What better way to celebrate being home in Rochester than with a road race? One of my favorite 5k races is the Brighton Chamber of Commerce 5k every 4th of July. I hadn’t run it in two years so was excited to tackle the flat, fast course just a mile from home. Despite the 8am start, it was already 72F with a whopping 93% humidity. At least it was overcast; the rain held off until after the race, but I sort of wished it had rained while we were running, if only to cool things off a tad.
The race itself wasn’t super exciting, in part because it was over quite quickly, but it was thrilling to see almost 800 runners show up before heading off to their barbecues and picnics for the rest of the day.
I went out a bit too fast, as I am prone to do in 5k races, hitting the first mile in 6:33. Then the struggle began; if I could make it through the second mile under 14 minutes, I still might be able to finish under 22:00, which was my general goal. A woman ran up next to me during part of the second mile, which helped keep me going as I tried to stick near her.
I hit the second mile in 13:39, which means it was much slower than the first: 7:06. Just over a mile to go, I thought, come on, Tamm, you can still make it in under 22:00. Arms, arms! …what if I just stopped right now? No, you can do it!
Even if I ran the third mile at the same pace as the second mile, I could still do it. Focusing on my breathing and trying to relax my face and shoulders, I mentally gritted my teeth and tried to pick it up ever so slightly. Rounding the last corner, on the homestretch, there was no 3-mile marker so all I could do was increase my turnover as much as I could. As the finish line came into sight, I tried to kick and was grateful to run through the finish well under 22:00.
My official finish time was 21:39, which is 6:59/mile or 4:19/km. I was 21 seconds off my PR/PB but pleased to have been under 22:00 for only the second time. I swear that if the times were “humidity graded” I’d have run a PR! I ended up second in my age group (F25-29) out of 47 (and the woman who won my age group was more than a minute faster, so no chance I would’ve caught her), was the 18th woman out of 376, and 93rd overall out of 773 finishers. Not too shabby! I certainly gave it all I had and am happy with the result.