5km is the shortest distance I race. In some respects, it’s more challenging than longer distance races. You have to go all-out the entire time because it is so short. There isn’t the opportunity to make up time when there are only 5km. I don’t participate in 5k’s very often, typically once a year, maybe twice.
One of my goals this year was to PB in every distance. For the 5km my previous best was 22:15, not too fast considering that’s a 4:27 average pace, which is my PB pace for a 10km. Leading up to Bazan Bay, I expected to take at least a minute off my time. Since I am marathon training, there wasn’t the opportunity for a taper, because it’s important to practice running on tired legs. I also was unsure about whether the event would even take place as there was a snowfall warning all weekend, and 2 races have already been cancelled this year due to poor weather.
On Sunday morning, I woke up to an email saying the race was indeed happening. I was feeling pretty tired in my legs and was unsure how the race would unfold. Once we arrived in Sidney, the weather started to look nasty, dark, wind, rain, but no snow. We did our warm-up, tempo bouts, and strides, which didn’t make me feel any more ready – the tempo bouts felt laborious. As always without much more time to think, we were lining up at the start line and it was time to go.
The first km I took off pretty fast, it was far too congested with people and I had to get out of there. I stuck to the sides of the pack not willing to risk being tripped or losing a shoe and managed to make it into a empty part of road. I did 4:10 for the first km. At that point I started to feel more at ease, however that didn’t last long. My Garmin started reading really slow average paces and km 2 was 4:20. My target pace for the first few km was 4:15; so I was still on track, but seeing that 4:20 did not make me happy. It did ignite a fire in me to pick it up though.
The 3rd km involved the turn-around point and I did that in 4:14. Then it was time to pick it up as much as possible for the final 2 km. This is the point in the race where I get extremely competitive and desire to pass everyone, big finishes are my favourite. I tucked in and picked up the pace, the 4th km clocking in at 4:05. The final km seemed long, you’re going back the same way you came, but the road curves giving the illusion the the finish is closer than it is. I pushed past as many people as I could, bracing myself for my coaches’ words as I ran past her and finished that final km in 4:03. My finish time was 20:58, a new PB.
And now as after any race, I want to do another 5km – even faster.