Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Winning my 5K

Today's Miles: 4x800s with 400m rest at 74 degrees at 7:30 a.m.

Did I really win the race???  Uh, no. Don't be silly. Notice I said MY 5K.....Did I win MY 5K? Maybe....

So I went into my first 5K of the year nervous as all get out. I was a Nervous Nelly on Friday night. I didn't sleep great. I woke up Saturday morning in a bundle of nerves, which continued to the starting line. What the heck did I have to be nervous about? I am NOT an elite runner. I will NEVER win my age division, much less the entire race. I mean GOOD GRIEF! I was a bundle of nerves for no apparent reason!

That's me in the blue shirt on the starting line. With knees knocking wishing Matt Henkin would shut-the-heck-up-and-fire-the-gun-already!

Maybe I was just afraid of disappointing myself? I had set some goals for this race. Multiple goals in fact....just in case I didn't meet my big goal, I'd still have something to fall back on and say "Good Job!" So why was I so nervous? Who knows.

Goal #1: No walking.
Let me be clear - I have nothing against walking during a 5K! I think everyone should try one at least once in their life. Nor do I have anything against taking walking breaks during a race. I did, however, want to challenge myself that no matter how badly I felt.....JUST KEEP RUNNING! The only way I was going to let myself take a walk break is if I were literally about to crash and burn.

Goal #2: Do NOT let the hills intimidate you.
I checked out the race profile before-hand and saw some massive hills on this course. In fact from mile marker 2 to mile marker 3......all...up...hill. Seriously? Could they not find a course that did not include a 1.MILE.FREAKING.LONG.HILL!? At least the last .10 of the race was downhill so you could pick up some speed and look like a real runner crossing the finish line.

Here's the elevation change through the end of mile 2. (It wouldn't let me copy the entire race route?? But there's still a peak to that massive hill after mile marker 3, then a good downhill).

So let's count them together.... major hills in a 3.1 mile race....Welcome to East Tennessee!

Some were short and steep....Then there was the last mile....which was a joke.

Goal #3: Time goal....finish between 34:06 and 32:33.
I was really hoping I could average a 10:30 pace. But seeing the elevation profile of the race made me set a more conservative goal of 11:00 pace. I'd be 'happy' somewhere in between.

So, how did I do on my goals?

Goal #1 - kicked butt! No walking allowed. Not even while trying to swallow a sip of water...a more accurate description would be: me splashing water on my face with my mouth open hoping a few drops landed in the vicinity of my tongue. Good thing I didn't grab the Gatorade.

Goal #2 - I kicked it's butt! It kicked my butt! It was a game of give and take. The last mile was brutal, but I kept telling myself....JUST KEEP RUNNING. YOUR LEGS WON'T BREAK. YOUR LUNGS WON'T EXPLODE. JUST KEEP RUNNING. I guess it worked because I never stopped.

Goal #3 - my official chip time was 32:58. Which is a 10:37 pace. Not too shabby! Officially I placed 246th out of 375. 15th in my age division (out of 30)

So am I disappointed....No!

......wait a minute......YES!

What?! I met all of my goals, what is there to be disappointed about?  There were moments I held back intentionally so that I wouldn't burn out. Maybe I could have pushed it harder. I could have done better. I could have ran faster.

At the start of a race, everybody goes out like gangbusters. I kept looking at my Garmin, knowing I was going about a minute faster than I could sustain for 3 miles. So after the jitters wore out, I slowed it down. And got passed. And passed. And passed. And passed. I had to keep telling myself, you will be passing these people later because they are going to boink. Some did....but obviously not all. I shouldn't have settled for that pace. I should have pushed it harder.

My grand finish...oh what's that? Can't make it out? That's b/c the lovely lady in Green stood up right in front of Mark just before he took his shot. So he had to move. AND the lady that beat me across the finish line is in front of me. So, here's a grand finish shot of some random woman. But I SOOOO appreciate my dear husband for supporting me, riding with me, waiting around for me and snapping some photos! It means everything to have someone say "I'm proud of you."

Oh well. First race down. Maybe I am becoming a Real Runner. I mean, good grief...I'm over-analyzing a 5K run!?

In case you are a running nerd and want to over-analyze my run with me......
KTC 5K by kristycampbell at Garmin Connect

What's next? I'm looking at an 8K in Walland. But the race description reads like this: "A hilly, challenging, out and back course that runs on rural, backcountry paved roads. Memorable hills; definitely not a PR course. This is not a course for walkers. No whining. Bring a sweatband."

I'll admit it.....I'm a little scared by this. There's only 180 spots available for this race....and a sweatband is apparently a required piece of gear...of which I am fortunate enough to not have one... Maybe I'll just sign up next week....because if I procrastinate long enough, all of the spots will be filled.

Gotta run....

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