On Saturday I will be running in the Paper Mill Run 5k. The course is an out-and-back on the Wissahickon Bike Trail and part of Forbidden Drive. It's a pretty flat, part paved path, part gravely trail, course. Though it's been getting cooler out, the race doesn't start until 10 am, so it might heat up enough by then to be uncomfortable. Wow, 10 am sounds way late! I can actually sleep in before this thing! Luckily the path is shaded so I won't have to deal with the sun in my face.
Paper Mill Run course map
Like the 5 miler in July, this will be the first time I have the opportunity to set a new PR for this distance. The first 5k I ever ran, which was also the first race I ever ran, was this past February. It was freezing cold and snow was piled up along the sides of the path. Anyone who has done a race will tell you that's it's completely different from running on your own. It's a totally other kind of beast. There's excitement and nerves and crowds (just to name a few). When the gun went off at that first race I remember feeling very overwhelmed. Though we were only a few hundred runners, the path quickly became congested and it took a half mile to thin out. Even though I had been training for two months at that point for my half marathon, I was dying during the whole 3.1 miles. 29 minutes after I started, I ran across the finish line. I was dissapointed with my time (I had expected a 9 min/mile out of myself), but understanding of the fact that it was my first race and it was okay.
Now, 9 months and almost 1,000 miles later, I'm ready to destroy my second-ever 5k! In order of difficulty, my goals are
Now, I just have to deal with two days of pre-race nerves!