Friday, September 19, 2014

Race Goals: Run for the Hills 5k

For the fourth consecutive year, I'm running a local race in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood.  Aptly named, Run for the Hills is an annual tradition for my family.  The race originated more than 20 years ago, and my parents have participated in the event every year since its inception.  Not runners, they walk the 1-mile course around Francis Park, the heart of the neighborhood.  I walked with them for many years until I ran it for the first time in 2011.  I was thrilled by my debut performance - my first ever 5k - and my time from that race has proven tough to beat.  In two subsequent attempts, I've not bested my original time of 27:28.

Though I've been focusing on distance rather than speed lately, I would love to set a new PR on the course tomorrow.  I know I am a stronger and smarter runner now than I was in 2011, and I would love a shiny new PR to prove it.  The course has some hills, as its name would suggest, and the most relentless one comes at mile 2.  I know that hill intimately - my childhood best friend grew up on that road - and I've run it countless times.  Yet somehow it always seems to hang me up on race day.  Tomorrow I hope to keep laser focus on that stretch of the course, forgetting that last year I was passed on it by a woman pushing a double stroller.  Ouch.

As always, tomorrow's event will be a family affair.  My husband, sister, and brother-in-law are all planning to run, too, as is my BRF, Emily.  I want to enjoy the event with them, chat with other runners from the neighborhood, and eat some frozen custard at the end.  My oldest will be running the kids' 1-mile race after the 5k, and I'm excited to be running that with him, too.  (Fingers crossed that this year's fun run will include more fun and fewer tears than last year's.)

While I would love a PR, I will be happy with a strong performance and a time under 28:00.  There, I put it out into the world.  Now let's see what I can do...