I was very nervous this morning when I had to line up in the starting line of the YMCA Heart of Savannah 5K, a race that supports the Y’s newest program: LIVESTRONG at the YMCA (a free 12 week program to help cancer survivors regain their physical and mental strength after treatment through exercise programs specifically for cancer survivors).
For some reason on bigger races I don’t get nervous at all, but this smaller ones get on my nerves! Maybe is because I feel the pressure that I know I can do well and place on my age group? Or is it because I know that going faster than usual in shorter distances is totally going to wear me out?
I’m a distance runner. I enjoy picking up a comfortable pace and going for hours. Short races are really hard for me because I know exactly how bad I’m going to feel on the second mile! So why have I done so many 5k’s in the past year?
Fleet Feet Sports Savannah created this year a series called Lucky 13 where they chose 13 races and everyone who signed up has to finish 8 of those in order to get an exclusive Adidas finisher jacket at the end of the year. The tricky part is that there’re 3 mandatory races, and if you miss 1 then you have to do 10 total instead of 8… and guess who’s missing one of the mandatory races? You are right!
At the beginning I was not going to sign up so I missed the first race, but seeing all my friends from the Savannah Striders so excited about it I ended up doing it and don’t regret it at all! I think this is a great initiative to keep people running and motivated throughout the entire year plus most of the races benefit some sort of organization so we are basically raising money for charity while doing what we love! Cool, right?
Anyhow, this was my ninth race so I just have one more to go that I’m doing with Bobby… this means that this was the last opportunity I had to really race and push myself.
I got to Forsyth Park around 8:30 a.m. (yes, the race had a super late start of 9:00 a.m.) and hanged out for a bit at the Striders tent. Then I went for a quick shake-out run and went straight to the starting line where a girl with the most beautiful voice sang the national anthem (I really wish I could sing, but that’s a different topic)
I decided to focus and ran the whole thing with my iPod, which I don’t often do. Music kinds of keep me focus in short distances. The first mile felt surprisingly good… so good that I thought I was going to get slower on mile 2 but that didn’t happen! Although the floor was completely wet because it’s been raining, and although there were 20,000 turns because the race was all around the squares in historic Savannah, I managed to finish in 21:31 (almost PR’d!) and placed 1st. on my age group!
I was so focus on not falling on any of the turns but at the same time I was feeling so good that somehow I managed to run my fastest 5K since the spring of 2012!
We hanged out for a little while waiting on all of our friends to receive their awards and then I went straight home to make a grilled cheese sandwich with coffee and to take a hot shower!
Waiting on our awards! Receiving my medal!
Tomorrow is time for my longish run (12 miles on the bridge) so I’m going to bed!