(Alternatively titled: Surprise Super hot 4th 5K, Crash and Burn race or It’s all relative)
I had not planned to run a 5K this 4th of July – heck, I had not even planned to run – no kidding! I hadn’t run since returning from Hawaii last week because it suddenly dawned on me that I have been building mileage/training for marathons for 14 months now – time for a little recovery time before the fall marathon training begins (soon, my race will be Dec. 2 – more on that later).
Despite this little break, I was also kinda sorta itching to race – but also realized that listening to my body would be the best plan. So, I printed out the registration form on Tuesday afternoon and decided that I’d set out all my race stuff, set my alarm and if I felt tired, I’d sleep in. If not, I’d race.
So obviously, you can tell what happened.
But now, I’ll tell you what happened at the race!
First, craziest splits ever:
1 – 6:50, 2 – 7:35, 3 – 10:30, .1 – :46
Yes, I went out too fast – but in my defense, I was quite sure that I was able to sustain a 7-minute mile, easy. My legs felt great! I was flying in those new kicks (Brooks Pure Flow) and though it was hot, I was sweating enough – felt hydrated, etc.
Mile 2…total time: 14:30. I had slowed, but told myself that a 7.5 minute pace would still warrant me a PR, since that was the average pace of my last race to beat (23:28, a 7 and a half minute pace).
After that though, the course headed onto a narrow, buckled path. Since I am the queen of klutzes, I was sure to watch my footing. And then the course had a sharp downhill. Then uphill.
My belly started to ache, weirdly. That freaked me out, so I walked. Mile 3 continued like that…run, walk…I realized the PR wasn’t going to happen. I am still not sure what happened here, but that humidity definitely was doing me in.
We were on the last .3 of the race when a girl ran up behind me (I was walking then) and she smiled and said, “Nice work! We’re almost there!”
Now – hearing “you’re almost there” is one of the worst things to hear when racing – but the fact that she was also running – and that key game-changer (WE) inspired me to finish the race strong.
I felt energized – almost like I could physically sprint to finish – but mentally, I could NOT pass that girl who had inspired me. So, I kept an even pace with her, and crossed the finish alongside her, probably like a split second after.
Final time: 25 minutes and some change. Not my worst (27 min, which was my first race) but given the circumstances, I’ll take it! I’ll redeem myself in the near future
ETA: WOW! I actually netted a 2nd place AG win – so happy that I know 1st place was my inspiration: Allison! As soon as I read the results, I remembered hearing people cheer for her. Even more glad about how it panned out:
How did you spend your 4th?