London has been taking full advantage of the extra sunlight hours that Summer affords us, with a plethora of after-work races taking place in the capital. After having to miss several that my Athletics Club participated in, FOMO got the better of me and I decided to do a Monday night 5K courtesy of Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.
As a disclaimer: I’ve never really raced a 5K before. I’ve done Parkrun a handful of times, but between the hilly course of my local Parkrun and the fact that it’s a Saturday morning, I’ve never really given it my all. And so I decided that I’d give it a go, if for no other reason than to practice racing and work out where I’m at fitness-wise.
I made it to the start line, slightly sweaty already from my commute- I took two trains, and then got lost so had a mad dash to the start line. I was aiming for 23:39, which according to Runner’s World, was a reasonable time to expect, given my 10K PB. Nonetheless, it seemed daunting.
The race itself was low-key, but in exactly the right way-with a small but dedicated field of runners. I went out too fast, despite trying to rein it in- it’s just tough when there’s a pack! I wanted to give it my all, but not to burn out halfway through in a sweaty, panting heap. Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 7:26
Mile 2: 7:31
Mile 3: 7:25
Last .1: 7:44
Finish time: 23:02
I’m pretty happy with that performance, if I do say so myself- over half a minute faster than the intimidating goal I’d set for myself. I’m annoyed with myself for slowing down right at the end; it was entirely my fault, and entirely mental. My vision started to go slightly blurry towards the end, and I saw the yellow signs of the start line, mistaking them for the finish. Whilst I realised my error in plenty of time, I kind of lost my momentum and drive in that last .1 of a mile as the finish seemed just that much further away. But still, pretty damn pleased with my effort, and my shiny new PB.
What I learned from this race:
– 5K races are really hard. They hurt the whole way round.
– But they do feel very gratifying- I was walking on air the morning after!
– Stress and a long day at work probably played a factor in my mental tiredness
– I’m made of tougher stuff than I’d realised 😃
What’s your favourite race distance? How do I make 5K races hurt less?!
Lots of love,