The First Time I Actually Raced

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I ran a 5k this weekend. It was originally scheduled for the middle of December, but the snow had other plans.  Due to all the rescheduling and the fact that it was a low key event, not a ton of people participated.  (approximately 400) Despite that, it was a very BIG race for me. This was the first time that I actually planned on “racing.” Usually, I just go at a reasonable pace for myself and enjoy the atmosphere of the race.

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Note the creepy Santa

I ran the entire 5k in 27:40, which was my best time ever. I came in 5th for my age group and 17th overall. (I told you, small race!) Regardless, I am really proud of my PR. I think it helped that I ran with a friend from work who was way faster than she let on! I kept my eye on her the whole race!

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I really had my eye on this shoe with wings trophy…maybe next time! You know you would love to have that thing on your mantle. It was still a major win in my books. I have been focusing mostly on distance and actually haven’t ran a 5k in years! Sometimes it is fun to switch it up and focus on speed. I still think I prefer going long to going fast, though.

With this race, I learned a couple of things for my next 5k:

1. Don’t get too excited and go too strong at the beginning. (I went 8:30 the first mile, but slowed down to 9:00ish the next 2 miles. Not to mention that the first mile was mostly uphill…)

2. Start closer to the front than you think. (I actually learned this awhile back, but have always been to nervous to go up front. I think I actually placed myself appropriately close to the front this time. Dodging around walkers is the worst!)

3. Occasionally pick low key local races. Sometimes it is fun to have a boost in morale when you don’t normally place near the top!

Do you ever actually “race” at events? 

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19 thoughts on “The First Time I Actually Raced

  1. Congrats! I almost always “race”, but I try to say that I would do some races just for fun. The problem is that my husband is super competitive and will never run a race just for fun, and he always somehow talks me into racing:) There are definitely some races that I have put more pressure on myself and others not so much. I am also a fan of longer races, but its always good to test your speed with a short, hard race! And I also love getting an occasional boost in morale by running a small local race:)

    • That is too funny about your husband! Maybe try a race with some inexperienced girlfriends. It’s good to just have a little laid back fun every once in awhile. Although…I have a feeling I am going to be hooked on racing now. It was a major rush!

    • Haha! I think I might be hooked on racing now. It was a major rush. These past couple of years have been full of major changes for me as a runner. Before I didn’t really think I had a chance, so I didn’t even think about it really. Although, when I was finished with the race, I realized I had no idea what I ran by or what the town looked like…only noticed the hills!

  2. First – great job and congrats!

    I definitely always go ‘all out’.

    I think the ‘where to start’ thing can be a real pain but should be simple – go based on where you reasonably expect to finish. I head towards the middle because that is where I will likely finish. I try to get in front of obvious non-racers just standing towards the front, especially when they are in packs – I got stuck behind them on my first half marathon and it was terribly frustrating and I expended way too much effort getting around them because they simply wouldn’t let people by (trees on either side of trail)

    • I definitely agree about the starting line. For my first race, I actually went where the marker said my time was. Somehow the walkers ended up in front of me…so now I learned to recognize what the walkers look like so I can spot them and get in front of them! (Since they apparently don’ t go to the correct pace sign!)

  3. Congrats! I love small races because like you said, I usually do better. Although my 2nd 5k ever had only 75 people and I had a major PR at 30:06 but ended up being one of the last 10 people! It may have been small but everyone was FAST! I never did that race again!

  4. CONGRATS!!! This is so exciting! I’m so happy for you miss 5th in your age group! #2- totally relate to that. I think it’s better (for me) to start farther back cause I don’t want to piss off speedy people. But then I spend a good amount of time weaving around the walkers…

  5. Well done on your PR! I always race, even when I don’t intend to…not that I ever place anywhere 🙂 something just kicks in that I have to try and keep up with everyone and, ideally, overtake them. I tend to chill out a bit on the ultras though, especially if its a new distance for me, as my main aim is just to finish!

  6. Hi, just stumbled on your blog while browsing around a few! Well done on your first race – decent time too! We have a weekly 5k run here in Cardiff on a Saturday morning and we normally get about 400+ people – it’s all just for fun but I do like to make sure I save enough energy for a sprint finish in the final 200m!

  7. Pingback: March Goals: 31 Blog Comments | Light...In A Digital Shade

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