Monday, July 21, 2008

Bastille Day 5k 2008

Thursday July 10, 2008
7:30 PM
6th Overall Female
1st AG 40 - 44

I will admit that I was not quite in the right frame of mind for the race this year. I've had a really good spring based on all my training for Boston ...but once Boston was over the bottom had kind of dropped out. I was excited about getting back into training for my fall marathon but my body just didn't want to go along for the ride. Well after a really dismal 10k race in June my good attitude followed my body out the door and I got sloppy with my training and eating and I was feeling less than comfortable around my waist! Then less than 2 weeks before this race I strained my hamstring. It was minor and I had to take a real easy week of runs of no longer than 2 miles with lot of days off, I got my eating in order focusing on nutritious food and tried to get some good sleep. The day of the race my hamstring was almost 100% but I just was feeling out of shape and under pressure considering I had done well at this race last year.

The good thing about this race is that it was a company sponsored race so I would be with all my running co-workers and I love that energy!

So the day of the race comes and the skies start looking very ominous and the rain starts coming down hard. Great. I was already working hard to be up for this race and racing in a thunderstorm isn't one of my favorite things to do. I try to keep my mind on my work and I'm either hoping it storms like crazy and they have to cancel the race and I can just go home or it better just clear up already! Well it did clear up and everyone got dressed and started the walk to the race less than a mile from the office. Andy wasn't with us as my parents were sick and could not watch the kids, I was kind of bummed about that as well.

We got about half way there and I started my warm up. I planned on really doing a good warm up, lots of drills and some stretching so that my hamstring would be ready to go. As I started running I felt like crap. What is wrong with me? I basically had to give myself a pep talk to knock off the bad attitude. Warm up, race as well and as smart as I can, and for heaven's sake just enjoy being with everyone. The air is a little thick but there is a good breeze and the temps are dropping a bit.

As I warm up and do my drills I see the competition. Oh boy! It was going to be fierce. There were some really fast ladies warming up. That's fine I tell myself, people to chase, and to be truthful knowing that winning wasn't going to be realistic took a load off my shoulders and I started to feel better and my body relaxed and got into a better groove. Weird, eh?

I look around for any of my co-workers to wish them luck but I only run into a few of them and I had to get to the starting line. I chatted with a few people up front but then it was time to fly.

The start:
Everyone went out like bats out of hell!! I felt like I was standing still. It was crazy but I held my pace. I wanted to avoid going out too hard and going into oxygen debt and I wanted to protect my hamstring a bit. So many women around me, looked like I was going to have a lot of company. The lead women were already way ahead and out of sight.

Mile 1 - 6:08.7
Not too bad and worlds better than the opening mile of my 10K a month ago...still it would have been better to be under 6 minutes. I now start hunting. I have no idea at this point what place I'm in (10th) but I know its time to really focus and get as many places and I can. Between mile 1 and mile 2 I pass two women.

Mile 2 - 6:09.7
I don't look at my watch at this point as I keep my focus on form and the next woman to pass. I feel strong but not exceptionally fast. Looking at my splits later I'm really pleased to have come back only 1 second slower so even though I'm not in the best of racing shape I'm still plenty strong. I see the next woman and she looks fit and fast but I'm catching up to her so I pass halfway to the 3 mile mark. Things are getting uncomfortable and I don't see any other women so I just continue to try and bring my form back in line every time I notice I'm getting sloppy. Constantly reminding myself to keep the turnover going, bring the arms in, keep my chin down, control, focus, push. The 3 mile mark is coming into view and HEY, what is this? Another woman in sight!

Mile 3 - who knows?!
I dig in for a fight and attempt to take the next place right at the 3 mile mark. She responds for maybe a second but since she was wearing headphones she never heard me coming. She was a sitting duck and I got her.

The finish - 19:09 (6:52.33 for last 1.1 miles)
Once I pass headphone girl I push as hard as I can around the corner and to the finish line. At this point I still have no idea what place I finished in but I felt like I put in a good honest effort and it was faster than the 19:30 that I thought I would run.

I get a Gatorade and go back to cheer everyone in. As I wait the storm clouds return complete with thunder and lightening. I fail to spot any one of my co-workers coming in and as the downpour begins I give up and run back to the office.

People start showing up at work all drenched and I get a chance to touch base with everyone. I'm ready to go home and so is everyone else. Hopefully we will get better weather next year.

Final results show that I won my age group 40 - 44 and was sixth overall. My winning time from last year would have earned me 4th place this year so obviously the competition was much deeper this year.

I'm glad I made it to the start and it definitely was a lesson in staying positive and focused on what is important. Its not always easy but I do love running and racing!

Good job to all my co-workers, Kelly, Brian, Paul, Jim, Kim, and poor David who was really sick and should have gone home!

Live to race another day!

Runner Girl