Chasing a Dream: CAMBA 5K Race Report

Name of the raceNYC Runs Prospect Park 5K Benefiting CAMBA

Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

Date: April 22, 2017

Time: 8:15 am

Distance: 3.1 miles

Terrain: Rollings hills of Prospect Park

Entry fee:

Through 3/26 $30
Through 4/16 $35
Until online registration closes $40
Race day (if available) $50

Swag: Short sleeve tech shirt

Post-race Food: Bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter, Clif bars, apples, and water

Time: 22:48

Performance: Overall: 67/687; Gender: 6/157; Age (35-39): 15/422

Weather: 52 degrees, 82% humidity

I’ve had this goal of breaking 23 min in a 5K for over a year. It obviously didn’t happen last year. When I decided to focus on shorter distances this year, this goal was definitely at the stop of the list. I started seriously training for it in February and got a feeling that I could do it end of March. It didn’t happen at the May the Road Rise Up to Meet Ye 5K, but I wasn’t discouraged because I’ve been having a number of good training runs and other good races that pointed to a sub-23 5K. It was simply a matter of time.

I signed up for the Lobster Run and then I signed up for this race in case I didn’t sub-23 at the Lobster Run. Well, I was one second over 23 min at the Lobster Run so I was really glad to have this race as a backup.

Normally I don’t try to PR at races in Prospect Park, unless I know I have a soft PR, because of the long sustained climb of Zoo Hill. NYC Runs took this into account and designed a 5K route eliminating most of Zoo Hills, thus creating the flattest and fastest course possible in Prospect Park. With this in mind, I thought I had a really good chance of PRing.

Ben made me a super strong cup of coffee with extra sugar as I requested. I picked up my bib the day before, so we just had to walk over to the start line. As we headed out the door, Ben cheerfully said, “I think you’re gonna PR today.” I made it the start with a few minutes to spare. I found another PPTC member up front, so I hung out with him and chitchatted until the horn blared. We were off!

My game plan was to run the first mile at around 7:25, speed up for the second mile by taking advantage of the major downhill section, and then hang on and not lose too much speed in the last mile, especially in the last half mile where there was one final smallish climb to the finish line. I also brought a Simple Hydration bottle with me to sip water throughout the course. I know many people don’t bother with water for a 5K, especially on a cool day, but I find that I run better when I take tiny sips of water throughout the race. I didn’t drink as much as I normally do for May the Road Rise Up to Meet Ye 5K, and I wonder if that was the reason why I got a side stitch for a pace that I’ve ran before many times without problems during training runs.

I did the first mile in 7:21. It didn’t feel too fast, plus I was starting the downhill portion so I just went with it. The second mile flew by in 7:07 because of the elevation loss. I was loving this part. Usually by the end of two miles in a 5K, I’m feeling quite tired and ready for it to be over, but this time, I didn’t feel as much fatigue as I normally do. I held onto a 7:20’ish pace from Mile 2 to 2.5 and then I slowed down for the second half because the last incline was starting. My goal was not to lose speed as much as possible, so I desperately ran as fast as I could while feeling overwhelmed with fatigue from the pain of running and the incline that I was secretly cursing out in my head. As soon as the course flattened out again, I was at Mile 3 and then it was a .1 sprint to the finish line. I could see the clock and I knew I was good for a PR.

OFFICIAL TIME: 22:48!!!!!

I did it.

When I first started running, I never imagined that I would ever be this fast. I remember the first summer of running in 2012 and Ben and I had been together for about six months, I asked him if he thought I could run a sub-25 5K. At that time, I was amazed that I could run sub-9 min miles for 3 miles straight. He told me that not only did he think I could do a sub-25, but he thought I could do a sub-23. I thought he was crazy. There was NO WAY I could ever do that.

As much as I love to tease him about poo-pooing on my dreams (Whenever I ask him if he thinks I could make it to the Olympic Trials, he always answers flatly, “No.”), Ben believed in me and what I could do long before I ever did.

This PR is for Ben, who always sees the best possible me. I love you, darling.

19 thoughts on “Chasing a Dream: CAMBA 5K Race Report

    • When all the other people talk about how their husbands supported and believed in them, I’ll say, “My husband never believed that I could make it to the Olympic Trials. So I’m here to prove him wrong.” 😀 LOL

  1. Congratulations. I was volunteering out on the course and saw you fly by. I mostly noticed because I heard Bandit yapping away with Ben in the outer lane. You always said if anyone could pace you to PRs, it was Bandit.

    • YAS! I knew it was coming. I knew I was physically in shape for it, unlike when I was trying to break 24 min barrier, where everything had to be JUST RIGHT for it to happen. I didn’t need perfect for this. I needed simply good conditions.

  2. Pingback: BQ or Bust: CIM Race Report | A Fast Paced Life

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