There’s not really too much to say about today’s race, which I suppose says something in itself.
(..and then I ramble on anyway….)
Today was the Super Bowl 5K. We had a time trial scheduled for our Saturday workout, so I hadn’t been sure how serious to take this race. I spoke with my coach on Friday and he recommended not racing, but just “partaking”. I ended up pushing hard on the workout Saturday, so I suppose I knew it wasn’t going to be my best effort on Sunday.
I got to Wash Park around 9:15 and got in a bit of a warmup jog. It was actually a beautiful day, weather-wise. I wore calf-length compression tights and actually stripped down to a t-shirt to race. As I lined up at the start, two girls who looked like they were serious lined up just ahead of me. Although I’d never met her before, I gathered that one of them was Heather Utrata, a local runner who recently pulled off a 5 miler around a 6 minute mile pace. Well crap. Oh well, I reminded myself, I wasn’t “racing”.
I guess I had a few goals going into this race (A and B were of equal importance/awesomeness)
B. Sub-20 (Sub 19:47 would be +)
With Heather on the line, I figured A was out the window. Not a big deal. Because of yesterday’s hard workout (and Darren’s advice), I wasn’t really prepared to kill myself at the event, so decided to run by feel and see what happened.
The race started and three women rushed out ahead of me. I saw right away that one of them had gone out way too fast so within about 10 seconds of the race starting, I decided I wanted to hold onto 3rd place overall.
And then, I ran.
There were a few slick spots but not at all like the Rudolph Ramble. I just ran along, and the second half of the race generally consisted of me catching up to and passing guys. I think there were one or two guys that passed me. In the last half mile, I played cat and mouse with some guy, and with about a quarter mile to go, I told him to kill it and finish strong. But then of course we hit the three mile marker and my competitive spirit kicked in and we raced in. In the end, we had the same gun time, but his chip time was a second faster.
In that last 10th of a mile, I caught a glimpse of the finish clock and it was very clearly over 20 minutes. Damn, there went goal B.
I finished in 20:43, which WAS good enough for me to meet goal C. My previous PR, set at the Valentine’s Day run last year, was 21:16. After the race I went to retrieve my long-sleeved shirt I’d left at the start and cheered on other runners as they were passing mile 2. One of the highlights of the entire day for me was about a half hour later, when some guy finished, and came and gave me a big high five and thanked me for cheering him on while he was running.
Overall, the race went fine.
20:43 = 6:40 pace
avgHR 183, maxHR 191 – which is the highest I’ve seen it in awhile.
It’s funny how arbitrary pace can seem. I ran the Turkey Trot 10K at 6:40 and was really excited about it. Today actually seemed a bit tougher (and I don’t completely attribute that to running at sea level). The fact is, I know on a good day I can run faster than this. Today just wasn’t that day.
I’m sure it was a combination of a hard workout the day before (running AND lifting!), and knowing this wasn’t any sort of a target race.
But in the end, I can’t forget that this is a PR! This is the fastest I’ve covered 3.1 miles in a race situation. Anytime you do that is worthy of a good ole pat on the back. And some race bling helps, too. 1st in my AG, thank you very much!
Next week is the Valentine’s Day 5K, and of course in a month is the Pump and Run. As much as I’d have loved to rattle off a sub-20 today just as a confidence booster, that’s the day that really counts! As it was, my legs felt great today, less than a month after Houston. I’m thankful for that and look forward to continuing to get stronger and faster!