"Ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team."
-Ian Adamson

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tried and tied.

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,..."

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