Running 3.11 miles is never as exciting and fun as running a 5K race. Now I can understand why my Dad tells me I need to race more. The experience of racing is completely different to the one you get from going on a regular run.
On Sunday I ran the 5K Zoo Miami. Although we had an unfortunate surprise that I’ll tell you more about at the end of this post.
I had no time expectations for this race when it came to finishing times. Running a 5K distance is something I do all the time. But I was still kind of anxious. I still wanted to do things right and have an amazing race.
Me and my cousin woke up at 05:00 a.m. In the morning for our fueling. One mini bagel with almond butter, black coffee, and lots of water did the job. By 7:00 a.m. we arrived to the zoo and met up with the rest of our team.
In this race, runners were separated into the categories –> tortoises, kangaroos, rhinos and cheetahs depending on their pace. Since I was a Kangaroo I needed to go to a different corral than the one my cousin and friend needed to go.
The race was delayed by 10 minutes. And by 7:40 we heard the gunshot and started running. My initial strategy was to start slow and then run really fast after the second half. Well, I did all the opposite.
I started running and right after the first mile I checked my clock and realized that I had run that first mile in 9 minutes. Say what!?
I’ve never ran a mile that fast in my life. So I slowed down immediately in order to not be suffering further ahead. Then I knew something was wrong when I saw the sign for mile 2 just five minutes later. There was no way I could run a mile that fast. Five minutes later I passed the sign for mile 3. At this point I didn’t know what the heck was going on with the course distance, but I kept running. I finished with a sprint in 22:51 minutes, realizing that I didn’t really run 3.11 miles.
Runners were disappointed since the real distance of the course race was of 2.1 miles. No wonder why I got to the finish line as a Cheetah and not a Kangaroo. Despite this unfortunate surprise, I did better than I expected. Running the first mile in 09 minutes and 20 seconds set up a new PR for me. My splits of 09:20 in the first mile and 11:08 in the second mile, projected a 29 minutes 5K. The fasted one I’ve ran has been in 31:02 minutes. So, I was happy afterwards.
I don’t know how I managed to be so fast that day. I think the energy from other runners really got me motivated. Also, seeing the animals around the zoo cheered me up a lot.
They had all kinds of refreshments at the finish line. Including ceviche from a famous restaurant in Miami. However, ceviche was too much for me at 08:00 a.m. So I just had a mini cinamom roll and coffee, which was absolutely delicious.
The experience of this race taught me I need to improve my ability to control my pace in races. I was lucky enough that this was a shorter 5K. Nonetheless, when I start racing for longer distances I won’t be as lucky if I start running fast, as I did this time.
Now I want to make a shoutout to my wonderful team. To my friend Carla for inviting me to run this race and picking up the material for me. To my cousin Ana Claudia, for waking up at 5 a.m. when she could’ve stayed sleeping. And to our friend Gustavo for listening to my non-stop anxious talk just minutes before the race.
I’m defiently looking forward to the next one!
Have you ever got to the finish line and realized you didn’t really run the distance they told you the race course had?