Last Thursday before I left for Colorado and in the midst of a power outage I ran a very tiny 5k, and for the first time in my life (that I am aware of) I ran negative splits. One of my former college coaches hosts small 5k races every Thursday night in the summer at The University. This is one of those things I can always count on no matter what. I have been participating in these races since high school and I will probably continue to run a few each summer as long as I am living close to The University. I am currently 1 mile away which makes warming up easy because I just run to the start of these races.
Thursday around lunch time Brittany and I spontaneously decided to run this race. Neither of us had electricity and we weren’t necessarily living life comfortably as a result. I had been running all over the place trying to find places with electric during the power outage so that I could complete my errands before I left for vacation. To be honest, I was exhausted and I wouldn’t have ran at all if we didn’t decide to do this race.
The race started at 7. Around 6:30 we ran from my house to the start as a warm up. It had just started to rain but I didn’t mind that at all. The turn out was really small. I don’t even think there were 20 people in attendance, probably because most of our area didn’t have electricity.
When the race started I went out comfortably. About a half mile in I was getting pumped up and wanted to make a move but Brittany told me to relax and that the leader would come back to us. Taking this advice was the best thing I could have done. Often, I go out too fast and run very inconsistent splits. I trusted her instinct and I relaxed. The course was a bit different than usual because there is a lot of construction on campus at the moment but I still felt very comfortable running because this course is so familiar to me. I went through the first mile at 6:36 and then the second mile in 6:35. I felt really good going into the last mile so I just went for it. I ran 6:15 for the last mile and ended up winning the race with a time of 20:01. I think I took the lead with about 1,000 meters to go and I felt strong. I was thrilled to find out that I ran negative splits!
I want to practice starting races more relaxed and building speed near the end. I never feel comfortable running this way but last Thursday I did. Typically, I stress out if my pace is too slow in the beginning of a race but after competing for more than half of my life I am learning that running negative splits is a really strong race strategy–I think its time to try something new in order to achieve the results that I want.
In summary, I am excited that I finally figured out how to run like this and I am thankful that I had Brittany there to keep my pace relaxed in the beginning of the race. It was an awesome way to end a really stressful week.