That's right folks, I have a new 5K PR! I beat my old PR, 28:28, by 11 seconds this morning on a 5K course that is not easy.
See, here in South Florida, most running surfaces are flat. Flat. Flat. Flat. Except for...bridges. Those are our hills, and this race has not one, but two bridges on the course, and one of them (the steeper of the two) is right at the 3 mile marker. It's just cruel.
Anyway...I don't want to skip to the end and ruin it for you.
The weather was cool and cloudy this morning -- exactly how I like a race day to dawn -- and the race registration, start, etc were very smooth, and there were only about 500 runners so the crowd was small. A quarter mile into the race, we came upon the first bridge, and I knew it was there, so I just paced myself one step at a time up and over and it wasn't too bad. After that, the majority of the course wraps through residential neighorhoods in downtown Ft. Lauderdale and these houses are beautiful to look at, so I enjoyed the scenery and just kept pluggin along.
I was pushing myself, certainly, but there's a difference in feeling -- some days, you're pushing yourself and that push really feels exhausting; but other days, you push yourself and it just feels good. Today was the latter feeling, which is really encouraging because I've worked hard in the past few months to make my short race-pace 9-9:20/mile, and to be running that and feeling so good is a huge difference for me. So, as I approached that wicked bridge at the end, I felt pretty strong; I glanced down at the Garmin and knew that my time was petty solid but because I don't do hills regularly, I also knew that it could throw my whole race off.
As I started up the incline, I just gave it all I had, and I managed to maintain my pace (but I was really working hard to do so); once I reached the top of the bridge, I just had the decline, which leads straight into the finish, so I let the decline do most of the work as I breezed through the finish and the clocked ticked off 28:17.
I think that had the course been flat, today might have been a day for a 28:00, or maybe even sub-28:00 5K, but that's wondering for a different day. Right now, I'm just pleased that I beat my previous PR. Now, I guess 28:17 will become the new time to beat.
Total Time: 28:17!