Sub 20!

I could not be happier with how this went! So I save you the scrolling, I finished the indoor 5k in 19:56.

Congrats to Matt H, a high school XC teammate, who guessed 19:58, and a 2nd place guessing finish by Michelle, a TNC athlete, with her 19:53.

Sara and I showing off our numbers post-race
I was SO nervous before hand. It's almost like I haven't raced in a few years! I was glad to have convinced Sara C, a TNC athlete and friend, to race with me. Our average age was almost double of the collegiate women we were racing. That's crazy... since I don't feel "old"?

Setting my stuff out the night before
There isn't much to report race-wise. I put myself in last place from the gun, knowing I wanted to run a 48-49 for the first lap. I still came through in 46. Ah! But, then I settled in to consistent 48s - it was as if I was a seasoned racer with perfect timing. 

Before the start. Sara was a little confused by the waterfall line, ha. Just a little out of practice :).
About half way my legs started to feel a little clumsy, which I think is just a firing issue. My stride locks up and my pace slows dramatically when this happens. I took three slower steps and forced my hamstrings to relax, then got back to my rhythm. After a couple more times like that, I was good to go! 

I passed the second to last woman after the first 1/2 mile, and then cruised at my own pace. There was no one ahead of me within reach, and the girl I passed faded quickly.

My last mile was my fastest, although not by much. I definitely could have "hurt" a LOT more, but was so unsure of myself, my fitness, and my ability to hurt that I more-or-less cruised the last mile. I thought: just keep up these 47s-48s and you'll be sub-20. That was your "ecstatic" goal, so why risk anything?

I finished and found Sara, who told me she had just run a 19:28. A 22 second LIFETIME PR for her! At the age of 37! I gave her the biggest, sweatiest hug. I am so glad to have coached her to that achievement! This girl has deserved a faster 5k PR for some time now :). (Read a little blurb about how she has dropped her marathon time over the last 3 years with me here - along with some other athlete results!)

It was also so nice to have Nathan and the girls there cheering me on. It is no small feat to wrangle a toddler and a newborn single handed! Greta wasn't a big fan... she started bawling when the gun went off. She just wanted MOM! Plus, it was "too loud" (her words). Anna decided she was hungry during the race, so Nate fed her with one hand (bottle into baby's mouth while in carrier) and tried to yell splits and calm Greta with the other. 

THANK YOU, NATE!

Nothing could console Greta afterwards, not even George. I think she effectively scared Sara away from having kids.
I immediately texted Jerry. Then I immediately started dreaming about going sub-19 by the end of March/early April :).

Onward and upward!

Your turn: caption this photo for Anna. I feel like her expression and pose deserve something witty...

Your captions in the comments below :)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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