Last weekend I ran a local 5-mile race put on by the Tampa Bay Lightning called the Bolt Run. They offered both a 5k and a 5 mile option and I opted for the 5 mile. All runners were offered a free ticket to a Tampa Bay Lightning game which I thought was really cool!
The race started at 7:30 and I was able to sleep in until 6:30 and just jog to the race start as my warm-up since it was so close. I wish all races were that convenient! It was a smaller race, with a little over 400 runners for the 5 mile. I’ve never run a 5 mile race before so I wasn’t really sure how to pace it. Going into the race, I was thinking I’d aim for between 7:45 and 8:00 minute mile splits, or faster if I was feeling good. The course was an out-and-back along Bayshore Boulevard, which was nice because I run there frequently so I have a good sense of how much longer I had to go the entire race.
I ended up starting towards the front and trying to keep up pace with the fastest females at the beginning of the race. My Garmin wasn’t working completely since the race went under a tunnel and it lost signal a couple times, so I don’t have the exact splits but the first mile was somewhere around 6:45. I was a little nervous that I had just run a 6:45 mile and had to run 4 more, but all I could do was keep at it so that’s what I did. The middle miles were pretty uneventful. At some point during the last mile a man came up beside me running pushing a stroller with TRIPLETS. I thought he was just a random guy running along Bayshore until I looked again and realized he had a race number on. There was no way I was going to let someone pushing a stroller beat me so that definitely gave me a boost to pick up the pace. (And I beat him. Also I was wearing a skirt. So he was trying to push a stroller of triplets and be all bad-ass by actually running a good pace, but he ended up getting beaten by a girl in a skirt. Oh well.)
I ended up finishing the race in 36:41, a 7:21 minute/mile pace, good for 6th place female and 2nd in my age group! I was more than happy with the results, I really had no idea I could push myself that hard. I’m sure I can go even faster with some more speed incorporated into my training. so that’s the plan. I am also going to re-evaluate my goal setting because I really crushed my time goal in this race, so clearly I am capable of more than I think. Next up: a 10k next weekend!