I swear, every time I go for a 5K, something happens beforehand. Sometimes it’s benign, like simply running a marathon eleven days earlier and getting injured in the process. Other times it’s a combination of getting bronchitis and a trip to the ER for gallbladder problems. So when I ended up with a calf strain two weeks earlier, well, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. But I felt good enough to give it a shot, even though I knew that I still wouldn’t do what I would have been capable of sans injury.
It was a nice, quick race. I started with Butch and Chris, but after about half a mile I remembered that it’s only a 5K and I was moving way too slow for a race that I wanted a PR in. (The GPS said around the 1/2 mile mark that my time was 4:30. A nice “going for a run with friends” pace, but not a racing-just-three-miles pace in the slightest. A 5K is just such a small distance that a too-slow first mile will never really get made up.) I picked it up at that point, and it paid off; a 24:27 finishing time, which finally replaced my old 25:40 from two years ago (the post-marathon-injury race). I like to think that had I not had a few weeks off I could’ve gotten even faster, but that just gives me a new goal for next time.
I still don’t think I’ve mastered running a 5K, but that’s something I’d like to work on next year once I’ve (at least temporarily) bid marathons adieu.