Every local race I run I think it’s a good idea to pack everything the night before.  Every time I decide that sitting on the couch is more important than I don’t have enough time to pack.  That being said the race didn’t start until 10.  I wanted to leave the house by 8 am.  We ended up getting to the race at 9 even with some starts so even with packing and running around in the morning I was okay.

I had originally thought the weather was perfect.  It was 40 or so degrees, slightly sunny and not raining.  That is the best weather I’ve seen for a few weeks.  When I actually started running I realized how windy it was and I was little bit distraught.  I knew this would be nowhere near a PR but as long as I can consistently break 20 minutes I will be happy…for now…

I warmed up and decided because it was cold I would race in my yellow long sleeve stripey Oiselle shirt.  With the wind I decided it was too cold for a singlet.  I ran a few miles and headed to the start.

Tim and I laughed at the start because at the very front line there was a pack of high schoolers, thin, freezing and toeing the line.  This was a small race and I seriously felt like I was watching a championship race start.  The race started with an air horn and the front line immediately pressed their watches and began.  Tim and I were just goobering around as “second race stringers”.

Anyways I started the race as seventh female overall.  The first mile was going completely with the wind.  (Read: it should have been the fastest mile).  I felt good the first mile.  We had to cross a flooded pathway which I was most nervous about.  The water level had risen due to the amount of melting ice and I had prepped myself during warm up not to fall.  (Shockingly…I didn’t!).  I hit the first mile at 6:20 and was pretty disappointed.  I knew the struggle for a sub 20 minute 5k was real.  I didn’t understand why since I felt good.  I felt like with my effort I should have been in the low 19s.

The second mile included two 180 degree turns.  That was a bit frustrating but I knew they were there so it wasn’t a surprise.  I tried to maintain my pace even while going back into the wind.  I ended up passing the rest of the females as well as 2 males placing me as first place female and 6th place overall.  Since I was demotivated due to my pace as well as wind my placement was a bit more motivating.  I hit mile 2 at 12:48.

The last and final mile I knew I was going to have to red line it to break 20 minutes.  I was so frustrated with myself but I was starting to understand that it was not a fast course or fast day.  I saw one more male infront of me that I believed I could catch.  I started to dig down deep and passed him just after the stream passing again.  The third mile was a mixture of the first and second mile combined so we had seen that part of the course already.

Then the last .1 I just powered through like the mac truck I pretend to be because there was no way I was going to be over 20 minutes.

I crossed the finish in 19:59.

After being asked if I had graduated and then causing the race director to be flabbergasted that I graduated college nearly two years ago I headed for a cool down.

Thoughts regarding this race:

My watch measured it as 3.2.  I personally consider anything at 3.2 to be a long 5k course.  Anything under 3.2 I consider that I didn’t run the tangents well and it’s not long.  With all the 180 turns I know I should be ok with running a 19:59.  I’m still rather upset about it though.  I think there were a lot of factors: long course, 4 180 turns, lots of turns that weren’t 180 and wind that played a role in a slower time.

I know I need to give it time but it’s still frustrating in my opinion.  I’m doing the rest of the series (there are 3 more) so hopefully I’m able to improve on my time.  Regardless I still had an enjoyable time and finished injury free so I can’t complain.  Running a 5k PR just seems so far in the distance right now.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had to cross a stream when running a race?  Have you ever fallen during a race?

This was the first time I crossed a stream.  I’ve fallen a few times in college cross country races.  I nearly got spiked in the face at one of them.  I was able to make a pretty solid recovery though.

What 5k time do you constantly try and achieve, as your “C” goal?

For me it’s always 20 minutes, that being said I’d rather run 20+ and be injury free then run a 19 flat on an injury.