5k PR -> 1st Sub-20!

I showed up to the start of the RnR Philly 5k with no expectations. With the exception of a tough, tired interval workout this past week (that didn’t leave me feeling very optimistic), I hadn’t done formal speedwork in weeks (July 29th to be exact) and so didn’t have a good feel for how the race might go.

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Good Morning, Philly!

My one goal was to run strong and consistent – to not go out too fast and finished satisfied with my effort and execution. Races like this turn out the best for me. No stress or pressure. Just the excitement of being at a race atmosphere (which I LOVE).

The course was touted as being flat and fast – but just looking at the start and finish, I knew it wasn’t completely true (the finish had a very steep, short hill right at mile 3 – heartbreaker!). And the first mile was a very gradual decline (so mile 3 is a gradual incline). My garmin shows about 130 ft of gain (mapmyrun shows 110) – not anything huge – but even the smallest hill in a 5k feels like a mountain!

I did a short 1.45 mile warmup and began questioning my ability and desire to really race the 5k – my legs felt tired and slow. And so began the back and forth conversation in my head: Maybe I will just run this easy today. What if I use it as a tempo? Am I really up to running hard for 20 minutes?

In the end, I told myself to stop being scared and give it my all – that was the most important thing for the day. I had done a mini-taper of sorts – I did an interval workout on Tuesday followed by 2 days of stroller running and a short-4 miler on Friday – and didn’t want the lower mileage to be for naught. So I forced the doubt out of my mind and convinced myself that once the gun went off my legs would wake up and do their job.

The first 100m was straight downhill before leveling out for a bit and then gradually dropping. I hit the first k in 3:52 (LOVED that both the kilometer and miles were marked!) and knew I was running a way faster than I should. I hit the half mile in 5:57 and turned on the brakes. I have NO business running a 6:00 min mile to start a 5k!! Mile 1: 6:15.

After the first mile, I was sure that the faster than expected pace would bite me in the butt and I waited for the fatigue to set in. But it didn’t. I was out of breath and running hard and fast (for me) but I felt strong. I was attacking the miles. And instead of being discouraged by how much further I had to go, I was strangely excited to continue pushing my body. This is the first time where the idea of going sub-20 entered my mid and gave me a little extra push. Mile 2: 6:25

I was alone for most of the 2nd half of the race which didn’t make it any easier – there was no one to focus on or try to hang with. So instead, I just started counting down the minutes until I was finished, telling myself that I could run this pace for another 8, 7, 6 minutes. I also heard some runners (heading on the out section) cheering for me which was really amazing but I was so far into the pain cave to look up in time or process what I was hearing until it was too late. But if you were one of those people, THANK YOU!!  Mile 3: 6:22.

I knew sub-20 was still possible after I hit mile 3 – but I also knew that last hill stood in my way.The doubt started to creep back in as I turned the corner. And then I saw a group of females on the far side of the road who were screaming and cheering for me including Shanae (she recognized me from social media). It was just the bit of motivation I needed and I pushed with every ounce of energy I had left and crossed the finish in 19:57 (6:10 pace for last .15). So a HUGE thank you to Shanae and the other females who were cheering!!!

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Pretty pleased with how my form looks at the end!

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19:57 – Official Finish
6:25 pace (6:20 based on 3.15 garmin)
6th female overall (out of 1,187)
24th overall (out of 1,800)
34 second PR (previous 5k PR was 20:31)
And nothing but smiles at the finish line

photo (19)My sister and I hung around the finish area after the race and got to chat with Bridget, the wife of a good friend from college (who totally CRUSHED her PR on Saturday!),

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Spent time with Bridget pre and post race!

Brian, one of my favorite runners that social media has brought into my lifephoto (7)

and Pamela, my best friend since high school and social media manager for Sparkly Soul. photo 2 (7)

We also got the chance to meet and chat with Kara Goucher and Bernard Lagat – it was an absolutely perfect morning!

photo 4 (3) photo 3 (4)And a big thank you to my sister, Nicole, who spent the morning cheering me on, taking photos and doing a lot of walking with me to get to start/finish. =)

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Head to toe Saucony!

Who raced this weekend? 

Did you run the RnR Philly 5k? What did you think of the course? 


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    26 thoughts on “5k PR -> 1st Sub-20!

    1. Ahhhh…..thanks for the shout out!! PR’s all around make for a great running day :-) So happy we got to hang out! Congratulations again on an AWESOME race!!!

    2. Ahhhh…thanks for the shout-out!!! PR’s all around make for a great running day :-) So happy we were able to to hang out! Congratulations again on an AWESOME race!!

    3. That smile on your face just after you finished just made my heart swell. What a feel good photo, for ANYONE. Now THAT is why we run….to get that face when you cross the line! I want that face in 3 weeks in chicago!!!!! Love it, and so happy for you! Just shows how much the mind plays in this, and you finally let go of that fear and went for it :) Even more to come!
      Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Pie PancakesMy Profile

    4. I was out there for the 5k, but running with my 10 year-old sister, so was taking it easy. Amazing PR – congratulations! And the course was a little boring with the out and back, but that area is absolutely beautiful.
      Kyndal recently posted..1 Done, 3 to Go – (TOLT #7)My Profile