The day before the race I pounded water, ate no refined sugars and stretched out a ton.
My coach gave me the game plan: first half a comfortable tempo, the second half concentrate on passing people left and right.
The start wasn’t until 9am and it was only a few minutes away so I had a nice leisurely morning. I was Out of English muffins (which is so unlike me since I’m very anal about my food intake when it comes to my workouts/races) so I substituted a piece of whole grain bread and I didn’t get my panties in a bunch like I normally would have. Surprisingly, I was feeling super cool calm and collected considering how much importance this race was going to be, starting out the race season and all.
I knew the start was going to be an absolute cluster*uck because of the ingress/egress situation so the plan was for my husband to park at the turnaround area (or what I thought was the turnaround) and I would warm up by jogging to the start and then cool down by jogging back to the truck afterwards thus steering clear from the crowds.
I jogged an easy pace to the start, working in some plyos and strides to warm my legs up.
Warm up – 1.99 miles – legs felt solid (notice 2 mile warm up not the 1.5 it should have been if I judged the turnaround correctly. dumbass.)
So I totally underestimated the pack. 5k’s are such a mixed bag and I never know where to start. Usually I shoot for the middle-back of the pack, but this time I just jumped in at the back and that was a total mistake. I lit
erally spent the first 800 meters dodging, sprinting around, dodging, jumping curbs, accelerating, slowing down….you get it. So many walkers and slower joggers.
I wanted to go out at 8:45 – 8:50 pace, but after I was able to find a spot in the crowd where I wasn’t vying for position I looked down and saw 8:30. I felt good so I held it there wondering if this was going to bite me in the ass 10 minutes later.
At the turnaround I was disappointed to see that I totally misjudged it and my poor husband was no where in sight because I told him where to be. FAIL. I felt horrible because I knew how horrible he was going to feel. That lasted for about six seconds and then I laid down the hammer. I started passing people left and right. It was awesome. My pace only dropped down to 8:24 but I was running hard. I had my iPod, but I wasn’t even listening to it. I was in a zone. It was awesome.
I had about 1000 meters to go when my legs were trying to crap out on me. I had to do some serious gut checking to keep them moving. About 600 meters from the finish there was an incline that toasted my legs even more, but I was banking on the downhill to charge into the chute. Unfortunately there was a headwind on the downhill so while it wasn’t totally negligible I didn’t get to fully reap the benefits of the up hill. The chute was right there and I really wanted to engage my final kick but I couldn’t do it. Until I was passed by female blur of green. That inspired my kick and I sprinted past her into the chute.
3.12/26:09 /8:23 average pace
Post – race:
I took a 10 minute rest. Chatted, hydrated then started the trot back to the truck. It was a good day!
Total for the day: 6.99 miles
Questions and reflections -
- If I had a kick at the end, does that mean I didn’t run hard enough?
- This gives me major confidence going into my next 5k in two weeks. One, I’ll hopefully have no hills and two, I’m reminded of what my body is capable of.
- Next 5k is going to be Sub 26 FOR SURE! All balls to the wall!
- I should have indulged in an ice bath. My legs are hurting today.