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Race review: Corrib Classic 5K — and working toward a new goal

Sunday at noon in the blazing sun I ran the 20th annual Corrib Classic 5k in West Roxbury. It was a lovely, neighborhood race, and my first 5k of the season. Just standing at the starting line I could feel the heat radiating off of the asphalt and the sweat trickle down my back and I started worrying about my race goal.

corrib-classic-5k-race-review

You see, I’m working toward a new 5k PR. I’ve been running roughly 8:15 miles for the last year. My last 5k was on Thanksgiving in Colorado. I ran it in 24:49 but it was at 6500 feet so I figured my time at sea level would be much better. My new goal was a sub 24 minute 5k. Over the next 6 or so month, I focused a bit more on speed work, on sprints, and on picking up my pace for extended distances.

So when I lined up for yesterday’s race, even though it was my first since last November, I sort of assumed all my winter work would pay off and I would hit my goal right out of the gate. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans — HOT plans!

It was 90 plus degrees and high noon when the starting horns blew, but I did my best not to let the heat psych me out. I went out strong, albeit a little fast. The race meandered through a West Roxbury neighborhood filled with children handing out water and neighbors who had kindly laid their sprinklers in the middle of the street. At the first mile mark I heard the times called out, 7:44, and thought, I can do this!

The second mile included a slight hill and my legs started to feel a bit heavy. But I persevered, pouring cup upon cup of water over my head, waiting for the second mile marker and someone calling out splits, which never happened. I had forgotten my watch so the best I could do was keep up the pace and hope it was fast enough.

The third mile included yet another mini hill and this is where I literally felt the sun zap my energy. I began getting passed and couldn’t keep up. As the finish line came into view, the road took a nice downhill slant. I laid it out, stretching my legs to the best of my ability but as I crossed the line, I looked up at the time clock with disappointment, 24:45. (We still haven’t gotten our official times but I wasn’t too far from the front of the pack in the beginning and I can’t imagine that my time will be too far off this).

6500 feet lower and only 5 seconds faster? As a competitive person, especially with myself, this is sorely disappointing. However, I am trying not to beat myself up too much over this time. It was just one race and the first one of many over the next few months.

I’m trying to keep in mind that even the best laid plans can get derailed by things out of our control, like weather, and that sometimes you just don’t have it in you. But, I’m not giving up. Despite the heat, my body generally felt good and a recurring injury I’ve been nursing didn’t flare up, keeping me hopeful for my next race. This goal is within my reach and I look forward to writing the recap for you when it happens. Until then, I’ll just keep running.

Written by Lisa Horvath.

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