Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Race the Bar 5k #3

Going into this race I knew it was going to be a tough course. Like most races around here, it was hilly. But not just hilly, major hilly with a variety of long gradual up hills and long steep hills. No just nice and short hills and you’re done on this course. To top it off, temperatures at 3pm were around 85. Yeah, all those nice days of low 70’s disappeared for Saturday (the race was on Sept. 22 - late posting).

The first time I've raced in shorts!
If you can’t tell by the first paragraph, I didn’t have such a great race. I didn’t want to stress out about the race and the series standings, so all week I just kept thinking…"no big deal, just go out there and run. I should finish around my same 5k time and I’ll be fine". So I didn’t get super excited about the race trying to keep this "no big deal" attitude.

I did a one mile warm up at a nice easy pace about 15 minutes before the race start and felt good. I was already sweating after that but I figured after running in this brutal heat all summer, 3 more miles wasn’t going to kill me. The first mile was the only downhill part and I knew not to go out too fast. The start was crowded and I actually had to pass several people to get going on my pace. I hit the first long gradual up hill. This should be ok – I’ve ran this hill before in the Beer Run. It was hot. The sun was out without a cloud in the sky. And the course had hardly any shade.

Mile one 9:50. Not too bad. Only two more miles to go. But then, I just fell apart. Once I passed the one mile marker sign, I was done. Not physically done, but mentally. All of a sudden I thought, I don’t want to be here; I don’t want to do this; I’m hot; I don’t feel like running any more. Then I started walking. Seriously?!? I know I can run 3 miles without walking, what the heck is wrong with me?

The next two miles were horrible. The mental game kept going in my head. I just wanted this race to be over. I kept taking walk breaks, especially up the hills. Every time I glanced at my watch I knew my finish time was going to be bad. I talked myself out of caring about the series standings. I was disappointed in myself but I just wanted this race to be over.

Finally it was over. I didn’t even sprint to the finish line. I just wanted to cross it and be done. My chip time was 33:39. That looks like a 5k finish time from last year. I’ve improved since then. Recently, my finish times have been under 31 minutes (but still not under 30 minutes). Two minutes is a lot for me. I guess I shouldn’t have done all that walking.

It did make me feel better to hear the elite runners say it was a tough course. My hubby Michael was about a minute and half off (although he finished fourth overall and first in his age group). My BIL was two minutes off and finished second in his age group. Yeah, I finished like thirteen out of twenty-five…no trophy glass for me!

BIL and hubby (in white) pre-race
Of course to be expected, I’m no longer in third place series standings…I’m in fourth. Great. Now to decide if I want to race in the last race and hope for a better time to possibly come in third place (I’m sure I wouldn’t place higher) or do I just forget about it and not race at all. I would hate to race and do well but still finish fourth. It’s not something that I really had my heart sat on. Once I realized it was possible for me to actually win something, that sounded pretty good. I’m never going to be fast enough to place in my age group or overall; unless it was a super small race and I was the only one in my age group!

The last race will be after my half-marathon and another 5k, so I think I’ll just see how I’m feeling and make a decision a few days before the race. Either way, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a race and there are plenty more out there!

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