Ran a 5k today down in Independence. I had semi high hopes for a PR after such a great race last weekend. Unfortunately for me I didn't do the greatest race prep this week, eating or training wise and I showed up a little chubby and a lot tired to the race this morning.
My A goal was to break 19, B goal to PR, and C goal to break 20.
Well sometimes just like in my calculus class at the Berg you have to be happy with a C.
Got to the race a little later than I would like too, just being lazy and hitting the snooze a few too many times. Got my bib then hit the restrooms then it was off to warm up with my SERC peeps. We did around 20 minutes and I threw in 3*25 second strides towards the end before lining up at the start. I knew a few guys who have been running right around 19 even and figured if I tagged along with them I would have a good shot at my A goal.
A few announcements and we were off. First mile felt fine, definitely putting in a good effort and unsurprisingly hit it in 6:01. It felt hard and it was fast, but I hoped that I could just hold on. I've recently felt that I might be holding something back subconsciously because I am afraid of going too hard, so I wanted to push it today, but I also wanted to run smart. 2nd mile felt even harder and I did my best to cling to JT while I could sense someone on my right shoulder. I was pretty sure it was FD, but thought it may be a local femme running stud TM. I just did my best to keep it even and hold on. Around mile 2 I noted that it was FD on my shoulder but right then TM passed me and shortly after FD moved to follow her. I just didn't have it in me and tried to hold on to JT but soon he too was pulling away from me. Hit mile 2 in 6:02 but didn't have a lot of hope for holding onto that pace for long.
My 20 mile run from Friday night and my week long ice cream binge were coming back to bite me in the ass as I watched the group I had clung to pull away. I did my best to hold on, doing the math for a PR and realizing I would have to run a 6:30 which didn't feel possible. Beating myself up mentally a bit about how it was so "easy" to run 6:35 last week at the start of the Du and how now I was probably not even hitting sub 7. The wind kicked up a bit and I tried to smile as I passed a few friendly SERC faces cheering. But I was suffering. It is amazing how much you can pay in that last mile if you go out too fast in a 5k. To add salt to the wound, I wasn't even close to placing at this race. There were 5 amazing women in front of me and even if I did PR I was still going to come in 6th. With about a half mile to go I looked back to see no one even close. No one there to push me on or to draft off of. I don't know how I do it but many races I end up in this "no mans" zone, mostly because I mentally let go of the runner ahead when I should hold on.
I was giving it my all the last mile today though and there was just no holding. I headed onto the track and made the turn to see the clock clicking past 19:23 with quite a few strides to go. So much for that B goal, but I was happy to come in under 20 again and to know that sub 20 is hopefully going to become the norm for me now instead of an amazing day. Finished in 19:33 for 6th overall female and 2nd in my age group. Stopped to chat with all the phenoms at the finish. 3 gals totally out of my league, 1 still a significant challenge, and one amazing masters who kicked my fanny. Nothing like getting your ass handed to you by someone almost twice your age to humble you.
Met one of my new VR teammates who came in first in our age group and cheered Solar on in to a new PR and 3rd in our age group, then it was off for a quick cool down and chatting and taking some pics at the awards. I definitely wasn't ecstatic with my performance, and I guess I need to get a grip and realize that I should be damn happy about breaking 20 and worry about breaking 19 another day. The problem with getting faster is it never seems to be quite enough. It is like some sick disease!
But I know I did not run the smartest race today and even if I never get faster that is something to improve on. I could have PR'ed today without running two 6 minute miles. All it would have taken is three 6:13s. Instead I aimed too high and came up short because I died on the last mile, just barely eeking out 6:48 pace. Let's hope it is a lesson learned :) I guess that is what makes 5ks so damn tough! Just a hair too fast in the first few miles and you can really pay, too slow and you don't have enough time to make it up.