I did it! I finally broke 20 minutes for a 5k, a time that has eluded me for too long. The funny thing is, I didn’t even train for the race. A friend told me about it last Friday, and I said, “sure, why not.”
This was my second impromptu race, and a second great one at that. It seems training only slows me down. But there is a reason behind why I do so well in these out-of-the-blue races. Actually, a few reasons. First off, there are less nerves. There’s less time to worry about the race, and you place lower expectations on yourself when you haven’t trained. You can allow yourself to enjoy the race, at the same time thinking how great it would be if you happen to PR at a race you haven’t trained for.
Whatever the reason, I am very happy I did the race. I didn’t even care that much about my place, because I was so happily surprised to PR in the first place. But my 10th place finish (and 3rd in my age group- though really 5th, the top 2 were overall winners and weren’t included) felt great too. This is why local races are so fun: ‘pretty good’ runners have a shot at placing in their age group; it’s not limited to elites. The fact that I won (kind of) another small race attests to this fact (see my post The Win for more on that).
Overall, it was a lot of fun. And I plan on doing many more unplanned races in the future.