Here it is. I am nervous to run a 5K. Yep, you heard it right. There is just something so *safe* about running a half marathon or a marathon. OK, OK, before I lose most of you, let me explain myself.
When I run long distances, rarely am I overly concerned about my time. I ran the first mile in 10 minutes? Great! The 2nd mile in 9 minutes, 30 seconds? Right on. The 10th mile in 9 minutes 15 seconds. Awesome. There is no "warming up"; that's what the first few miles are for. A sprint to the finish? Hell no, it's a gradual pickup the last mile. Most of the time, it is just a feat to complete the long distance at hand. You feel victorious crossing the finish line because you ran 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles. The time you did it in is usually an afterthought (for the most part...).
The 5K? It's a different beast for me. I am in direct competition with myself, every 5K I do, to beat my last 5K PR. I feel as if I need to bust out every 5K with full speed ahead...and feel like my time is wasted if I am not wheezing for breath by the finish. If I go out too hard that first mile, I am screwed the last mile because there is nothing left. If I go out too easy that first mile, I am always wondering "could I have gone faster?". And yes, I am one of those fools that is warming up before a 5K, take a 1/2 mile jog around to prepare my legs for full steam ahead propulsion. There is the subject of gadgets...I NEED music for a 5K, yet I run my long runs without an iPod. I wear my watch for the 5K and like I have some sort of tic I look down at that sucker every few minutes to see where my pace is at. I think I looked at my watch twice during the marathon!
Tomorrow is the first 5K I have run since July: The Jingle Belle 5K. It is winter, it is cold, and there is (a little) snow on the ground. I keep telling myself, "Kim, just go out and run for fun. Don't look at your watch. Just run."
me at the Jingle Belle last year. yes, i appear to be having fun.