I ran in my first 5k over the weekend. I was running pretty regularly during the summer, but haven’t so much since I have been coaching. I’ve only been swimming four times in the meantime, so I am not working out really hard. I am trying to say I am not in shape and not proud of my time, although I had a lot of fun doing it.
I finished 115th out of 1,437 competitors. Mind you, not all those people were running. 1,437th place was at a 14:29 mile pace. 1st place maintained a 5:21 mile pace, finishing in 16:37. I crossed the line at 22:32, holding onto a 7:16 pace.
Had I run that route (2 loops through the Milwaukee County Zoo) by myself, it is doubtful that I would have broken 23 minutes. In fact, I may have walked for a little bit after running up a pretty vicious hill the second time around. However, I ran with a pack of humans, trying to complete the required distance in as little time as possible. I found it thrilling, racing again, this time on land. It felt like a competition, but the atmosphere was not at all like other competitions I have competed in. There were friendly conversations before the start, good-natured joking and honest encouragement from stranger to stranger during the race. It was fun to be a part of that.
I’ll race more. Maybe not that much in the next 5 months, but after this rain freezes and whitens Milwaukee and thaws in the spring. Then, maybe I’ll take a crack at breaking 21:00.