This was a GREAT race for me for a couple reasons.
1) I decided to run without a Garmin. I love my Garmin, but usually I tend to fixate too much on the time and stress myself out. Sometime late last week, I decided I’d rather try and run this race by feel.
2) I ran in my Frees. I’ve been doing one or two runs a week (usually 4-6 miles) in my new ones and they are awesome. They’re light and make me feel fast.
3) I stayed relaxed (probably due to #1). I had absolutely no idea what my pace was. I ran entirely by feel and just tried to stay calm. I may not have pushed myself hard enough because I didn’t have that “I want to die” feeling until the last half mile or so, but that was totally fine with me.
When we got to the park I did an easy 10 minute warm up with my dad and Mike, who was pushing Ellie in the stroller. I wasn’t really in the mood to race until the gun went off, and then I just switched into race mode. I kept telling myself to just glide and relax, and it totally worked. I didn’t have numbers to worry about, and I just kept trying to gradually pick up speed as I went. When I rounded the final corner and saw that I was under 22 minutes I couldn’t believe it.
I finished in 21:56, only the the 5th time I’ve ever been under 22, and only 37 seconds slower than my PR. The night before, I told my family I was hoping to run under 24. My dad said I could definitely run faster than that based on the run we did together earlier in the week, so I decided to shoot for 23. I definitely met that goal!
I’m really happy with where my fitness level is right now and I can’t wait to push for a new 5K PR in 2012!
And Ellie was clearly thrilled about the ribbon…