"Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic."
-Tim NoakesMy mind has never been able to truly grasp the concept of the 5k. It defies all the logic which rests in my head that tells me I can't run at full throttle for 3.1 miles. Most of the time before the gun goes of my stomach is in knots anticipating the discomfort and my body is anxious not knowing if it will be able to step on the gas right out of the gate.
Like most of the races I run, I over think it.
This time around I shut down the analytical side of my brain to try a different approach because it's hard to run races back-to-back. A 4 day turn around from one 5k to another isn't something I've ever done before until this past week, and I wasn't too sure how it would turn out. So I set the bar low with my only goal being to have fun.
The last time I ran this particular race I was in 2004, and it was tiny.
This year there were 7,011 finishers, anything but tiny for a local holiday 5k. Don't think I've ever ran a 5k that large.
After going out like a dope a few days prior, I decided that it would be best to tuck myself in a bit better with the crowd at the start. There were flocks and flocks of off season teens that I knew would school me if I tried to keep pace with them in mile 1, so I kept them out of sight early on. My old beat-up legs stand no chance to those fresh young stems.
With the discomfort of the 5k still fresh in my mind, I knew that I didn't need watch this time around again. Instead I decided to put my mind to use and try tapping into mind-body running pacing everything off of feel. As soon as the gun went off, so did the logical side of my brain and I just ran.
|Love these kicks|
And then something happened for the first time EVER for me in a 5k...
I was having fun.
I was running "fast" for my present shape.
I was holding a pretty steady and solid pace.
And I was picking off those eager with the gun kiddos left and right.
My legs feel into a steady cadence, almost metronome like, where I was relaxed and my spirit felt completely engulfed in it's element. I was racing not pacing, and it never felt so good. Free from the chains and expectations of a watch, free to race just like it's meant to be done.
By clock time and some post race rough math, my splits were 6:07, 6:17, 6:03 where I was passed just before mile 3 by a much younger chick that was flying but caught my fair share of dudes on the way in. They got chicked.
8th female out of 3,785
106th place out of 7,011
1st in my age group
Not bad for a gal who has beat the hell out of herself this year and feels lightyears away from racing shape.
I like to think that the half is my distance, even though I made no ground in that distance this year. But time and time again signs keep pointing me to the 5k which I continually disregard and balk at thinking it's not the right challenge for me. Maybe it is, and I'm just being a pretentious distance snob who needs to stop over thinking everything.
Either way, I am very thankful that I have been blessed with a body that moves and is forgiving to all the non-stop abuse I put it through.
And the fact that I'm now starting to fall for the 5k.