Apparently, the best part of not racing as much in a year, is you see amazing results when you finally do race. Who would have thought, don't race as much and you get faster?
Yesterday, I met Steph, Meaghan, Danielle, and my sister in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Winter Classic 5k. Steph and I had been planning this race for a few months. She wanted to do a Jingle Bell run and I love doing a race for my birthday (tomorrow) so we quickly agreed upon the Winter Classic 5k. The race was described as a pretty flat out and back course. I love seeing flat with 5k's so I was excited that I may see a PR.
Steph and I planned to dress up for this race. Please note, I do not like drawing attention to myself, so dressing up was a big deal for me. We purchased our Team Sparkle skirts, bought socks from Target, and paired it with a few Christmas shirts I had and Brooks Arm Warmers. We looked quite festive.
We stood at the very crowded starting line and we were off. I spent the first half mile weaving around people. I kept looking at my Garmin and noticed I was only at about a 7:15 pace. This was frustrating as I knew I could go faster, but the crowd was just too thick. When I finally got around everyone, I was finally able to settle into my pace of 6:35. Whoa, way too fast but I knew I would slow down, so just held on.
Mile 2 beeped in at 6:41. This made me happy. I was still under my goal of 6:50 pace so I figured even if I slowed down, I would still see a 21:xx at the end. At this point I started to observe my body. My legs felt fine, not heavy at all. My breathing was also fine, I didn't feel short of breath. I continued to pick off people, just waiting to see the familiar restaurants that meant I was almost to the finish.
Mile 3 came in at 6:41. I looked at my Garmin and saw that I had just hit 20 minutes. If I booked it to the finish line I would go sub-21. (This was not even an option in my head before today.)
After the race we took a few more after pictures and set off for a few cool down, chatty miles. I have really grown to love running with friends and the cool down made my day even more fun.