Who said a runner’s progression has to be linear? Twitter and Dailymile friend Courtney commented on my result to this race that I had completed my first 5k after completing my first marathon. I don’t know why I’ve held out so long on running a 5 km race. My experience last week at the Scotia was not easy, but the training paid dividends.
I only gave myself five weeks to train; it’s not ideal for a first race at this distance, but with all the running I usually do anyway, it is doable. I was particularly pleased with the way I’d nailed my splits on those training sessions that called for them. I actually enjoyed the track workouts, not least because I got to try a different track each week. That definitely alleviated any boredom from having to run on the same track over and over.
The morning of race day started out sunny, which was nice for the half marathoners who started earlier. But by the time the 5k started, it clouded over. It was also slightly humid, which is not usual for Vancouver.
We were warned just before the race started that there are a few tight corners, and that proved true. But it also got really narrow in places, so there was more jostling than usual for the start of the race. I was also surprised to pass a couple of walkers very early; they obviously didn’t hear the message about starting from the back of the pack. Just when that first kilometre couldn’t have been any more crazy, one of my shoelaces came undone.
Once I passed the 1-km marker, everything settled down and I gradually picked up speed. I did record kilometre spilts based on where the markers were placed, but when I looked at them, the markers don’t seem to be in right places. The split after km 4 clearly wasn’t right, as it was more than 5:30. By that point, the 5k merged with the half marathon route so that both events went toward the same finish line. Just like in the first kilometre, there was weaving in the last kilometre.
I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 24:52. I’m surprised at my overall placing; I think it’s the first time I’ve finished in the top 100 in any race! The time is definitely under 26 minutes, which was my stated goal, but to go under 25 minutes is a great achievement. It’s a tough challenge to race it, and I’d definitely do it again. For now, I’m taking it easy until I train again for the Okanagan Half Marathon in October.