The Spring Race

Now that winter is almost over, I wanted to get back into running and what better way there is than signing up for a 5k race. I started training 4 weeks ago for this race, I created a 5k training plan with the Nike+ Run Club app with 2-3 runs per week. It was hard going out for runs after the winter break, my legs hurt, my breathing was out of control and my endurance equal to 0. But I saw improvement every week and it felt good being outside in the sun after such a cold winter.

In the morning on the race day I ate a porridge with oats, banana and honey 3 hours before the race and I packed a banana to eat it 30 minutes before the race. This is my usual breakfast on race days.


This race was organised in a park near the airport where I’ve been before but I have never run in this park until now. The routes at the races that I attended were usually one big round, starting and ending at the finish line. I was disappointed to find out that at this race we had to run one big round of 3,5k, followed by 2 smaller 550m and finishing with a small 400m. We were basically passing the finish line 4 times.

I picked up my number when I got there and watched the kids race before lining up for the 5k. I started out great with the first kilometer in 6:30 minutes, most of the people sprinted out in the first kilometer and I caught up with many of them shortly after they got tired and had to switch to walking. I made this rookie mistake myself on my first run but learned my lesson. I got into my rhythm in the second kilometer, I was running in the middle of the park and I felt like in the woods far far away, even though we were still in the city. It was so beautiful.

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The third kilometer got harder, more and more people started walking around me and I fought hard to keep going, my legs were starting to hurt. I kept my breathing controlled at 2 steps in-3 steps out. I saw the finish line at 500m distance around 3k so I automatically picked up the pace. The crowd was cheering us on as I passed the finish line for the first round at 3,5k and I kept a fast pace for the first round of 550m. I actually thought that I have only one 550m and one 400m to run but the helpers told us that we have 2 550m and 1 400m, at which point I realized that I have to slow down if I want to finish the race. I was feeling really tired at this point, my legs were hurting and I lost control of my breathing. Thinking about how many rounds I still had to go, I was considering to quit but I pushed through.

Passing the finish line 4 times is a mental game and I struggled with it. Every time I was near the finish line I picked up the pace, so many people watching and cheering for us but I had to slow down after I passed it so I could keep running and finish the race. I definitely won’t run any more races where the routes are organized this way.

A guy was running/walking in my shadow from km 3, I was his pacer, he was walking but when I ran in front then he started running until he caught up with me. I think we pushed each other in that last km. If he passed me then I picked up the pace to catch up with him, and vice versa. I picked up the pace finally in the fourth round and sprinted  the last 100m into the finish line, finishing with 34:28.

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I ran an average pace of below 7 minutes. I achieved a new personal best. I ran the 5k unbroken without having to walk. This was my goal and I achieved it after a long winter break and only 4 weeks of training. This was a small event, only 41 women ran the 5k and I finished on the 37th place. The woman taking the first place finished in 21:21 and the man in 16:02. I am proud that I ran the race and finished, I felt like I was running fast but my brother made some videos of me and I was slow so my goal is to run much faster next time.

Until then I need this t-shirt: “I am here to make you look faster” 🙂

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Races are a good motivator and I started a pin board with my numbers and medals (and tech conference badges), I will train for the next couple of months and register for the next race soon. The season is just beginning!

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