Yep ~ going there.....
Last Sunday, lots of us showed up early to run the Founders' Day 10K. Excited to see my friends and to meet new ones, the cold morning offered lots of opportunity. With no real expecations, I was looking forward to a nice 6-miler and time with friends.
My race-day strategy after the 8-miler the weekend before that left my feet, ankles, and hips throbbing (a bit too many miles and too much increase after recent low mileage training, I guess) looked like this:
1. Walk the first mile for a warm-up (not a good race strategy, I admit, but necessary to sustain the full distance strongly, I thought, with an achy body, and with no warm-up when we arrived. I always walk a full mile before I run.). Go ahead: I KNOW what you're thinking ~ Robin, are you crazy?? Apparently.
2. Run miles 2 - 6 with 2:00/1:00 intervals.
3. Run negative splits, particularly to make up for the first mile walking.
4. Finish stronger than I did last year!
5. Oh, and one more: NOT wear my usual running hat (no real reason here...just thought I'd give it a try).
Well, let's just say the best laid plans.....
The race began with Hubs being the generous holder of stuff (thank you!!). We girls took off. There were four of us, two running a similar pace and the other two doing the same.
Three out of four started their race with a run. Then there was me. I started with my walking mile, and quickly became concerned. Nearly everyone passed me and my shins and fronts of my ankles immediately hurt. I was walking aggressively and they were letting me know it. Looking back, I should've started my intervals at the 1/2 mile point. I didn't.
I looked back once and got really freaked out. The only other time I've walked to start a race was for my first half-marathon last spring. After three weeks of no training, I really had to. This was, however, different. Only six miles to cover, and not much time, even for a turtle runner.
Mile 1 marker: 15:09... Darn! A full 3 minutes over my usual 12:00 pace. I hit the interval starter and took off. Relative term. Turtles don't really 'take off, ' do they?? *sigh* Once I began running, my shins/ankles didn't hurt. Thankfully.
The beautiful course from last year was not only reversed this year, but changed quite a lot. Lots of twists and turns. Not so thrilled. Lots of neighbors came out to cheer us on, though. Thrilled. Thank you!
As I chugged along, I immediately began passing people in mile 2. They had started out running, but were now walking. Intervals and consistency helped keep me moving at a solid momentum.
Decided to grab a sip of my water/G2 mix early in mile 2. I drink a lot during my run, and always carry carbs to balance blood sugar if necessary. Took a big sip and spit! I accidentally put too much powder mix in my water. The concentrated fluid was like pure syrup. Think snowcone syrup. A MISS.
I contined at a steady pace for miles 2 - 4, averaging 12:00 - 12:15 per mile. Normal for me. When I reached the mile 4 marker and saw the time, I realized that if I could pick up the pace for the last two miles by about a minute, I could beat last year's PR. Up to this point, I had no expectations. Now, I was excited at the possibility! I had planned to run with running buddies at a slower pace, just out for a run. But when they took off, it became my own race and (apparently) time for new lessons.
Realizing a PR (albeit small margin) was within reach, I picked up my turtle pace for all of mile 5, running about an 11:00 mile (I'm old school, without a Garmin, so that's my estimate based on mile markers and my mish-mash math!). I maintained the slightly quicker pace for most of mile 6, too. Until.
All of a sudden, after passing lots of people in miles 5 and 6 (felt good to do THAT!), I ran out of gas, and my 2:00 run/1:00 walk intervals turned into 1:30 run/1:30 walk intervals. Not good. Running out of steam ..... quickly and steadily.
I chugged along. We rounded our final corner with about 1/2 mile to go.
The 5K race participants and their families, friends, dogs, strollers, and cars arrived.
RUNNER BEHIND YOU!
Now, I'm sure my slow pace didn't impress the arriving people enough to realize what was happening. I think my sweat-soaked shirt and grimace probably did, though. People moved out of the way. Slowly.
Then, with about 100 yards to go, Oh My God!!!!!!!!!!! And I really meant God. I was hollering for Him. My left toe caught a raised edge in the sidewalk and all of a sudden, I was in mid-air flight, falling forward at a rate I didn't think I could stop. Visions of my fall last May and EATING the sidewalk [here] came back in a flash of a second.
NOOOO!!!!! Please God, don't*let*me*fall*! The crowd gasped as I provided a You Tube moment. People waited to see what would happen next.
Somehow, some way, I managed to stop the forward-motion, with my arms flailing in front of me and a freaked-out look on my face. I did not fall. But I felt sick.
Please let this be over. Please let this be over.
I finished out the remaining distance with the little teeny hill at the end that felt huge... what the heck??? Not quite Boston busters, but enough to take notice.
I crossed the finish line a few seconds later.... missing my PR by 3:20 seconds. *sigh*
|Chip time: 1:17:46|
But with a big smile on my face!
The other three girls had already crossed.
Beautiful weather (high 40s/low 50s... perfect!)
Finished feeling stronger than last year
Ran negative splits for one and a half miles
Wearing my running skirt (love 'em!) and a new custom t-shirt (thank you Big Frog!)
Enjoyed seeing Tobi, meeting her friends, and seeing other buddies that day
LOVED having Hubs there... truly, my biggest fan, for which I'm most grateful(!)
And a miss....
Walking the entire first mile (NOTE to self: do NOT do that again. ever.)
Incorrectly mixing my fluid (first time i've made THAT mistake)
Running out of gas in the last mile
Since I'm a 'glass half-full' kinda gal, I can say the positives outweighed the negatives, and....
the disappointment of this race definitely resulted in lessons learned:
Need to get back to consistent speedwork during training runs
Do not walk an entire mile in a short race
Double-check my water bottle mixture BEFORE the race
|Shannon, Michelle, me, Tobi|
It was a good day. :)
own your journey. one run at a time.