenth of a mile or so, we start a gradual incline followed by two short but steep hills. I felt fairly confident at this point because I run these hills all the time (I own those hills!), and between the two, there is a man who sits on his front porch playing carols on his trumpet…it’s fun! And, maybe a little to easy to get carried away because we finished the first mile faster than planned, in 8:14. I’m glad I had Jeff there to try and slow me down a bit in the beginning because I was eager to get the PR and would have went even faster without him reminding me not to go out too fast.
Mile 2 was flatter, but included another gradual incline. At this point in the race, I started to notice that running with the faster crowd is a lot quieter and less festive than running in the mid to back of the pack. In spite of this, I was still having a good time, with Jeff occasionally still having to nudge me to slow down. We finished this mile in 8:18, again a bit faster than intended.
Coming out of mile 2, we hit two long gradual inclines, and my speed started to seriously decline. The plan all along was to just see how it went, and to back off if it was too difficult. With less than a mile left, things were getting really difficult, but I knew if I could just hang on a bit longer, we’d make our time. At one point, Jeff said we could slow down because it didn’t look like we were going to make it, but his math didn’t seem to make sense with what my watch was telling me, so I told him that I had to keep pushing. When we rounded the final corner, I was exhausted, but Jeff was back on board and encouraging me as we “sprinted” towards the finish. In the end, we finished mile three in 8:43, and beat my old PR by 7 seconds! My new 5k PR is 25:57. 🙂 Next up, sub 25 min?