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<span style="text-decoration:underline;"><b>Stats</b></span><br>
23:32 (third fastest 5K)<br>
5th woman overall of 121<br>
1st AG<br>
Best of all, 2:30 faster than the 5K I did on July 4.<br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Story</span></b><br>
The Waterway 5K is the only local race where I live. It's pretty much my favorite day all year in town because in a not at all health and fitness-oriented area, it's a real change of pace to have participants and volunteers out doing something active and supporting a great cause: money to fund mammograms for women who can't afford them.<br><br>
I've run the race each of its 3 years, and the field keeps getting bigger and faster (I was 2nd and 3rd overall the past years, with basically equal or slower times).<br><br>
My most recent 5K on July 4 was a big disappointment. I ended up running it at marathon pace, nowhere near 5K speed, and feeling misery and struggle to do that. I was working back from injury and time off, and really had no substantial base at that point. After 2 1/2 months of consistent training I was determined to have a much better day.<br><br>
I got to the race about an hour early and warmed up for 2 miles. It was in the low 70s, no wind, 96% humidity, but thankfully cloudy enough to shield the sun. After the warm-up, I was dripping sweat more than I would be on a training run of any length. I just accepted the humidity and set my mind to not letting it get to me.<br><br>
The course goes up and over a small creek bridge and then along the river before looping through the town's prettiest neighborhood and retracing back, ending just over the bridge again. (If anyone would like to see last year's footage of the race -- see if you can spot me in the Intro slide show -- the web site is <a href="http://www.waterway5k.org/" target="_blank">http://www.waterway5k.org/</a>.)<br><br>
I lined up close to the front. The race started promptly and blazing fast. It was almost a minute before I reminded myself to breathe and come back down to earth! I navigated around some slower runners and focused on breathing. I am the world's worst 5K pacer for gauging speed and felt very slow, even though looking at the half mile point, knew I was ahead of pace. First mile was 7:06 (I was supposed be at 7:30). For the second mile I eased off intensity wise. The field spread out nicely and I focused on keeping my intensity even. As expected, runners began fading in this mile so I pushed past them determined to stay strong. At one point I realized it was humid, but that it was not bothering me. Mile 2 was 7:47. The time felt like it was going fast and I had the feeling the race would be over before I knew it.<br><br>
I run on this course all the time, so mentally began to break up the sections to the finish. I wasn't feeling bad, and was having fun, but could tell my edge was losing a bit of its sharpness. I kept telling myself encouraging affirmations and working as hard as I could. I was looking forward to seeing the bridge again, but when I approached it it looked like a big hill. Also a girl who had been struggling a little bit back flew by me on the bridge, which was a blow, but I just tried to stay as close on her tail as I could. From there I watched the race clock and dug in for everything left across the finish mat.<br><br>
The best part about the race for me was what a great time I had, especially compared to the one in July. The time had flown out there and I was totally engaged and focused with racing the whole time. It was fun to be so in the moment.<br><br>
After getting some water I warmed down by heading back on the course to cheer for everyone still out there. I was especially looking for a gentleman I'd met the day before who had lost 170 lbs. and was doing his first 5K this morning. He was very excited and enthusiastically telling everyone who would listen where he had come from and the way he had transformed himself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I spotted him with .5 miles to go and yelled a lot of encouragement -- he was moving purposefully and ended up with a time of about 38:00.<br><br>
The awards ceremony started promptly and the race director (one of my running friends) made sure to embarass me as I collected my medal and medals for two friends who weren't able to stick around. All in all, it was a great morning for running and doing something healthy and positive in the community.
 

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More hardware SGH? Congrats!<br><br>
I knew your speed would come back to you after your injury. It looks like you're really coming back to form!<br><br>
Keep up the awesome work! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Hey. Great job and nice report. Congrats on the AG hardware. Never be embarrassed for winning an award! Glad your legs rebounded after the 400s workout you did this past week.
 

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Great job, SGH! I know the humidity down there and I'm impressed you can do so well in it. You've acclimated <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
I'm glad you saw the man who had lost so much weight and come so far, so you could cheer him on, that's a great thing to do. I know as a slower runner, I appreciate the faster runners cheering me on after they've finished.
 

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Yeah SGH!<br><br>
Great work concentrating and focusing to the end. Not always easy to do.<br><br>
I see this race an early season measure -- you're sure to improve even more as the weeks go on. Bodes well for your marathon goals.<br><br>
Congrats!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_cheers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers">
 

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Great run, and sounds like a great day out - Onwards and upwards <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Liam
 

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Most excellent!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 
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