Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Water Drop Dash 5k

Two years. I ran my very first 5k two years ago this past weekend.

March 13, 2011

To celebrate, I ran another! Well, I didn't really plan it to happen that way. About a year ago my office started a wellness program. It started with a 5-month weight loss competition. At the end was cash prizes for the three teams who ended with the most pounds lost. (For the record, my team came in 3rd!) And just recently, they've implemented insurance credits for those with certain BMI's and also for non-smokers. For me, that means I'm paying absolutely nothing for my health insurance. Do I need to repeat that? I am paying absolutely nothing for my health insurance. In all fairness, my company has really excellent benefits to begin with. But in a time of such uncertainty when it comes to health insurance, I am extremely lucky, blessed and thankful for this new perk.

Anyway, back to the running. In an effort to keep pushing everyone to continue with their efforts, the company agreed to pay the entry fee for anyone wanting to participate in the Water Drop Dash 5k. So, Saturday morning I was up at 4:45am and out the door by 5:30. The 25 or so of us that went met up at the office and carpooled to the race on a cold, cold morning.

Dad and me, ready to run! 

For those of you who know me, you know how hard I've been trying to drop my 5k time to under 30 minutes over the past few weeks. 30:18 was the best I'd done on an unofficial race. My previous timed race was 32:18. The week before I came down with a terrible cold. Seriously, one of the worst I've had in a long time. And on Thursday, I tried to run and was forced to walk after a mile due to the combination of being sick and the inhalation of lots and lots of smoke from a local controlled field fire. 

There's a lake there and you can't see it. That's how much smoke there was.

It was brutal. Needless to say, after the week's conditions, still being sick, and the freezing temperatures, I wasn't feeling too confident about my time. But I decided to just do my best and have fun. The hardest thing for me is pace. I tend to give a little too much in my first mile and get tired or too winded too soon. But when I hit mile one at 8:20 (my best 1-mile time to date), I still felt pretty good. In fact, my dad said he was going to try to keep up with me in the beginning, but I "Shot out of there like a bullet." By mile two, I was still feeling pretty great, but wondering when we were going to turn back around, haha! Then runners started coming back, and I started counting my coworkers. One, two, three, four......me. Number five was me! Right behind the guys who are avid runners!! At that point, my focus was to stay in that position, not to let another coworker pass me (competitive much?). And I didn't! I ran across the finish line holding that 5th place position. And as the 1st girl from the office to finish. Even better, I finished in 27:16. Not only did I drop my time below 30 minutes, I shattered my previous best race time!!

It feels pretty damn good to cross a finish line.

Today I went back and checked out the results from my very first 5k. I ran that one in 35:43. In two years, I've cut off 8:27 from my 5k time. To put that in a little perspective, Saturday I ran the first mile in 8:20. And that blows.my.mind.

My official stats or this weekend were:
Overall: 93 of 294
Women's Rank: 24 of 153
Division Place: 4 of 27
Pace: 8:47

Just a little happy with my results :)

We have another race schedule with work, but not until June. I need to find  a few more between now and then. And then, I have to get serious about half marathon training. Oh, did I mention I signed up for my next 1/2? I did. On November 9, I'll be taking on the Savannah Rock n' Roll Half Marathon. I have lofty goals for that race and I can't wait to challenge myself to achieve them.

Are you a runner? If so, what do you do to lower your race times?

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