Today I ran my first 5k Race, the Run Around the Square in the Regent Square section of Pittsburgh (near where I used to live in grad school). All in all, it was a very fun experience, and one that I am eager to do again in the near future
Even though I typically do 3.3 mile runs on my own, I still struggled some in the race. The second mile of the race was mostly uphill, and I struggled with that. In fact, I struggled with some sections enough that I did walk portions of the race. I hated to do it, as one of my goals was to run the entire race, but I just wasn’t quite at that point yet (something I’m hoping to work on for next time). Thankfully, the third mile was nearly all downhill, and I was able to pick up the pace to finish strong.
I went into the race with a goal time of 37:12 (a 12min/mile pace), and despite my walking, did still manage to get under that, finishing the race in 36:31 (a 11:47min/mile pace). And that was a time which I was very happy with, considering I really just started running in June at about a 15min/mile pace. Now it will be a matter of building my endurance (and probably better control my pace) for the next time so I can complete a race without the need to walk.
In the end, it was a great experience, and I set a benchmark for me to improve from in the future. Though I may not be a natural runner, I’m enjoying getting into it and pushing myself to do better, and get that competitiveness in me satisfied for a little while longer.