Run four laps. It sounds pretty easy, right? Easy at least until your fourth, fifth and sixth round of four laps. At 6:40 min/mile pace. Suddenly, it's not so easy.
This was my third year racing the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay and always, it was a challenge. Teams are made up of 2-4 people and each team splits up the miles/laps as they want. The race is 96 laps and every four laps equals 1.12 miles.
My team, M.A.S.S. Destruction (named for Melissa, Anna, Sheila and Sun), set our sights high this year. Our two goals were to win the female team division and set a new female team course record. We based our goal time on last year's winning time, 2:55, which meant we needed to average 6:40 or faster per mile. We knew it would be a challenge but I was especially hungry for a win this year as last year my team took second place!
The race went well through the halfway point. We were all feeling strong and our splits were right about where they needed to be. We knew we were behind at least one other team, but were doing our best to follow our plan, run to the best of our ability and hope for the best.
Watching Anna - and the other runners - circle the track
The fourth and fifth rounds of laps were tough for everyone on my team and even though we pushed during the last round of laps, we couldn't make up the time we had lost. Despite running our best that day, we ended up finishing fourth. The winning team finished in 2:45, which completely shattered the old course record by 10 minutes!
Whenever the laps got tough, I reminded myself, "Wings out!"
Here are our race stats:
Average Pace: 7:03
Overall Place: 24/99
Gender Place: 4/22
Even though we missed our two goals, I'm still very proud of my team. We did what we could to prepare, trained hard and on race day, ran our hearts out. The one thing you can never control is competing against much faster runners :)
Post race with team mascot, Sir Chomp Chomp
After the race, we celebrated along with fellow team, Buns on the Run, at Maxie's Southern Comfort. We feasted on fried pickles, sweet potato fries, fried green tomatoes, cornbread and mac & cheese. A perfect end to a great day!
Even today, my legs - specifically my hamstrings - are still feeling the race. Since I have another race this weekend, I'll run easy until then.
Tell me: How do you deal with missed race goals?
I think it makes me motivated to train harder!