Everything I do is very much so for distance, for chasing my other goals. Sure, my fitness has seen huge gains in the last 2 years but I also knew it would take some work to actually nab my PR in the midst of everything else I am working towards(not to mention I don't race 5k's nearly as often as I used to).
The last few weeks have been good marathon training weeks, but coach had mixed in some great track workouts to help keep my turnover going strong. Heading into the race on Saturday I had 60-ish miles on my legs from the previous days- something that used to be a peak for me, and certainly wasn't a taper number. My goals for Erie are far more important to me than this though, which meant grinding through a good week and then finding one more gear to bang out the race.
I worked hard last week, but also made a point to recover and fuel well. I was stretching more, taking easy runs even easier than I have been, and made sure to hydrate as best I could. The day before the race I felt okay on my run- not fantastic but not bad enough I was discouraged. I then got to spend the evening with my family and Heather which certainly had my spirits high(and my belly full of Thai food). Heather and I ended the night with a good beer (Highlander Campfire Stout, tastes like S'mores; go try it, you're welcome) and some of the best ice cream- I felt fueled and ready heading to sleep.
Race morning was standard; Starbucks run, get ready, hit the road. Heather and I got there about 45 minutes before the race, met up with some of the other Bergen Elite runners and then got a good warm-up in. We did about 20 minutes and then changed into race stuff before I threw in some more running and strides while making way to the start line.
|Walking to the start, mentally getting ready.|
It's VERY easy to go out too fast at Bergen. With this kind of field, its hard not to get caught up in it all. True to form, I went out blazing faster than I should have. I hit the first mile in 5:47, but I'm happy to say I didn't let it shake me. I didn't freak out, I didn't instantly slam the brakes I simply just relaxed my form and focused on moving forward. I picked people in front of me to keep me moving, and slowly worked my way through the field- I wasn't the only one to go out fast and my goal was to pass rather than be passed. I also heard a coach yelling at a girl near me, I knew the name and also know that her and I are very similar in speeds (at ALL distances). I used that healthy competition to drive me forward and not let her catch me.
|Me and my friend Joe around half way point!|
|Second half of the race somewhere|
18:52 official time which was enough for a long overdue 17 second PR.
I placed 15th overall for women, which I was very happy with. Each and every year the caliber of athletes this race gets amazes me. This year, the top 52 times were under 17 minutes and the top 99 times were sub-19. That is not something you see at other 5ks anywhere near here.
As my fifth time running this race, I continue to tell people that this is where it's at. If you want a fast field, hometown feel, and fun time- Bergen is the place to go for it. I was excited to finally get Heather to join me for it this year too!