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Dental Dash at Dawn 5k

Instead of sleeping in like normal people do on Saturdays, I got up at the crack of dawn (5 am) to run the Dental Dash 5k down in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta.

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Y’all know I included a 5:30 am selfie. And a shoe shot.

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Since I’ve been dealing with some pain in my right IT band, I promised myself I’d take it easy on this race. I wasn’t there to run fast—I was there to get an idea of where my training is for this season.

The verdict? Not so good, not so bad. I’m faster than I was this time last year, but I am definitely not where I want to be at the end of the year.

The race itself was really small (only 288 runners) and very family friendly. I saw a lot of baby strollers and dogs in the race, which gave the race a very relaxed vibe.

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The course, however, was no joke. Hills, hills, and more hills. The course had almost no flat parts; we were either going up or down the whole way. Not good for a girl with a bum hip. I ran as much of the hills as I could, and when my hip started to twinge, I walked.

Something about this particular course just felt long. It really felt like I ran a lot further than 3.1 miles, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the hills, or that there were a good number of turns. Maybe it was because this course overlapped some with the half course from 2 weeks ago and I still associate that with long. I don’t know, but I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to PR.

So I was shocked to see:

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An eleven second PR. Since I wasn’t racing hard, I wouldn’t have been surprised with slower, but honestly, I’ve done some training runs faster than this. So it was bittersweet. I get to say a new PR, but it’s definitely not the one I want to say.

One thing this race did have was SWAG.

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Why no, I will not need to buy a toothbrush for the next year.

One realization that I came to after this race is that if I want to run fast, I need to train harder. Speedwork, definitely hill work, and I’ve got to start taking my recovery seriously. Rolling out my muscles, icing, and stretching are all going to be key. I’ll post a new tentative training schedule soon.

If you hear me whining about how “I don’t wanna” feel free to ask me if “I don’t wanna” break 30 on my 5k. Seriously.

How seriously do you take your training? Do you run for fun or run to race?

For me, this has evolved. I used to run purely for fun and exercise, but now I’ve become more focused on training and racing.

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