Oh hi there! So it’s been exactly 6 months since my last post. Don’t worry, I’ve done plenty of running and even some racing since then but just haven’t been inspired to share. It’s been a weird year for me and my running – lots of stuff going on I gave myself permission to step out of training mode. I ran simply to maintain some health and sanity. The “if I want/when I want/how far or fast I want” approach seemed to work out well for me and was actually refreshing, but I recently started getting the itch to train again . It’s time to start clawing my way back to fitness and thankfully I maintained enough of a base to build on without feeling like I’m starting all over.
Anyway! I’m just getting back into a routine and haven’t done anything resembling speed work all year, but decided to race the Mount Albert 5K last weekend because it’s a great event and I thought it would be a good fitness test to kick off the season. Also who doesn’t love a hilly 5K? Last year I had a miserable time because my expectations were just too high and I wasn’t expecting the hilly course. Not to point fingers (ahem) but Andy told me it was flat. I suppose the name of the race/town should have given it away… At least this year I knew what I was in for and also had much more reasonable expectations.
Off we went, straight uphill to start and surrounded by little kiddies. This race draws a young crowd (which is awesome) and a lot of them like to start at the front so it requires some careful stepping to find space without trampling anyone. As soon as we crested the first hill and turned the corner, it opened up and kept my eye on Erin’s swinging pony tail ahead in the distance.
The first 2K are net uphill and my plan was to focus on effort to make sure I was working hard but not killing myself straight out of the gates, especially since we got there
late right on time and I didn’t have time to warm up. My splits chimed in at 4:37 & 4:38 – right where I hoped to be and feeling very manageable.
I gave Erin a big cheer on the out-and-back section, noticing she was holding strong in the top 3 females (she went on to win!), then looked out for Andy and his littles after making the turn myself. It made for a great distraction as I enjoyed running downhill for KM 3, clocking 4:32. I continued feeling strong through the 4th KM, which is also net downhill, and found myself catching and passing quite a few people. I managed to hold the pace, clocking 4:31.
The final kilometre is tough – there’s a long-ish winding uphill toward the final corner, and then it’s a gentle uphill home stretch to the finish line (mean). The effort was definitely catching up with me and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get my pace under 4:30; I held on the best I could and hit 4:34.
Really happy with a strong, well-executed race (and a better attitude than last year, Lol). Next up: MEC Half Marathon this weekend! When I’m in, I’m all in. 🙂