After, a completely crappy race at St. Malachi two weeks ago I knew what had to be done. I had to get the negativity out of my legs, out of my stomach and out of my mind. I couldn't excuse my performance due to stress, lack of sleep or the biggest mileage week ever in my life. It was all crap. I expected better of myself!
JP from the SSSMT needed a 5k time trial for her coach and I told her if she was willing to suffer through one, so would I. I managed 30 miles going into the race and wanted to run 10 today, so the plan was to run 5 miles - race - 2 miles, but I only managed 3.75 before the start. I felt sluggish, but I had an "aha" moment yesterday on my 10 miler (deserving of its own post), that would hopefully save my ass from another crappy race.
I removed my watch and my Garmin. I haved never raced without a watch and I had had enough of this run by heart rate, run by time, do this do that crap that runners and triathletes obsess over! It was time to break the bad habit and run Free! Donning my racing flats and my new SBR kit, I followed JP to the start. She lined up really close to the front and I was immediately hesitant, but she told me I would be fine that getting caught up the first mile was not a good idea!
The gun went off and JP jumped the line quickly and was off. I was definitely slower, thinking "c'mon girl, get up there!!!!" I picked it up but still think I got passed a lot more than I would have liked at the start. The course takes a hard right and loops a ball field with a little incline that had some ice on it. I slipped but didn't go down. It brought back memories of Philly. The temperature was even the same high 20's, low 30's, just like I like it. I kept my stride in check, trying not to overextend and reach by practically stomping my feet down onto the pavement. I heard the timer call 6:43 for the first mile. I was already feeling the excitement. I was breathing heavy, but my time was respectable and I still felt great.
The second mile had two inclines that I kept the effort even through. I kept thinking, "you better be sub-14 at the two mile marker or you can pack your sh*t and move to sucksville after the race." Made the corner and continued to remind myself "even effort, feet down." Mile 2 the timer called 13: 3x. "Sweet!!! Now don't blow this, you lazy motherf*cker!" I told myself.
We made a right turn and came down a nice little straightaway. Then we made a left turn for another straightaway and ran straight back toward the mile 1 marker. A girl running right off my shoulder boxed me in. I was headed right for the sign, so I gave her a tiny nudge to make room...twice, and she did. I had just enough to make it around the sign...Whew!! She didn't seem upset as it was just part of racing, so we moved on together. I had definitely closed the gap on JP to within a few seconds.
As we turned to loop the ball field, run over the icy pavement and up the incline one more time, I surprisingly got a few more people that were pooping out. I had told JP the corner was about .35 from the finish and to just gun it when she got there. She must have because she widenend the gap just a tad. I hit the corner, but it was like I was in neutral, the engine revs, but the car doesn't go. I wasn't able to go -- Damn! Ran down the little incline and picked up my foot speed and finally I was able to GO! I held on and ran strong to the finish in 21:25.
JP, although not near her PR, ended with 3rd place in our AG and a 21:21. This was only her 2nd run this week and with that minimal training, she can still run THAT fast! Oh, I envy her speed.
I had yet to break the 7-minute barrier in a race and after the disaster known as St. Malachi, it didn't look promising. Today, however, that wall came tumbling down and I got myself a lifetime PR.