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

Monday, December 6, 2010

Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5K

I stressed for weeks about the Turkey Trot. Weeks. Would I be fast enough to beat 23 minutes, would it be more like 24? Then I went out and surprised even myself. So with the Christmas Classic ten days later I thought to myself, self, you can go out there and do it in under 22 minutes, end the year with 21:5something.

That week: no speed work, no long run, no Fartlek, no hill repeats. How I thought I was going to go out and shave another 30 seconds off my 5k time I'm not really sure but I think it had something to do with everyone claiming this course was far easier than the Turkey Trot.

So race day I barely warmed up, ate nothing and still thought I had a chance at under 22 minutes. Then the horn and I took off, I mean took off. I realize a minute in I'm running with the elites of Lynchburg, I mean the fast girls and the fast boys. A quick look at my Garmin told me I was running 5:30 pace. 5:30! I freaked. I was running far too fast. I was supposed to be pacing at 7 even at least the first two and a half miles. So I tried to slow down but then there were other girls passing me, and that is so difficult for me. I ran that first mile in about 6:40 which isn't super fast but is really faster than I should have been going that early on with The Hill ahead.

Then of course there is The Hill. You know the one where they give the first male and female to the top $50 because that kind of hill needs that kind of reward. I held strong for that hill, which is about 1.5 miles in, but by the end of it I was wondering how I was going to keep going.

At 1.87 miles I was bonking. I have never wanted to quit a 5k like that, and I mean I have had some bad races but have never felt so much like quitting than I did at that moment (and I mean last year I ran that race in freezing rain and ice!). With a half mile to go I was running about 8:40 and berating myself every step of the way. About this time a cute blond that looked about my age passed me in much better running gear and I wanted to stomp her out. That is mean. I know. But I was angry and tired and wanting so badly to quit. With only a parking lot left to the finish line I pulled out my sprint enough to pull ahead of her by four seconds, only to find out afterwards that she was not in fact in my age group. Oh well.

So I didn't do so well. But the worse part is the emotional turmoil I put myself through on the course. I didn't set a PR but my time wasn't to be ashamed of. I need a course in self confidence and relaxation.

However, I did find another 5k this upcoming Saturday and have been wondering, do I have the sub 22 5k in me for 2010?

I know this much, negative 8 wind chill factor or not, I'm going to the track tomorrow night.



3rd in age (25-29)
10th female finisher
66th out of 345 finishers

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