I laced up my kicks bright and early this morning, with butterflies in my stomach, and my trusty “I’d Rather be Running” playlist blaring in my ears. I mentally prepped for this 5k for about 3 days, because the Yiasou Greek Festival course is heralded as the flattest race in Charlotte and I was on the hunt for a PR.
You see, I tend to really hype myself up for races, whether they’re short-n-sweet 5k’s or grueling half marathons. For me, there is no such thing as leisurely running a race: it’s race pace or bust. No run with a bib on my chest is taken lightly.
So I stepped up the starting line with a belly full of carbs, my heart beating out of control, and visions of crossing the finish line feeling on top of the world.
Well, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. I kicked off the first 30 seconds of the race stuck behind a pack of slower joggers, who acted like a barricade standing between me and my target first mile split. I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. But I managed to weasel through them and get my pace back on track. That is, until I hit a wall around mile 2. My legs were like balloons slowly deflating and a demon side-cramp creeped up out of nowhere. I was not having fun. No lies, I even considered throwing in the towel and taking a detour off the track to sneak on home (just kidding). But just as I wanted to quit, I saw my sweet boyfriend standing on the street corner cheering me on. And that quick glance was the power surge I needed to send me soaring towards the finish line.
That moment of euphoria was short lived though, when I realized I wrapped up my race with a time of 23:05 (a minute and 8 seconds slower than last year). Womp womp… But even though I didn’t walk away with that coveted PR, I managed to impress myself in two ways: 1) I kicked off the first mile with a time of 6:55 (and for dedicating only 2-3 weeks to training, I need to pat myself on the back for this), 2) In the last 100 yards of the race, I had a sprint-off with this one dude that was buggin’ me the whole race. And obvi he ate my dust. 😉
Overall, this race was an eye opener for me. A wake up call that I’ve got my work cut out for me for the next eleven weeks as I train for the Charlotte Half-Marathon. But I do feel super energized and fueled to tackle the challenge. Next up: the SC Aquarium Turtle Trek 5k in Charleston in two weeks!
7th place F25-29
29th place Female
131st place Overall