Tomorrow I am racing another indoor 5k. Like last year I am headed to the Kent State Tune Up. Hopefully unlike last year it will be a good experience. With my primary focus being the marathon it is really difficult to get amped up for these shorter indoor races. Firstly while I like track in theory, racing on the track is not usually pleasant for me. Sure if I get a good result I will be stoked, but the experience is stressful at best, humiliating at worst.
The rational part of my brain knows that at the end of the day no one really cares what I run at this race but me. No matter what I run my family will still love me, my friends will still say I did great, and the result really doesn't mean much in the scheme of things. The irrational part of my brain feels like this huge spotlight is on me and the pressure is on to do something spectacular. Digging through my very short list of recent 5k experiences I am confident that even on a bad day I will not run like I did last year here. But that list also leaves me with little confidence in a huge breakthrough tomorrow, which is obviously what the goal is toeing the line with a bunch of other speedy chicks. Why else would I be torturing myself? :)
The heat sheets came out last night and I did some research to try and get a feel for who else would be gunning for similar goals to me. It is really hard to say, but it looks like there will be 3 super speedy chicks under 17:15 and then about 9 of us with a potential to run between 17:20 and 17:50. I definitely think I can run better than I did at Akron with a more even effort. I'll just have to see how it plays out based on what the field does.
So the mental goals for tomorrow:
1) Stop being a headcase and just run. I feel like on the track there is so much micro management going on in my head. Hearing splits every minute and trying to up my effort every lap gets a bit overwhelming. I want to try and just let go tomorrow, find a pack that I can tag onto and just run.
2) Don't let preconceived notions of where I should be based on past experiences dictate who I run with. Trust my instincts and run with a group that feels "right."
3) If I want to PR I need to obviously pay a bit of attention to pace. I'd like to be through the 2 mile between 11 and 11:20 to give myself a shot at a PR. But I want the mental effort to get there to be minimized. I shouldn't start really suffering until that last mile. Just relax and let the pace happen.
4) Stop holding back. The marathoner in me has this reserve that I just can't seem to tap into until I mentally decide I can survive the rest of the race. If I don't feel like I am running at my limit that last mile, then I am not pushing hard enough. I need to try and break through this mental barrier if I want to see a big jump in my time.
5) Don't get stuck pulling a group. I am so used to my road race mentality of leading when I can and doing my own thing, I have a really hard time tucking in and following others. Track races just don't work like that and I need to learn to relax and settle in and wait until later in the race to pull myself.
In an ideal world it would be a huge confidence booster if I was under 17:20 for this race. I have absolutely no idea if that is even feasible though and that is a pie in the sky "A" goal.
C) PR (17:47 or better)
Wish me luck :)