This was my first 5k in 10 months so I was curious to see how much faster I have gotten over the last year, and comparing it to the same race last year. It was in the high 30s/low 40s so it was chilly but I got a warmup and got to the start line with 5 minutes until race time.
The course is a mostly out and back course in rock creek park with a slight downhill for the first half.
The start is very narrow along a jogging trail so to make sure I didn’t get boxed in I started towards the front and got to my desired heart rate very quickly.
The first mile was a little bit downhill and combined with the fast start I went through the first mile in 5:55 which was a bit fast but my HR was where I wanted it to be and I was feeling good.
The race plan was to run at a certain HR until the turnaround at mile 1.4 and then bump up the effort. I made it to the turn around with a 6:04 pace, and then up the effort until mile 3. I averaged a 6:12 pace from mile 1.4 to 3 which is a drop in pace but some of it was uphill so I’m fine with that.
Then the last 1/10th of a mile was a hard effort to the finish line where I averaged a 5:45.
I finished in 19:02 on my watch which is just under a 6:10 pace and a PR of 1:17. That doesn’t sound like a much, but for a race this short it’s about a 25 sec per mile improvement. I’m hoping I was able to sneak in under 19 minutes on the official time.
5km races aren’t to bad because you are settling into pace for the first mile and it’s only the last mile- mile and half that are difficult but it’s over so quick you mentally know you don’t have put up with the discomfort for long and just keep going.
But it is a hard effort and I think these two pictures right after the finish do a good job of capturing that feeling.