Yesterday, I was gunning for a PR. Having DNS'ed for Liberty's Godparent Home 5k in April, I had not raced a 5k course since early March. I was ready to attempt my sub 25 goal set by myself in January. Then I spoke with a few people who had previously ran the Pres Home Course, all of them said the same thing: it's one tough course. I readjusted my goals, as Runner's World would have suggested, and set out to run an 8:37 pace (why? Because it's 45 seconds faster than my half marathon race pace I am supposedly training for). I figured out my splits and tried not to let the pre-race jitters effect me too badly.
And then all of us Madness members were running late, like thanking our lucky stars we picked up our packets early running late. So there was no time for proper stretching and there was no time for a warm up run or even a sprint. The only warm up sprint was the dash to be at the starting line by 8 am. But we did all get there within 15 seconds of the bullhorn.
The first mile was tough. I tried to let the stress of running late fully leave me and focus on the race. When I realized I had run an 8:09 mile, when my first mile tends to be my slowest, I decided, what the heck, let's shoot for PR. I picked up the pace and finished mile 2 at 15:55. I was picking up time and picking off other runners. I was feeling good. Mile 3, 22:58. At that point I thought I had it, a new PR. I was beginning to think that those people I'd been discussing the race with had confused this race with another. And then the .1, it was all up hill and in the sun. I started losing ground until someone shouted 'pump your arms'. I tried to heed their advice and then the girl I had paced in mile 3 started to shoot past me. Anyone who knows me, knows I have one tough competitive streak. With all I had I pumped it with all I could, finish line in sight, and took her by one second. I had a rush of nausea hit me in the shute and I could barely raise my arms. My time; 25:02. I thought I might have placed in my age division, I thought I had made my new PR goal. Then reality set in and I realized I didn't and I didn't.
It was one competitive race out there on Saturday, the three Madness team members who ran all came in 4th in their age division. My previous 5k PR? 25:02. That's right, I tied my previous PR. Tied it? I didn't even know that was possible. Now I am concerned, have I plateaued? Is there room for improvement on my time? Will I see the sub 25 this year? Then I think about that last 200 meters of that race all being up hill and I know I have the sub 25 in me, this year. Especially since our next 5k isn't until August. I have two months of training to shave off those 2 seconds.
And of course a new running mantra, "I think I can, I think I can,..."
"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the type of running you need to do, chances are you'll be able to find meaning in that other absurd pastime - LIFE."
What an awesome race. What a hot and humid day. What a test of endurance, stamina and determination. Yesterdays Trail Nut races were perhaps my favorite run to date. A true test of ability along with scenic routes and an after party race gathering that was unbeatable. I think all three Madness members who participated were happy with their runs, especially Erin who shaved off over 10 minutes from her last trail 10k, go Erin!
Results are posted on the Mountain Junkies site here and below:
Tomorrow is our third 10k, our second on trails, at a little known park in Bedford. Thankfully the knee is on the mend and I have seen a physical therapist who has armed me with stretches and workouts to strenthen my hips and quads (which are apparently very, very weak). They warned me that I will 'look like an idiot' doing the strectches but it should amount to less pain and more training so I'm game.
I did go on a six mile trail run on Wednesday to make sure I could tackle tomorrows distance and not only did I manage with little pain but I thoroughly enjoyed myself (with the exception of every rustle in the woods making me fear bears and snakes). I am pretty excited about tomorrows race, and the post race Pumpkin bread. I should be asleep but I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.
*Correction: Todd is running the half marathon, not the 10k.
My knee was injured for most of May and I kept off of it as much as I can and I know that between work and school we've all been pretty busy lately but now that we've registered for our first adventure race approximately six weeks away we need to truly step up our training if at all possible. Look for an email from me in the next week if you are on one of the two Madness Teams running the Adventure Race on July 24th as we need to plan at least two team training sessions between now and the big day.
Train hard, rest easy, as my brother-in-law would say.