I'll admit part of the problem was my attitude toward the race. I was maybe a bit too relaxed leading up to race day. While it was great to not be worried or stressed out, there is a bit of an advantage to having some nervous energy on race day - I think it's actually pretty important for tapping into the adrenaline that's necessary for racing hard.
I woke up around 5am on race morning - 4.5 hours before the race start. When I checked my weather app it showed low 70s, 95 percent humidity. Yuck. At that point I knew it would be a total sweat fest from start to finish. So I pulled on a pair of Oiselle Distance Shorts and an older Oiselle mesh tank, crossing my fingers the lightweight top would help me stay a bit cooler during the race.
This race was my second time running in Burlington. The first time was at a Turkey Trot organized by my friend, Chris. Since the start of the Chocoholic race was in a similar location, I had it in my head it would be the same course. This turned out to be completely wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised when we started out on a dirt path. The area was pretty shaded and was nice and green. The path was kind of narrow but it didn't really seem to get in the way of running. I was running in the 3rd female position at about 7:15 pace. Kind of slow but I was okay with it given the weather conditions, and I had every intention of dropping the pace during the 2nd and 3rd miles of the race.
The thing about the dirt path is that all the rain from the day before had created some larger mud/water pits and since the path was narrower, there really wasn't a way to get around them. The only option was plowing through the middle. Needless to say, I ended up with soaked shoes and mud streaked up both legs. The course was an out and back and the first time going through wasn't too bad but on the way back the muddy areas were extra muddy. Ew.
At least the mud was a bit of a distraction. My plan to pick up the pace went out the window after the first mile. I could feel it just wasn't my day and to be honest the last two miles were a ride on the struggle bus even though I was running slower than I ever run during a 5k race. My third mile ended up being at 7:41 pace. I couldn't help thinking this was close to the pace I ran during a half marathon in the middle of marathon training two years ago. So looking at it that way ... pretty atrocious.
I was so relieved when I finally saw the finish line. Although I had no kick - I jogged it in just glad to be done.
The good news is that it's done. The bad news is that I'm questioning my fitness. I thought I was doing well and improving each week but now ... ??? My hope is that the race was just a fluke - kind of like those bad workouts we all have now and then. And now that it's over and done I can move on to better races and better times.
My questions for you:
- Have you ever had a race turn out unexpectedly bad? If so, what did you do after to get back on track?
- Do you think there's such a thing as being too relaxed about a race?
- What is your favorite chocolate treat?
Being the Chocoholic 5k, there were plenty of chocolate treats after the race. I drowned my sorrows in a few mini Crunch bars ;)