The entire time leading up to the Bazan Bay 5k, I was training for longer distances. Since I spent most of December and January sick, I was very adamant about not doing any kind of hard and fast racing/training.

With that in mind, I skipped speed training in favour of redeveloping my aerobic capacity, knowing that it will serve me well in the long run (pun intended) when I do Boston.

For this 5k, I wanted to run between 19:01 and 19:59. Last year, I ran a few 5k races on the track and most of my times were under 20 minutes, so I was going for that.

This year was my first time doing the Bazan Bay 5k (I was sick for last year’s race so I stayed home even though I planned to run it) so I really didn’t know what to expect.

My 10k times predicted a sub-20 min finish and everyone who has done the race before told me that it was a flat, fast and accurate 5k.

A sub-20 min finish on a certified 5k road race was definitely a goal for me.

Above: The warm-up! Photo by Chris Kelsall of Athletics Illustrated.

When I got to the start line, there were a lot of people. This is a very popular race and a lot of very fast people come out to run. Therefore, I didn’t expect any super amazing placing.

Immediately after the gun went off, the elite runners started out fast and stayed fast.

I settled into a comfortable pace and ran my first km in 3:55.

By the time I reached the turnaround point, I was socked to see myself ahead of some people that I never even dreamed of catching last year.

Of course, some of them ended up passing me towards the end but it was only because they sped up while I kept an even pace, which was my goal.

With that in mind, I maintained a 3:50-3:55 pace the entire way. It felt comfortable, realistic and doable.

This story, however, changes in the last 100m.

BazanBay5k_2015_2

Above: The sprint to the finish. Photo by Chris Kelsall of Athletics Illustrated.

I planned to just cruise steadily towards the finish. However, a few people had passed me right before the last 100m and I really wanted to finish ahead of them.

My desire to sprint as fast as I can towards the finish line trumped my desire to finish the race comfortably. It was a great feeling knowing that I HAD the energy to sprint, which didn’t happen too often in the past.

Immediately after finishing, I had to go and lay down on the grass.

That sprint had me out of breath for about 45 seconds after finishing. I was very happy to finish ahead of some of the people that I was chasing at the start of the 100m sprint.

In the end, my time was 19:25, which is an official personal best. I was 4/24 in my age group and 23/307 women. My average pace was 3:53 per km or 6:15 per mile.

Compared to the elite women, 19:25 for a 5k is not that fast.

However, given that a little over 4 years ago, I would be lucky to finish a 5K under 40 min, 19:25 is not that bad at all.

I traveled very far to get here and I still have a long way to go.

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