May 14, 2012

one year later

One year ago on Mother's Day I ran my first 5k without walking.  It was incredibly tough, I was worried I wouldn't make it to the finish without taking a break.  But I did it.  I finished my first 5k in 33:31.

MothersDay5K2011

This year I wasn't sure I'd get to participate in the Mother's Day run.  My sister graduated from KU this weekend (congrats Lorin!) so I knew there would be some back and forth.  But I so badly wanted to participate.  It would be the first race I had repeated since I started running, so it would be the first time I could really see just how far I've come.  So even though it would make for a rather long day, with Christopher's support I signed up for the race.

In all honestly I wasn't sure how the run would go.  I know I'm faster than I was last year, and beating my time by several minutes wouldn't be a problem.  But I have been so up and down with running the last few weeks.  I have some big high's intermixed with some big lows.  Some days I can't convince myself to run a mile.  And running in the Georgia humidity was really discouraging.  So at this point, going sub 25 minutes (which has been my 5k goal since completing the Truffle Shuffle in 25:17) seemed possibly out of reach.

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But I lucked out again with the weather.  The temp was right around 60 degrees.  And there were a limited number of hills.  Not quite as flat/downhill as the Trolley Run, but nothing to really complain about.  I lined up between the 7 and 8 minute mile markers.  That was very different from last year.  Last year I was packed into a big group like sardines, this year I could have done cartwheels in the space I was waiting in.  It was a nice change, and kind of crazy to be so close to the start line.

I didn't wear a Garmin or my phone, so I had no idea of my pace.  I tried to pick out someone who I thought might be going a pace I could keep and fell into a decent stride.  When I passed the first mile marker the guy called out 7:50.  So far so good.  Somewhere in the second mile I got passed by a set of twin girls, I thought they were maybe 7 or 8 (turns out they were 11) but they were killing it.  Seriously, it looked effortless as they blew past me, and they were so stinkin' cute.  Which is probably good since I was getting my butt kicked by a couple of 11 year olds.  I passed mile marker two at 15:45.  If I wanted to go sub 25 I knew I couldn't really slow down.

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The last mile was tough, but I have definitely learned something about 'racing', for myself anyway.  If I want to get faster, it just is never going to be comfortable.  Sure, now that I've been pushing harder, running a 5k at a 9 minute mile pace doesn't really seem that hard at all.  But if I want to keep improving my times, I have to learn to be ok with being, well, miserable :o).  Ok miserable might be a bit harsh, but you get the idea.  I could go out, run the 3.1 miles at a pace that is comfortable, do good and finish.  No problem with that at all.  But pushing myself to my limits and suffering through a bit of pain is always worth it when I set a new PR or beat my time goal.

Back to the race... as I rounded the corner to the finish line and finally caught a glimpse of the clock it read 24:42.  At that point I sprinted to the end.  And when I say sprint I mean I sprinted in my head, but my legs didn't really follow suit and I'm not sure I went all that much faster :o).  I crossed the mat at 24:53.  Sure I kind of wanted to die, or puke, but it felt good.  Incredibly good to know I beat my goal and set a new PR.

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Later in the day I looked up my official time, 24:48, a 7:59 pace.  So technically not quite as fast as I did the Trolley Run a couple of weeks ago, but I'll take it!  Overall I finished 57/3065 (last year I was 638!).  In my age group I finished 8/295.  I am so thankful I was able to participate in the run.  It is amazing to me to see what I have accomplished in a years time.

18 months ago exercise, running, working out, none of those things were part of my daily life.  If I can do it, anyone can.  You just have to put your mind to it.

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12 comments:

AWD said...

Your recap was awesome! Way to go! You are very inspiring talking about pushing yourself into being uncomfortable because that is so hard for me. I'm going to work on it!

Caitlin MidAtlantic said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful sucess story! I really hope I can get back into running after my 2nd is born faster (and more seriously) than I did with my 1st. I think it's something I'd like to add to my life!

Expat Girl said...

Wow that success is amazing in a year! You are definitely inspiring and I hope to be as successful once I have this baby at getting into running daily.

a happy mamma said...

GREAT job! You are seriously so inspiring! I'm addicted to your blog because of that. Happy Mother's Day :)

P.S. I love your running skirt :)

The Bignon Family said...

Awesome job!!!! You are just rocking it!!!! Love the skirt too!

Amber said...

Awesome! You are so right, if you want to push yourself to do well, you have to feel a little pain :)

Kalen - Kentucky Cupcake said...

This is awesome! I've been following you since the start of your journey and I've loved seeing all your progress, it truly is an inspiration :)

Alyssa Lentsch said...

Great Job!

Roman said...

Way to go! Great time too.

I'm coming up on "the second go around" with my first 5k in June. That first run last June was around 44:00. I just finished my last 5k this weekend in 23:33. If I can shave a few more seconds off of that pace by June, I'll almost run it in half the time.

Amazing what can happen in a year!

Brenna said...

Ashley- I haven't commented in awhile but I still read all your posts! I cannot believe how far you have come in the last year. It is a true reminder and inspiration to those of us in the beginning steps of this journey!! So impressed with you momma!
Brenna

Aja said...

Way to go! I'm so impressed with your time! We did a 5k saturday night and it had to have been something like 32 minutes! Ha! And seriously- all those kids running? They could run laps around me :)

Sharstin said...

way to go gal--you have come so far! that is awesome!