Today was the 15th Annual 5K race in Kernersville. The race holds a special place in my heart as it was the very first race I ever ran, four years ago. That being said, I spent most of the 3.1 miles contemplating the fact that I hate running 5K's.
I'm not fast. Or rather, I'm not good at being fast. I say this and I mean it: I would rather run a marathon than a 5K. Short races are all about sucking it up and going at it as hard as you can. They hurt. They break me, physically and mentally. I walked 3 times in this race. Three times in 3.1 miles! The first two times I'll chalk up to mental weakness. I was tired and my legs and lungs were on fire because I was running probably faster than I was trained for. But I could have kept going. The third time galls me. Right at the end of the course, with less than the .1 to go -- on a downhill to add insult to injury -- I developed a serious stitch in my right side. It hurt to run and hurt to breathe. I jogged it in, but nothing like the flying finish I had been anticipating, where I'd make up lost time from my brief earlier walk breaks.
All that whining aside, I had a good race! I PR'd with a time of 22:30, beating my last year's time at the same race by 34 seconds. The weather was absolutely stunning and what makes this race a favorite of mine is the chance to see so many friends who also run it. Most people I spoke to PR'd and several MadMayo runners brought home some hardware. I pulled second in my age group, 10 seconds behind the first place woman. (Am I gnashing my teeth over the fact I could have won my age if I hadn't been such a little wussy and walked so much? If you have to ask the question, you don't know me at all.)
Blair ran the race as well and had an excellent run. I told him I was proud of him and he said, "Well, I'm happy that me having a good run makes me more--"
"Desirable as a companion?" I interjected, grinning.
He laughed. "Yes, exactly."