I swear a 5K is like crack for distance runners! I love the long distance stuff….half’s and full’s and beyond. Normally I don’t put a whole lot of attention or focus on a 5K. That is NOT to say that this isn’t a hard race because it MOST definitely is a hard race. I ran a lot of 5K’s when I first started running, not so many over the past couple of years. I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 or 6 in the past year to year and a half. But tonight, man how I regret not running more. This race distance puzzles me more than any other distance. It’s too short, it’s too fast (if you have the desire to competitive in them which I do), and often times (tonight was not the case) the courses are generally off ever so slightly. That all being said, this race truly kicks me in the ass almost every time! Sure I have broken the 20 minute mark, 1 year ago exactly to today actually…ran a 19:31…wanted to die afterwards but hey I did it 🙂 After running tonight’s 5K, I have this overwhelming desire to race another one just to prove that I can in fact run faster than I did tonight. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with my time (21:30) and I even placed 2nd in my Age Group which was a nice little bonus, but seriously, I know I can run harder and faster than I did tonight. Side stitches be damned, I know I can. Two years ago I had 5K’s as part of my regular training and it seemed to pay off with faster marathon and half marathon times. It “forced” me to run fast (understand that a 5K to me feels like and all out sprint) and it forces me to think quickly. It speeds everything up and this was a benefit to my longer races. I am going to defeat this race, I will eventually overcome my challenges and show myself that I can in fact succeed at these shorter distances (hell after my performance two weeks ago at the Air Force Marathon tonight was a damn HUGE win)…I am going to see if adding a few more 5K’s here and there pushes me harder on my longer runs and forces me to change things up just enough to get over this little bump in the road I am having right now with my marathons.