Hey all! Happy belated Fourth to you Americans out there! I started my celebration with the first race in 1st Place Sports’ Grand Prix… The Jacksonville Celebration 5K. It’s the first of 18 races. This is my first year in the Grand Prix, and my hopes weren’t that high when I signed up. To tell you the truth, I just wanted to finish the Grand Prix and get the finisher mug! Hahah!
My plan was to treat this race as a training run, then run 6 more miles on the next day on the 5th. I started with a slow pace, in the low tens, and I told myself not to think about the people passing me. I stuck to it.
Around a mile in, I looked at my watch and my pace was low sevens. I had separated from my pack and was running by myself. That’s when I decided to see where this would take me.
I had less than halfway to go, and I decided to experiment with my pace. I changed my stance, sat lower and bent my knees more and started bounding. I was able to keep a 6’36” pace for about 900 meters comfortably to my surprise! I broke off the pace and went back to high sevens/low eights. I have a lot of miles still to go in my marathon training and I didn’t want to get worn out too early! I walked here and there while keeping this in mind.
I ended up sprinting the last quarter mile though. Why? I don’t know. I guess that was my supressed competitive spirit that popped through! That race was my fastest 5K, beating my old record by 40-seconds. The best part of it was that I know it could have been faster! I am so proud of how far I have come.
I think the best part of the race was afterwards, as I was wandering to the beer tent, an older gentleman thanked me for inspiring him to go faster. He also said I had a great pace. This was a first for me. Usually I’m the one doing the thanking and telling folks that they are the awesome ones. It was cool.
- 66th overall,
- 9th in age group, and in running for age group prize in Grand Prix