I ran the Yuri’s Night 5K this morning in Challenger Park. I think they had almost 400 people register this year! Wow! I had to park in the grass because the parking lot was full by the time I arrived, and I don’t think the parking lot has ever filled up before. It was great. Passing off the race director duties to new blood was a good decision, and I love seeing this race thrive.
This was the first time I’ve run in two weeks, and the first time I’ve run hard in more than two months. As such, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We lucked out with absolutely gorgeous weather — cool and extremely low humidity, thanks to a front that came through yesterday. I started the race around the middle of the pack and told myself to just see how things felt as I got underway.
Fortunately, things felt pretty good. I covered the first mile in 10:56, which included the short but steep climb up the hill behind the lake. My favorite part of the course is the backside on dirt trails through the woods, which starts just before the first mile marker. (The first mile is about 75% pavement and 25% grass or dirt.) It was a gorgeous day to be running through the trees with bits of sunlight shining through.
It’s a two-loop course and the first loop is slightly longer than the second thanks to the aforementioned hill. The top two race finishers passed me just before I finished the first loop. The second mile is about 25% dirt and 75% pavement,and I passed the mile 2 marker with a split of 10:57. I was still feeling good and was happy with my consistency and pacing.
The third mile is split pretty evenly between dirt/grass and pavement, and I decided to pick up the pace to stay within sight of another woman running about 50 feet ahead of me. I felt good through the last mile and could tell I was pushing a bit harder. Sure enough, I passed the mile 3 marker with a split of 10:20 and crossed the finish line in 33:07 by my watch. (The race was not chip timed so my official result is likely a few seconds more.)
Logically I know that I did my best — in fact, I actually did better than I thought I would this morning. Still, it’s hard for me to emotionally reconcile today’s result with the fact that I ran both 5K and half marathon PRs little more than four months ago. I’ve always hard a hard time accepting that I cannot do everything, and in recent years I have had a hard time accepting that my life does not always allow me to train the way I envision. I know, of course, that I’m in charge of setting my own priorities. Maybe it’d be more accurate to say that I struggle with the fact that what I do doesn’t always match what I say I’m going to do.
But I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day, and overall I’m happy with my result. I’ve got 4 weeks until my first triathlon of the season and at the moment those weeks are clear of complicating factors. I intend to make full use of that time.