Well, I got to update this again last week.
After the Carnegie 5K, I got to update my PR board to show my new best time: 27:44. That’s an 8:57 average, which is the fastest I’ve ever run 3 miles in my life. Actually, the first time I ran one mile under 9 minutes was during the Runners World RunStreak from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
It’s always cold for this 5K, but it’s one of those great community 5Ks that people really get into and it benefits the local volunteer fire department. The Carnegie 5K is one of my favorite annual races, particularly because it was my first 5K back in 2012. That race, I ran a 36:10 and thought I had climbed Mount Everest when I was done. I’ve come a long way in three years, that’s for sure.
I didn’t really have a strategy for this race except for to run at my maximum effort for the whole thing without pushing over the edge. I didn’t run with music or headphones, not wanting Map My Run to give me updates when I was trying to run on effort and not needing to stick to a pacing strategy. And so I just went, as hard and as fast as I could, knowing there’s a little incline at the end and a trick where you think you’re coming in to the finish line but you really have to go run around the municipal building again. After the race, my friend T noted that the incline seems progressively less of a beast each year that we do this race, where it didn’t even feel like a blip this year. Maybe it’s because of all the hill training I’ve done this season or just the sheer number of miles on my legs right now.
But I got it done, coming within sight distance of the clock and knowing it was definitely going to be a PR. I gave it the rest of the gas in the tank and broke 28 minutes.
And then there were pancakes. What I’m going to start calling #PRcakes.
I went home that day with a great feeling. It’s the feeling that I have been chasing since Thanksgiving last year – the feeling of training that has paid off, of stronger, faster legs, and pride that I did my best.
That feeling carries me into the Pittsburgh 5K and Half Marathon this weekend. I’ll be running the 5K mostly to collect the Steel Challenge medal, so that’s not a PR attempt but a casual warmup run. But I’m ready and excited for this race, almost as much as I was excited for the relay the first year that I did a Pittsburgh Marathon event in 2013.
I saw these go up downtown yesterday and I did a silent squeeee because it means the day I’ve been training for since December is finally here. I’m heading to the expo after work today and I plan on savoring it.
I also plan on stopping by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank booth to pick up my “I Run to Fight Hunger” shirt. Thanks to your donations, I raised over $800 this year – a more than $100 fundraising PR! I am beyond grateful for every dollar donated. There are kids in our area who will have nights with full bellies because of your support. So thanks.
There’s still time to donate up until Sunday, so if you have something to give, use the module to the right or visit crowdrise.com/joannastone and click on this year’s race.
Follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@nextgenhouse) for race updates this weekend. And sign up to track me during the race here!
Game on Pittsburgh!