At the beginning of the year, Dirk told me he'd like me to do a short(ish) running race every 2 weeks or so throughout the winter. No complaints here! So I dug up all the local running races I could find (a surprising number given our winter weather) and passed the dates and distances along to Dirk. There just happened to be TWO 5Ks this weekend in the area, one on Saturday and one today. I figured Dirk would pick one or the other but when my schedule showed up BOTH were on there. Happy day! I'll admit that I first worried it was a mistake but didn't want to say anything for fear that he'd take one of the races away and add a 5 hour bike ride instead. That would make for a sad Beth. (I kid, I knew it wasn't a mistake ;)
Saturday's 5K was on a cold morning in North Park. Oscar couldn't go because he had to coach track practice so off I went by myself. Not to fear, there were many a friendly Pittsburgh triathlete at the race to chat with! The majority of Pittsburgh road races are held at North Park and I've run several different 5K courses there. I'll admit that I was hoping for the flat one but that was not to be. Instead we ran quite a hilly 5K which I fear made it even more painful than I imagined it could be. It also didn't help that I went out in 5:48. Ooops! Mental note, don't do that again during Sunday's 5K. After that first mile I don't remember much other than the fact that I was breathing so hard I was scaring myself. 5Ks are just PAINFUL affairs and while over relatively quick, it still wasn't over quick enough! 19:15 was the final result.
Today's race was in more ideal conditions. For one, Oscar was also racing so that made it more fun! Also, this WAS a flat 5K, just out and back on a trail in the South Side. And finally (perhaps best of all), the weather was much warmer, all the way into the high 40s AND (wait for it...), I wore SHORTS! Unless you've been wearing 10 layers for each of your runs for the past 3 months, you can't possibly imagine how awesome that first run in shorts really is. You feel so light and free! It was amazing.
Remembering my error of going out too fast the day before, I mentally reined myself in a little when the gun went off this morning. And then ran a 5:50 first mile anyway. Some people never learn! Still, this time it felt a bit "easier". That was about the end of easy though because from mile 1 until the finish line, I was in a serious world of hurt again. By the end I had total tunnel vision on the finishing clock. I could feel my form breaking down and I was doing whatever I could to get my body across that mat. Did 5Ks always hurt this bad? I'm thinking maybe not but they are just extra painful when you aren't used to running sub 6 miles. All I can say is OUCH! Nonetheless, the pain paid off because this time I crossed the line in 18:45, the fastest I've run since college (I totally have post college only running PRs because otherwise I might never PR again :). YEAH! Happy to run under 19 again and REALLY happy that I wasn't still running at a pace that my body was totally rejecting. :)
The best news of the morning came when Oscar showed me his watch - sub 17 for the first time EVER for him! We celebrated with Mexican for lunch. It was a very good morning indeed.
All in all a good weekend of "training"! I think it's very important for me to remember how to run on (very) tired legs and run hard too, not just take it easy on myself. This weekend's races were good practice and very fun to boot! And now the next race on the docket is an actual triathlon - Oceanside 70.3 in just 3 weeks! HAPPY, HAPPY DAY!
|Oscar doing an impression of my face with 1/2 mile to go?|
|We can be serious too. :)|