It’s official: I’m hooked on 5k races!
My second 5k race is under my belt…err…bib, after yesterday’s Frosty 5k race in Burlington. I had such a blast. There was also a half marathon going down…kudos to the brave souls who ran it yesterday!
Unlike my last 5k race a few weeks ago, the skies were blue and the roads were clear. The temperature seemed innocent enough (-4C), but the wind was bone chilling being so close to the lake. Although, once I started running it wasn’t so bad. The cold isn’t as noticeable when you are breathless and busting some booty on the race course!
One thing I love about winter races? The later start time. The race didn’t start until 10:05am, so that meant that I could sleep in until almost 8am feeling nice and rested when I got up.
For some yummy pre-race fuel, I enjoyed a wrap with a banana and a couple spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter.
and a juicy grapefruit for extra hydration.
We got to the race about 45 minutes early, so I took advantage of the free time to empty my bladder. However, the porta potty line ups were huge and not moving very quickly. I waited in line for 20 minutes, before bailing at the last minute so I’d make it to the start line on time. What a tease! Needless to say, holding my bladder throughout the 5k was not fun. That grapefruit clearly put me over the edge…darn you, grapefruit!
There is something to be said about running a race with hundreds of other people (well, thousands if you count the half marathoners); it’s instant motivation and the excitement is contagious, even in the winter.
After a cold wait, it was finally time to begin!
I got off to a slower than normal start, but it ended up being a blessing because I think I would have gone out too hard. I just wanted to sprint to get warm!
The course itself was a simple “out and back” route on a linear, mostly flat course (along Lakeshore) which is perfect for setting a new PR. I love out and back courses because I get to see the faster people coming back (while I’m still going out) and it’s quite motivating to see them zoom by. The first place finisher had a time of 15:29! Crazy.
I felt so happy during the entire race and I think it was probably one of the strongest races that I’ve run, mentally and physically.
Soon enough I was rounding the last bend to the finish line.
See that YELLOW Powerbar “finish line”? When I rounded the last corner, I thought that was the finish line, so I gunned it as hard as I could only to discover that the finish line was actually a couple hundred metres further!
I was now out of breath and really struggling not to stop and walk to the actual finish line. The spectators really gave me my last bit of motivation to keep running.
There wasn’t any smiling for cameras or even looking for Eric. Just me and the finish line, baby!
The real finish line:
…and then I bolted to the nearest bathroom. :)
My official stats:
Chip time: 22:37
Ranking: 4th in my division (25-29 yr old women), 13th out of 390 women, and 52nd out of 577 runners
Avg pace per km: 4:32 min/km
Avg pace per mile: 7:16 min/mile
I came home and made a recovery smoothie and then had a hot shower. Hot shower = Best feeling ever after a winter race.
I used this Vega Performance protein powder and added in a big frozen banana and lots of almond milk. Yum.
The nutritional info (click to enlarge)
Sketchie was overjoyed to hear about my race. Not.
So as you can tell, I’m loving the 5k distance. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised because I used to run short distances in track and field and always loved them.
Here are some things that I love about 5k races…
- Shorter recovery time: I’m not too sore after my 5k races (just stiff muscles). After my last 5k race I took a couple days off exercise and then I felt fine to get back into my normal routine. After my half marathons however, I had to take 2 weeks off exercise to recover and occasionally sustained mild injuries. The reduced down time with the 5k is a major plus in my books! Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t get injured running a 5k because you obviously can with any distance.
- Less training time: My 5k training runs are between 3-5 miles, about 4 times per week. I don’t have to spend more than about 25-45 minutes out of my day to train. This is a huge plus when busy.
- Less Prep: I don’t need to bring water, energy gels, or anything else like I do with longer distances. It’s quite effortless to prepare for.
Have you ever run a 5k race or are you thinking about running one some day? For all of you runners: what is your favourite race distance?
If you are looking to start running, I’ve heard great things about the Couch to 5k 9-week running program. If you start now, you can run your first 5k race at the beginning of May! Maybe if some of you have done the C25k before, leave a comment below telling us about your experience. It may help others who are thinking about starting.