This was my second year running the Philip Rivers 5k. The first time around, I had no idea what the Rivers of Hope Foundation was and now it holds some personal significance. As many of you know, I work in foster care advocacy at a non-profit organization, Voices for Children (VFC). You might remember, I was raising funds for VFC while training for the Chicago Marathon last year. The Philip Rivers 5k raises money for the Rivers of Hope Foundation which distributes funds to important agencies serving foster children, like VFC. This year, I had good reason to run it.
|Philip Rivers, Chargers QB and founder of the Rivers of Hope Foundation|
The race has grown exponentially since its start two years ago. Over 4,000 people participated in the race and over 7,000 people were in attendance. I was thrilled to see so many runners and walkers out there on Saturday because I knew each bib signified money for a great cause.
I have to admit, I was little nervous about this race. I was the 2nd overall female to finish two years ago, and I knew that would not be the case this year. I haven't done an ounce of speedwork, I am just coming back from an injury, and the field was much larger this year.
To my great surprise, I managed to finish in 21:31 (6:56/mi pace) and 3rd in my age group (and I beat Philip Rivers, boo-ya)! Angela finished only 1 minute and 1 second behind me with a finish time of 22:32 (7:15/mi pace) and 5th in our age group. We were pleased with our times because neither of us have done any 5k specific training.
This is only the second 5k I've ever done in my life, and now I remember why. 5ks are brutal! I was in pain the entire time and by mile 2.5 I wanted to just quit. I would choose a marathon over a 5k any day of the week. I actually enjoy speed work and tempo runs, but the 5k is a grueling race. In half marathons and marathons you can settle into your pace and get in the zone. I find my rhythm and feel like I can go on forever. In a 5k, you never settle. You're constantly pushing from the moment the gun goes off. I find absolutely no joy in these kinds of races, but from time to time they are a nice little kick in the butt.
I sometimes wonder what my finish time would look like if I did some 5k specific training. A part of me really wants to see what I am capable of and another part thinks that is crazy talk. I love the long stuff, and for now I will stick with that.