For the first time in several months, I raced yesterday. I think I’ve only ever done one 15k race before and it was on a rain-filled trail in Iowa.
Yesterday’s race in Brunswick Forest was much easier. The weather was beautiful, although I’m beginning to realize that it will always be humid here. I was a little nervous because my 3 mile jog on Saturday was terrible due to my never-ending shin splints. I looked like Forrest Gump did when he was a kid and had leg braces on. I have been getting physical therapy for three weeks and finally zero’d in on the source of the problem last week, which is good, but it did not immediately solve said problem, and that frustrates me. What, can’t I expect that two physical therapy sessions would make all my leg pain go “Poof” and disappear? After that terrible, gimpy run Saturday, I decided that I needed to take two full weeks off running after the 15k, which is like saying I won’t eat or drink for two weeks. That is not to say I will not be training, I just won’t be running. Breathe. Breathe.
Then I ran on Sunday. It was clear and cool. My coach told me to start off at a nice 8:30 pace and each three miles, move the pace up 15 seconds to end on an 8 minute mile pace. Because I’m
a rebel fighter a bad student, I decided to start on a 7:50 pace, while forgetting that it was not 45 degrees nor a 5k. I guess after you run in 80-degree temps for so many months, when it hits 60-something, we all go nuts. I don’t know about you, but this is how I feel when we go run on that first cool morning in the fall. The picture is compliments of Hyperbole and a Half.
In my defense of my theory to RUNALLTHEMILESASFASTASICAN, it really was a test for me, mentally. I have a half marathon at the end of October that I planned on getting a PR in. It’s not only for me, but I’ll be the runner leg of the Hells Belle’s relay team for the Beach 2 Battleship 1/2 iron distance. I knew that if I could run an 8 minute mile pace for the 15k, there’d be hope for an 8 minute mile in the 1/2 marathon. Each pre-marathon race is also a learning experience for me, too. This time, it was a reminder to back off the gas pedal in the beginning, which I already knew, but had evidently forgotten. It was also a reminder to fuel properly. I ran out of gas around 6 miles so the last three miles weren’t as fast as if I’d eaten more that morning. Grrrr. I hate that. Isn’t it funny when you’re going fast and think “Hey, I’m a rock star!” and then when you THINK you’re going fast and look at your watch only to find you you’re not, then you automatically assume your Garmin isn’t working right? That was me the last few miles. And it’s not actually funny.
Anyway, it got pretty warm and a little breezy at the end, but I finished my 9.3 miles in 1:15, an 8:04 pace. I was happy. I was even more happy when, as I approached the finish line, I saw my husband and kids waiting for me. Ahhhh, so sweet.
I collected my medal, got my two free beers, chatted with my family, and entertained myself while waiting for two friends to cross the finish line.
The race was well organized, great volunteers, a clear course, nice race shirt, and some beer/food at the end. I didn’t place in my age group, which sort of disappointed me considering I would have won or placed in many of the other age groups, but I told my husband before they started, that I got my prize on Wednesday in my email inbox. Now it’s on to elliptical training, swimming, and biking for a week. I’m ready for this, I have my eye on the prize and I’ll do what I need to do to make my dreams a reality.
Did any of you have races this weekend? Did you pace yourself right? Fuel properly?