Following Sunday’s Half Marathon in Disneyland I immediately flew back to Mississippi. As I was in transit from the Grand Californian to LAX Rod from Rod’s Racers posted a link to a 5k happening the next morning in Hattiesburg. I was staying with my parents Sunday night on the coast and had to pass through Hattiesburg anyway, so why not run a 5k the day after completing the Dumbo Double Dare?
I have looking forward to running in a Pine Belt Pacer event since moving to the area a couple of months ago and this Monday morning race was the perfect chance. I arrived just after 7 for the 8 am start and went through registration. After getting my bib and shirt it was time to stretch and get a quick warm up in. As I was standing in the starting area I was faced with what is always a tough decision, what pace do I want to run? On one hand I haven’t ran a 5k since February, on the other I raced a total of 19.3 miles over the weekend and had another 8 miler that I ran on Friday. This is a decision that I easily make with in the first few moments of any run.
The starting buzzer sounded and as we took off I took into account that the weather felt great and there didn’t seem to many people hanging around my age group. So I decided that I could rest the next day, today I was racing! It was a nice course starting in an empty mall parking lot and wrapping around immediately to a nearby neighborhood then back out again to the other side of the mall for the finish. I was keeping a great pace for having run just under 30 miles over the weekend. As I approached the 3 mile mark I backed down my pace just a little to accommodate for a giant hill I was climbing. Then ran down the final stretch and across the finish line.
I crossed the line at 20:47. It was a great finish time, but 5 seconds away from a new PR. I am getting closer and closer to breaking that 20 minute mark. I never seem to race a 5k on fresh legs though. Maybe next time.
I finished 8th overall and won my age division. It was a great way to wrap up a weekend of racing and running.