Sometimes, you try really hard for a race (me for the NYC Marathon) and sometimes you just show up. ColderBOULDER was more of the latter for me this year.
I haven't run very much since NYC, in an effort to give my body time to recover appropriately. And when I was training for the marathon, I wasn't exactly working on my 5K speed. I knew not to set my expectations too high for this race.
That being said, my on-record 5K PR wasn't all that impressive (24:24). I just don't run 5Ks very often. So I was expecting to beat that, I just wasn't sure by how much.
By running BolderBOULDER this past year in 46:19, I qualified for one of the competitive waves, but since I wasn't taking this race super seriously, I decided to fall back into the non-competitive wave with two of my favorite Boulder girl friends. Ashley, Brenda, and I do most of our Saturday long runs together. That's a lot of quality time and conversation. [Pro tip: if you're looking to make friends in a new city, find long run buddies. Friendships form quickly over long runs.]
We had the bright idea of avoiding race-day traffic by running TO the start line from Brenda's house (4 miles- aka longer than the race itself). Obviously none of us were banking on a specific time.
We split up at the start and ran our own races. The first mile was downhill and I clocked in at 7:01. I was feeling good and thinking that it didn't matter that I hadn't trained for this. Mile two had several hills and my pace slowed down to 7:29. Mile three had one huge hill. I was not prepared for that -- but how could I be so tired after only 2 miles?! Mile 3 clocked in at a 7:43 pace (only 10 or so seconds off my marathon pace -- kinda embarrassing). And then I ran 6:56 for the last 0.1 mile to the finish.
Yep. Still a PR. 23:13.
Was it a good performance on my part? No. I obviously did a terrible job of pacing myself. It would have been better for me to have run the whole thing at my average 7:23.
Granted, I hadn't run much leading up to this race. And there were lots of hills. And I had already run 4 miles before the race started. And I had only run twice at altitude in over a month. Excuses, excuses.
Overall, I had a good time and enjoyed running around the CU campus. Is this a good course for a PR? No. None of these Boulder races are, really. Too many hills + running at altitude is hard.
I'm planning to train for a 5K or 10K PR in January, so hopefully we will see much better pacing for that -- both in terms of speed & in terms of consistency.
How long has it been since you've run a 5K? Why do we often forget about this distance when we start training for marathons and half marathons? It's it's own type of challenge.