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I had this post typed up and scheduled this weekend. But then the explosion in Boston happened, and I couldn’t ignore it. My heart aches for those who were there, as well as those who are affected from afar. Every person needs to process and grieve in their own way. Some might write, some might talk, and some might run… We can’t let those who did this win…

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After experiencing some IT band pain on my long run a week ago, I was happy that this week I had previously planned another step back week. On Saturday morning I headed out to race a Cherry Blossom 5k! Ironic, however, because spring is definitely behind this year, and we don’t even have any leaves or flowers on the trees!

I was a little nervous about how this run would go. With my IT band aching last week, I really didn’t want to run yet another slow 5k this year. I raced it using my plan for the half marathon, running three minutes and walking one minute. I tried to keep my running pace between 8:45 and 9:30, and was happy at how that went. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I didn’t feel like I was dying either! There was no negative splitting that happened because I still haven’t been able to get that down (how do all of you do it??).

I tried to keep my breathing as controlled as I could as I set off. In races, with all the excitement and adrenaline, I tend to breathe weirdly and get a side cramp (just like I did at mile 2 of the Indy mini marathon last May); not today though! I hit mile one really quickly, and was surprised at how good I was still feeling. Mile two flew by as well. As I hit mile 3, I thought for sure that some IT band pain would kick in, especially because I was running at a much faster pace than my long runs I’ve been doing, but it didn’t! I finished the race feeling strong and happy:

Picture 9

Not my fastest 5k, but definitely my fastest of 2013! I tried to run this race closer to my half marathon goal pace, and I think I was successful at that. If I feel this good on race day, I’ll definitely be happy.

Honestly, this 5k was a big confidence booster as I’m only a few weeks out from my race. It’s also fun for me to look back at my 5k race I did at this time last year and compare times. I ran that race in an 11:51 pace, so this race was significantly faster! Yet another confidence booster as I head into the same race I ran last year!

Now it’s your turn to share! How have you pushed yourself recently? What are some confidence boosters you’ve experienced before heading into a race? 

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