I’ve been making some strides to get faster this year, and I was able to run my fastest 5K since 2019 at Sept. 8’s Run, White and Blue 5K at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown.
Although I was able to run a fast-for-me race, I did cough throughout most of it, especially after the first mile. I ran this race on one day being home in between two appointments with Johns Hopkins. At this time, I hadn’t yet had my appointment with the speech-language pathologist, who helped me make massive improvements in my breathing techniques, so I am excited to try another 5K for speed at some point to see what I’m really capable of.
This was my seventh year running the Run, White and Blue 5K, including one virtual year because of the pandemic. This race is always held on a Thursday evening on the flat Delaware Tech Owens campus. One of the highlights is the large amount of food — including ice cream — post-race. The race is also put on for a good cause, Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus scholarships for veterans and first responders.
I’d run two miles in 18:31, a 9:14 pace, on Aug. 18, so given that and other recent runs, I was hopeful that I would be able to run this race in under 30 minutes and hopefully faster than my other 2020 or 2021 5K races. My fastest 5K in those years was a 29:10 at the virtual Zoo Stampede in 2020.
I often try not to look at my watch too much during races, particularly shorter ones, so I was surprised when I saw that I’d run the first mile in 8:46. I didn’t think I could keep up that pace for the entire 5K, but it did bank me a little bit of time and give me some confidence for a fast finish. I stopped to get water at the first water stop, which was after the first mile marker but probably before 1.5 miles, and then I had to walk a few more times as I dealt with my coughing issue, including at a water stop after the Mile 2 marker.
I knew some friends who were running the race, and I tried to keep my friend Bob in my sights, with his orange shirt. I didn’t catch him, but he did keep me going.
With a fast finish, I was able to finish the race in 28:47. This was my fastest 5K since this race in 2019 (when I ran 27:22), and I also earned third in the female 30-39 age group.
After crossing the finish line, I hung out with friends Bob, Rosie and Donna and enjoyed the array of food — the previously mentioned ice cream, along with chicken, pizza, beer and water. I’m glad I got to test my speed and I look forward to hopefully bringing that 5K time down more now that I have gotten a handle on the breathing issue.
Mile 1: 8:46
Mile 2: 9:22
Mile 3: 9:56
Last part (.1): 50.2 (8:17 pace)
Final time: 28:54 (went till I had 3.1 on watch); time on results: 28:47