Happy 4th of July!
This morning, I ran the Wild West 5k in my hometown of Hays. I came back to Hays for the 4th, and brought my best friend Amy home with me to see Western Kansas. I also ran this race in 2012 and in 2013, and missed it last year, because I ran the Four on the 4th in KC right after I moved last summer.
The evening before, Mom, Amy, and I found some fun headbands at Be Made, and were able to pair them with our red, white, and blue leis, and we were decked out and ready to go. So we got to the race this morning around 7:15, parked, and got our bibs, and hung around until the race started. The race was small by KC standards, but large for Hays! I think there were about 250 runners and walkers, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It was sunny, 75, and breezy. Perfect.
The race started at 8:00, and my main goal was to go out strong and fast (for me) and try to hang on and PR with a time under 30 minutes. This was my strategy also for the Trolley Run, and I think I’m going to continue to have this strategy for shorter races, to really push myself. I have been chasing this goal since I’ve been running, and slowly and surely, each year I’ve been improving my time. I definitely prefer running slower and longer, but always wanted to challenge myself and try to run a speedy 5k.
The course started by the Hays Aquatic Park, ran through a couple of the one way streets downtown, and then wound through campus, and on the new paved trail on the Big Creek dike, and ended in front of the pool where it started. This course is very flat, with only a couple slight rises to climb up and onto the dike. I passed the first mile feeling pretty good, and under pace for my goal. The second mile was a bit more difficult, as I am not used to running that pace, but I managed to hold on. By the time I got up on the dike, I had one mile left, and ran that last mile with my heart. I was tired, hot, and it took all I had to keep my pace.
The last quarter mile or so, my body decided it was time to stop running! I started chilling, I got dizzy, and just kept telling myself to just get to the finish line and I could stop! I finished just over two and a half minutes faster than my previous 5k PR, which was from the fall of 2013 (last year I only ran two 5ks). With this PR, I reached one of my 2015 running goals, which is to run a 5k under 30 minutes!
After the race, I (kind of) cheered Amy and Mom on (I was pretty beat!) and watched lots of others finish too. There was watermelon, bagels, bananas, and twizzlers waiting for us, and we watched the age groupers get their awards. I’m really glad I PR’d this race, because I’ve run it 3 out of the last 4 years now, and it was special to come back to Hays and PR, and have my mom and best friend Amy there too!
Next 5k is the Rock the Crossroads at the end of the month!