So, last night, at like 10, I checked in with my mother-in-law who is visiting from Utah. She told me she was heading to Fuquay-Varina to help her best friend with the Run the Quay 5k. Since it was going to be a fairly cool day by NC June standards, I decided to register onsite and tag along.
I don't usually run races by myself - I've almost always got my buddies with me, so I was a smidge nervous. Also, Fuquay is HILLY. And, well, we know how I feel about those.
Anywhoo, we were blessed with 70 degree weather at the start. Thank GOD. Also, the first little bit was downhill. So, that lead to the radical decision that I would run the race. Not run/walk.
And once I made that decision, it was ON. I cranked up the volume on the shuffle (a glorius combination of broadway, mashups, Glee, and pop music) and powered up the hills. By the 2nd mile, I was passing a lot of people who started strong, but had to walk up the hills. The only time I thought I might have to walk was in the final half-mile. It was one steady, long, pretty steep incline. BLURG.
Even the last 100 yards to the finish line was uphill, which is cruel.
My time was not a PR- about 38 minutes - but it felt so nice to ignore the watch when it beeped for me to walk. It felt amazing to know that I didn't need the interval crutch. And, let's face it, I've taken about 6 minutes off of my race time since October, and that's not too shabby.
Now. DO NOT misunderstand me here. I'm a huge proponent of running intervals. It's a great way to train. I will never stop doing intervals. It is the only way (for me!) to train for distance. And frankly, I go a lot faster when I do run/walk intervals. Like 2-3 minutes faster.
But, running a 5k without stopping is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I figured that I could do it, but it felt amazing to actually accomplish that goal.
So, what's next? I'm instituting my 5k speed plan starting tomorrow. I think I'm going to modify the intermediate Hal Higdon plan. There is a high school track I can do speedwork on, and since it's a 5k plan, it's not nearly as time-consuming as the half training was.
Fuquay has a special place in my heart - it's my husband's home town, it's where we met, and it's where I first "ran" a 5k. Nice way to spend a Saturday!