On race day, my alarm went off at 3am. But I was already awake since Eddie decided 2:30am was a perfect time to play and pounce around my bed trying to bite any exposed flesh. I sat up in bed, half expecting the room to spin again, but it didn't so I got up, showered and got dressed for the race. As I drove over to my parents' house (Mom and I usually drive to races together), I still thought I would attempt the half marathon. But after talking it over with my parents, I decided to switch down to the 5k distance. I was exhausted from the migraine and was feeling a bit off. It would be a very long walk to the finish line if I had to drop from the half marathon race at the halfway point. I honestly didn't even know if I could race a 5k - I was that exhausted!
As disappointed as I was to have to switch down to the 5k, I decided to make the best of it. I told myself the weather was ideal for racing a 5k and this race was a bonus opportunity to run faster. Since I haven't been training for the 5k distance, I knew my speed wouldn't be up to par, but I do love a good 5k and hoped that the adrenaline from the race would carry me through.
I started the race a few rows back and going up the bigger hill in the race, I was in the 6th female spot. Over the next mile, I chased down a few ladies and was the 3rd female by the turnaround. Unfortunately, I ended up losing a spot in the last mile when I took a walk break. I know - who takes a walk break during a 5k???? Apparently I do when racing on a not-quite-full tank. Getting passed was the kick in the shorts I needed, and I was able to start running again. I thought I might be able to catch the woman who passed me but I ran out of distance and was too gassed to muster up a decent kick.
I finished 4th female and 1st AG with a time of 21:28. At first, I was really disappointed with this result since I took 4th, got passed during the last mile and had to take a walk break. Also, I didn't get to race the distance I wanted. But after thinking about it a bit more, I decided it wasn't that bad. Sure, I could have done better - but I also know I WILL do better when I race feeling closer to 100 percent. Also, the 5k is not my focus this fall - so I can instead re-frame this as a good workout effort in the middle of a half marathon training block. Coach Matt said all things considered it was a total victory. So that's how I'm going to think of it as well! I'll take my lemonade extra chilled with a spoonful of sugar and a sprig of mint ;)
As always, I ran back on the course to find Mom and run her into the finish line. She is a total inspiration. She won her age group AND was the oldest woman to finish the 5k distance. So amazing - I hope I'm still running and winning trophies when I'm in my 60s!
So what's next? Well, since I didn't get to do my tune-up half marathon, I'd love to find another race of that distance sometime within the next few weeks. If I can't find a half marathon, a 10k or 15k would also work. If anyone knows of any races, let me know!
My questions for you:
- Before a goal race, do you run a tune-up race? How far out do you race your tune-up?
- Have you ever had to switch down in distance at a race?
- When a race doesn't go your way, how do you move on?