Today’s Workout: 30 minutes weights, 8 miles running***
And I’m back in the saddle! Two months off of racing was incredibly nice and much, much needed but I must admit I was itching to see where my fitness was at.
I was pretty nervous going into this race for 3 reasons:
1. I was wearing the PR pumpkin shirt! You can read about the sisterhood of the traveling pumpkin shirt here. Basically everyone that has worn the shirt thus far has PR’d and the pressure was definitely on me to keep the tradition alive.
2. I trained specifically for this race. I have never really trained for a short distance race before so the fact that I actually trained specifically for the distance was weighing heavily on my shoulders.
3. I felt “rusty”. Having not raced in 2+ months I really did not know what I was capable of and if I had trained enough. I had skipped a couple of hard workouts because of my shin set back and was afraid I didn’t train enough.
The day before the race my friend Walter offered to come down and run with me and help me pace. I was nervous about this but jumped at the opportunity. We met up before the race and did a nice 3.5 mile warm up. It was only 11 degrees out but the warm up felt pretty good. I was afraid the cold temps would effect me but just tried not to think about it. Walter and I talked about my plan and I told him I was just shooting for a PR and a sub-7 pace.
The race was not chip timed so I started towards the front but behind the first row of fast runners. I did not want to start out too fast and since there was a 5k mixed in I knew there would be quite a few runners in front of me. Quite frankly placing or winning my AG did not matter to me that day. I just wanted a PR!
Mile 1: 6:34 Crap!! I felt like I was going much slower, I felt good, breathing was completely under control and I was chatting with runners along the way. I told Walter I was not that fast and we better slow down.
Mile 2: 6:35 So much for slowing down. This mile was all gradual downhill and I can pound out the downhill like a maniac. Me and Walter chatted the entire time and I felt way too good to be true. Runners High?
Mile 3: 6:44 This mile still felt great and I was glad to see I had slowed it down a bit. Walter and I chatted and he talked to me about strategy and surging. There was a girl about 50 yards ahead of me and I wanted to keep her in sight. I figured she was about the 3rd place female but really didn’t know since the 10k/5k started out together.
Mile 4: 7:18 Shit hit the fan! This mile was ALL gradual uphill and it suddenly occurred to my legs that I had ran 3 incredibly fast miles.
Mile 5: 7:35?? Seriously it got worse? Yes indeed it did…sad but true! There was a stretch of straight uphill for about .25mi and my breathing was literally out of control. I wasn’t wearing a HR monitor but if I would have been I’m thinking it would have registered at least 305! I have never so badly wanted to walk or dnf in a race….but I kept on pushing.
Mile 6: 7:09 just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Gradual incline the entire way but I was in fight mode and hanging by a string or a limb or a pumpkin shirt something. 😉
Mile 7: 6:27 I had no kick in me but I looked up at the clock and it read 41:xx. I think I closed my eyes and pushed as hard as I could in hopes of sub-42. But I just did not have it in me.
Official Finish Time: 42:03/6:46 average paceGarmin Time: 42:03/6:58 average pace (The course was short and my garmin only registered 6.06 mi)
Initially I was incredibly upset about my time and my performance. I have been working so hard on pacing and I felt like I had completely failed not only myself but Walter as well. I wanted to cry, run away, or at least hide. But my spirits were boosted when I learned that despite my completely horrible pacing I had somehow managed to finished 2nd overall female. I also set a new 10k PR and shaved 2 minutes off of my time on this course from last year.
Despite the obstacles I faced in this race overall it was a good experience. The Hale Center puts on a great race and it is always just so fun to be around other runners who share my same passion for the sport. Runners are awesome and regardless of how good or bad I run I always leave a race excited and eager to keep learning, keep training harder, and continue growing as an athlete.
11 weeks of training left until the Boston Marathon!!