Happy Friday! So glad to be at the end of the week. There has been so much I’ve wanted to share with you over the past few days and it’s been tough trying to catch up! But finally, I want to tell you all about my race that took place last Saturday – the Run for Clean Air 5K!Run for Clean Air Philly 5K Recap! #run215 #runchat Click To Tweet
So this 5K has become an annual tradition at my company. We also happen to be sponsors, so we’re lucky to get free entries to participate. This year the Clean Air Council added a 10K component, so you have 3K walkers, 5K runners, and 10K runners all starting in front of the Art Museum steps and heading down MLK Drive for a scenic run/walk. The race keeps getting bigger each year!
While I was initially excited about running the 5K I have to be honest; I wasn’t in the right head space for this race. The 5K was 6 days after my first big race of the year, the Cherry Blossom Run, and that was an AWESOME race, but also pretty mentally taxing. On top of that, we had a very busy schedule for the day. My nephews had their 5th birthday party that same afternoon, and we had to drive 2.5 hours down to Maryland to get there! So I tried to make things as efficient as possible so that we’d get there on time…which meant I had a lot on my mind!
Bret and I were dragging to get ready for the race in the morning, and we had to be at the Art Museum at 8:15 for a group photo. The race started at 8:30 am for the 10K, 9:00 am for the 5K. We ended up being a little late but I was still able to make the picture. We had an awesome turnout, one of the biggest we’d had in years. Lots of people were running the 10K as training for the Broad Street Run, which takes place the first Sunday in May.
First things first – the weather was HOT. Seriously. I hadn’t even started running and I knew that I was in trouble. The weather had been pretty mild during the week prior to the race, but on race morning, the temperature was rapidly approaching 70 degrees and would hit around 81 before the day was out. After a long winter, I’m not used to running in this weather, at least not yet!! Running in the heat is a completely different experience and can be very challenging if you don’t properly pace and hydrate. Remember these words!
Another thing that was swirling in my head was how well this race went for me last year. That race was completed in 27:11, one of my best times for a 5K. I really thought I’d be able to be in the 27-minute range for this race, especially after crushing my expectations at Cherry Blossom. But this wasn’t my day.
The 10K runners didn’t start to run until 8:45, but the 5K was still set to start on time. Before I knew it, we were lined up to start the race. Mentally, I just wasn’t ready. But I’ve been through this course so I wasn’t anticipating any surprises.
I started out at a decent pace, but it was probably too fast. Then I ran into one of my coworkers Andrea. She’s our Wellness Coordinator at work and she’s been doing an awesome job. We chatted it up for a while but then she decided to pull back. I should have stayed with her longer than I did. As we separated, I sped up to a pace that I was NOT ready for. And did I mention how hot and sunny it was?! I was crashing….fast.
I always enjoy this race though because of the positive energy surrounding you the entire course. When you start off you can see the speedy runners already coming back, and when you turn around you can wave to the walkers that have started. So I was able to see several of my PGW runners speeding along, and of course ,Bret was doing great with his 7-7.5 minute miles. I just wanted to get to the turnaround point because I was feeling pretty miserable….
I was carrying my handheld water bottle during the race, but I grabbed water at the water station at the halfway point, which I usually don’t do, but I thought that maybe I would get a boost after taking that quick walk break. Nope. Well, at least it didn’t last. I felt super, super, slow. Then I found another coworker to run and chat with for a while, so that helped. But everything past mile 2 was a complete drag, especially the last half mile. It all went by so slowly and so quickly at the same time!
My 5K was completed in 29:22, so I averaged 9.5-minute miles. But in reality, my splits were POSITIVE! I just kept getting slower and slower. I know I’m better than this, but again, my head just wasn’t in the game. Oh well! Bret did a great job, but his bib didn’t even register his results! So we figure he was somewhere around the 22-minute range. I just love that I can almost always count on seeing Bret on my way to the finish line, and this race was no exception.
Once I made it to the finish line, I met up with Bret and he handed me a bottle of water. I chatted up with a few of my coworkers and it seemed like everyone did pretty well. We didn’t have a lot of time to enjoy much so we headed straight to the beer garden. The beer garden had Victory beer, a local favorite….so that was definitely a highlight!
My friend Erin participated in this race again (same as last year) and it was her first race since recovering from stress fracture injury. She did a great job! Again, I wish we could have had more time to talk. But we did get our picture together and will hopefully get together soon!
Before I knew it we had to fly out of there, get cleaned up and headed down to Maryland to see the boys. They had a Mario and Luigi-themed party and it was so cute! I hope they had a wonderful time. I’m so glad Bret and I were able to make it.
I have to be honest – I was really, really upset about my performance in this race. I think I knew deep down that I wouldn’t be able to do as well as I did last year, but a girl can dream, right? It was also disheartening to see my other friends do so well on their races and be so nonchalant about it. I know most of them are training for Broad Street, but after all of my experience, I would think that I could do better than a 29 something 5K, even if the weather wasn’t favorable.
I’m proud of my recent running accomplishments, starting back with completing the Rock and Roll Half Marathon last September, and finally moving past my injury-laden past. But I really want to get faster now. The funny thing is, when I posted my data on Final Surge for Coach Kristy, she said that I went too fast! It’s really becoming a struggle for me to enjoy running 11.5-minute miles. I think I’m ready to push myself harder.
But back to the 5K, I think I’ve come to the “I’m bored” status with this race after 4 years, so I will look forward to trying out the 10K next year. The Run for Clean Air is a really great race, personal performance aside!
I will definitely participate in this race again next year, but I’m done with the 5K for now. The 10K is still a fun new challenge so I’m looking forward to giving it a try! If you’re in Philly or close by, you should definitely join in! We all had a blast!
Wednesday 4/15: My first run after the Cherry Blossom Run, 3 miles. I ran on the trail outside of work for the first time in awhile…unfortunately my body was not interested in running my usual easy pace, so it was a slow go. I followed up my run with some single leg deadlifts and single leg squats – which had my glutes hurting for days!
Thursday 4/16: 3-mile easy run, felt much better and it was a beautiful day!
Friday 4/17: Cardio Kickboxing class for the first time in a long time, it was fun and it was like I never left!
Saturday 4/18: The Run for Clean Air 5K!
Sunday 4/19: 6 mile run a little late in the morning. Kelly Drive was gorgeous but it was hot out! I took some refuge on Boxer’s Trail…always beautiful!
Monday 4/20: Rest day!
Tuesday 4/21: Boot camp class featuring burpees, weights, and lots of bicycle abs. Then I had my 4-mile run featuring 10-second hill sprints. Last, it was our first softball game of the season! I didn’t get much action in the field, but I did have one walk and ran to second, not quite making it to third. I had fun, and it was icing on the cake that we won the game!
Wednesday 4/22: Cardio Kickboxing! Base running does a number on my quads, so they were super tight!
Thursday 4/23: Rest!
Have you ever had a race that you didn’t have expectations for but was still disappointed at the finish line?