Last Saturday I had a big day. I turned 30 and, perhaps MORE importantly, I ran a new personal best time in a 5K… 23:32!! That time was a 9 second improvement on my previous best of 23:41 from The Pickle Run back in August. Woohoo!
Saturday’s race was the Trinity Berwyn 5K, a local event hosted by the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Berwyn, PA. I ran this race last year so I knew what to expect on the course… basically a huge downhill in the first mile and a frightening, soul-crushing uphill in the last mile. Or at least the hill seemed soul-crushing last year… this year I must have FLOWN up that hill in order to finish with a new PR! Here’s a breakdown of how Saturday’s race went:
Mile 1 – Wet Leaves Downhill (7:03 split)
I started out the race at what felt like a very controlled pace, trying to avoid going out too fast but at the same time wanting to take advantage of the big downhill. It was windy and raining which didn’t bother me too much except that I was really worried about slipping on the wet leaves that were blanketing the road. The leaves did have the positive effect of keeping my pace in check… if the footing had been better I would have definitely gone out much faster than I should have.
Also of note during mile 1… I ran by my grandma’s old house (sold 6-7 years ago) and observed a huge dumpster in the driveway. I remembered wondering what construction they might be doing there before rolling into mile 2. (During last year’s race I don’t even remember passing the house… funny how it was so much clearer this year!)
Mile 2 – Flat (7:34 split)
Mile 2 was all about maintaining my pace on the flat-ish neighborhood streets. Due to the rain I had decided to run without music or headphones, meaning that I didn’t know exactly when the second mile started or what my first mile split had been. (I had a stopwatch on but there were no mile markers on the course.) I just ran ahead blindly, hoping that I was keeping up a pretty good pace. I remember looking at my watch at 15:30 thinking “I must have finished the 2nd mile by now… right?” but now in hindsight I realize that I actually hit the 2 mile mark at 14:37. Nice!
Mile 3 – HILL!!! (8:15 split)
Last year when I ran this 5K course the third mile took me 9 minutes, 42 seconds to complete because I had to stop and walk up the hill. This year I knew the hill was coming and I attacked it!! There’s a stretch of road where you can see the hill rising up ahead of you which is pretty intimidating. I sometimes find myself automatically slowing down in anticipation of a hill, so during this section I kept telling myself that even though I could see the hill up ahead I wasn’t yet climbing the hill so there was no reason to slow down. I kept moving at a pretty good clip and reached the top of the hill with about 0.3 miles to go.
At the top of the hill I glanced at my watch… 21:22. I still didn’t have an exact idea of how far was left but I could hear the Trinity Church bell ringing over and over again through the wind and rain. I knew that the course only took a few more turns before finishing in the church parking lot, and at that moment I decided that I was going to get a PR!
Last 0.1 – Birthday PR! (6:43 pace)
I hung on through the last few turns of the race, apparently picking up my pace as I went (according to RunKeeper, at least!). I pounded into the parking lot and could see the race clock ticking away in the 23:20s… yes!! I crossed the line and finished with an official time of 23:32. Mission accomplished!!
As previously mentioned, Saturday was my 30th birthday so this 5K was my first experience in the 30-39 age group. If this race was any indication, the 30s are going to be tough. I was 6th female overall but that was only good for 4th in the 30-39 age bracket!! In an odd twist of fate the race director still had my age listed as 29 (maybe the computer doesn’t count my new age until the date has actually passed?) so they called me up in the awards ceremony for the top 20-29 AG award. I explained to the announcer that I was now 30 and shouldn’t win the award but then a nice man from the church pushed a medal marked First Place 20-30 AG into my hands. 20-30? Hmm. That must be some kind of new award but OK, I’ll take it! I’ll happily wait until my next 5k to officially vie for a “real” 30-39 AG award.
My next race will be the Metal Walk and Fun Run 5K in Wilmington, Delaware this Saturday. I am excited because I’m going to have a very special spectator… Piper! Matt’s going to watch the race with her on the sidelines and I can’t wait to snuggle her soft little puppy ears at the finish! :-)
Miles since last post: 48.3
Days since last post: 10
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.87
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1506.9
• Bark in the Park 5K (10/25/14)
• Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/18/14)
• Martin’s Run 5K (10/5/14)
• Haverford Township Day 5K (9/27/14)
• Run A Muck 5K-ish Trail Race (9/20/14)
• Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13/14)
• Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28/14)
• Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
• Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
• Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
• Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
• Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
• Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
• Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
• Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14)
• Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
• St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
• Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
• Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
• Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
• Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
• Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
• Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
• New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
• Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
• Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
• Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
• Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
• Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
• Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)