With limited opportunities to take part in a race in Oman I was anxious to participate in the Automatic’s Worldwide WP 5K this morning. I train and run alone and compete against myself on a daily basis. Improvements in running take a long time to show up on the timer. This race was a chance to compete against other people. Well, maybe not an actual race with real people but a great idea from the people at Word Press to encourage bloggers to be active.
My original plan was to run at Ibri Sports Stadium after work but sometimes the track is not available for some unknown reason, so I decided to do my 5K run early this morning just in case the stadium was not available. Although I have managed to run 5K in under 30 minutes on a a few occasions I usually need 30 to 31 minutes to cover the distance. My goal was to run this virtual 5K in under 30 minutes and set a personal best.
After taking a rest day on Saturday I was up and ready to go by 5:30 this morning. With my camera and tripod I headed out the door for my first virtual race at about 5:40. I set up my camera for photos and done some stretching to warm up.
Then, I started and ran on the gravel and sand section between the main road and the smaller service road straight towards Ibri College which is 2.5km from my place.
I turned around for the second half in just under 14 minutes. I had set a record-breaking pace and feared that I would collapse at any instant. No time to think I had to get back to the starting point as quick as possible. Not only was a personal best on the line but I left my camera and tripod in the middle of my route and it dawned on me that someone could possibly walk off with my camera while I was huffing and puffing like a crazy lady in an imaginary race.
When my Garmin hit the 4.5K mark I could see that my camera was still waiting for me and I continued to run as fast as I could. Thank goodness the end was in sight. My legs ached and I struggled with my breathing and I wondered why am I doing this. Soon my race was over but not in record-breaking fashion! In the end, I had to slow down, almost to a walk, but l finished in under 30 minutes.
Last week when I did a practice 5K as part of my training for this race I was able to do a sub-29, so I was secretly hoping to finish in under 28 this morning. This may have been a bit too optimistic. Overall, I am still pleased with my time. I would have liked to come up with a personal best but I ran way too fast at the beginning and really struggled in the second half.
The great thing about being the only competitor in the Ibri edition of the Automattic’s Worldwide 5K race is that I finished first overall even if I didn’t set a personal best. Yet, there was no time to celebrate winning I had to hustle home, take a shower and get ready for work. The 30-minute walk to work seemed like the hardest walk of my life after this morning’s run.