I ran a 5k race on Monday night. Sounds unusual, right? It was the 2nd Annual Cupcake Classic Virtual Race!
This 5k run takes place anytime during this week: October 14-21. Last week, we were sent our “virtual race packets,” including a racing bib for our name and instructions how to submit our times and photos.
Since I’ve been trying to get in the habit of working on my speed Mondays and Wednesdays, I figured a little 5k speed session sounded perfect. Or so I thought.
After I signed up, I was a little worried how it would go. My husband helped to calm my fears by offering to “pace” me for the 3.1 miles.
Okay, I can do this.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from myself. I have not raced a 5k since June and have done minimal FAST speed work.
After watching myself lose some of my speed over the past year due to marathon training, I have developed the absolute worst case of “race anxiety.” That “sick to my stomach, so why am I doing this” feeling. I have avoided signing up for many races simply due to being afraid that I wouldn’t be fast enough. In the back of my mind I kept thinking my husband would most likely win these races and I would become known as the disappointing slow, out of shape, wife of his.
I can’t back out now. I already committed to running this race!
Even though the Cupcake Classic is meant to be whatever you want it to be speed-wise, I decided I would push myself to run close to as hard as I could. Why? Because somewhere deep down I remembered last year when I loved pain, I knew how to run hard, and I raced much faster. I wanted those feelings back!
I always just want to start! I don’t want to delay the pain, lets skip the warm-up, and get this over with. My husband is the opposite and enjoys a good warm-up. So off we went for a little over a half mile warm-up. This short distance was all I could handle, the nerves and legs wanted to go.
My race strategy? Aim for a pace between 6:30-7:30, hopefully? Start conservatively at first, try and hold a decent pace through mile 2, and give all I had left in the final 1.1 miles. Did it go that way? Not at all.
Mile 1: 6:34, I felt great, I had to go with it
Mile 2: 7:18, oops, fell off the initial pace, had to slow to avoid a car, and started to feel the lactic acid building
Mile 3: 7:50, we were running into ridiculous winds and I wanted to quit more than anything
Last .10: .43, finishing on a incline-that hurt!
Race Finish Time: 22:26, average pace: 7:15
As we ran home for our cool-down, we talked about how the “race” went. I admitted that I had wanted to quit and how badly 5k speed hurts. How embarrassing telling my husband, who can run a sub 16 minute 5k that a 22:26 5k hurt?!
He quickly reminded me that I cannot have such negative thoughts about myself (he truly is my biggest “running” supporter!) He has repeatedly told me that I could finish last or be the slowest one out there and he would still be proud. Seriously? I’m lucky.
When we got back, Brendan and the pups gave me my medal!
It wasn’t my fastest 5k, and by my race standards last year, I would have been horrified to see this as my overall finish time, but somehow, I found, I was proud of myself.
No one told me I had to do this; there weren’t any fans cheering me on (minus my awesome pacer), no other people to race against or police to stop traffic, I worked all day, and I didn’t take the day before easy-in fact, I had run a 10 miler.
I did it! I conquered my race anxiety and finished a 5k at what I felt was an honest effort. AND I got a cupcake!
Thank you to Jess for the Cupcake Classic-a wonderful race opportunity! I’m promising to take away a new sense of confidence and a strong will to keep at it!
- Did you run or plan to run the Cupcake Classic?
- Have you ever run a virtual race?