Let me explain.
Mom and I got to the race about 45 minutes before the start. For me, this is cutting it too close. I like a full hour or more to properly warm up, get my bearings and then leisurely walk to the start line. There wasn't time for any of that. We had to pick up our bibs and then got in line for the bathroom. At the one portapotty that was at the race. ONE. For about 400 people. Of course, the line took for-ev-er. By the time we made it through that line, it was about 3 minutes til the race start. No time to warm up. No time to get it together mentally.
And before I knew it, we were off. All the anxiety of waiting in line and not getting to warm up definitely played on my first mile and I started the race too fast. More than a half mile in and my pace was still showing as 6:xx, which was not part of the plan. Finally my pace slowed when we hit a gravel/rock-covered portion of the course. It was a bit slippery and didn't really feel that great running over in flats. I could feel every rock through the bottom of my shoes.
I was sooo jealous of the 5k runners around mile 1.5 as they began their turnaround back to the start/finish line area. I was already feeling the race and knew I still had 4.5ish miles to go. At this point, I was running according to my plan so just focused on maintaining. I knew there were five ladies in front of me and I could see three of them in the distance.
Around mile 2, I started reeling in one of the ladies. I pulled up right behind her and drafted for a few seconds before surging ahead to pass. Mentally, I was thinking about some of my training runs that included 20, 30, 60, 90 or 120 second surges. Excellent practice for that very moment!
That excitement got me to the turnaround point around the mile 3 marker. I could see another woman not that far in front of me and decided I would do another surge to get past her. It worked! The only bad part was now there were no women - or even men - around me to help with pacing and no one ahead of me that I could see to help pull me along. I was all alone. And that's when my race started to fall apart.
The heat got to me around mile 4 and I could tell my pace was taking a hit. My legs weren't turning over as well and even my upper body felt tense. Every stride felt like a huge effort. Then around mile 5, I began running into the back of the 5k race and was weaving around groups of walkers. The only relief was a high five from a little girl - who then asked her mom why I was running my underwear! Totes made me chuckle. When at the Bun Run, a girl must race in buns!
I felt like I was clawing my way to the finish during the last 1.2 miles. Everything hurt - not so much in an all-out effort type of way but in a I'm-overheating-I-started-too-fast-and-this-is-way-more-mentally-challenging-than-expected type of way. Finally the finish line was in sight and I was more than happy to up my pace just to finish the darn race!
So incredibly glad to be done!
Here are my results:
Overall Place: 5*/154
Age Group Place: 2/62
Right after finishing, a volunteer gave me a bottle of water and I collapsed in the grass. It felt so good to lay down for a bit and drink the cold water. After resting for 10 minutes, I did my cooldown run by running back on the course to find Mom. She was struggling in the heat but not once did she slow or walk. She did great, especially considering she was one of the oldest ladies at the race, if not the oldest!
Mom and I after the race!
Before the race, I had my goal time as 44:xx and I still think in better conditions I could have made it happen. I'm disappointed to have missed that time but I PR'd by more than 30 seconds and I'm happy with that. Just not satisfied. But maybe that's just part of running and racing. It's impossible to feel 100 percent satisfied with a performance because if there's nothing to improve upon, what's the point of training hard and then putting ourselves through challenging races? When looked at that way, I guess it's better to have something to chase and achieve. The hunger is always there!
So that was my main Memorial Day Weekend excitement. My questions for you:
- Do you think it's possible to feel 100 percent satisfied with a race performance?
- What did you do to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend?
Wishing you all a great start to the (short) week!
*I was the 4th woman to cross the finish line but 5th in the final standings