Last Sunday I woke up feeling pretty good. I wasn’t nearly as sore as I anticipated after the Scott Coffee 8k the day before. I was also motivated to run another race. I’m not sure why I was so motivated to run another race but I felt good. A quick trip to our store website revealed there were plenty of races on Sunday morning. I had not planned to run a race on Sunday but I felt good and decided to take a chance…the worst that could happen was I had a bad race, didn’t mention or blog about it and it “never happened”.
I found one about 15 minutes away. After driving there and noting how hilly Woodbury was I realized I had no idea what the course would be like. Like the majority of Southern NJ terrain, I assumed it would be flat (which was false).
I warmed up 3 miles, which is more than usual. I felt like I needed to flush more lactic acid out of my legs. During the warm-up I felt bad. I thought I would probably regret the decision to race. My dad once told me, the worse you feel during warm-up, the better you’ll do. I find this true about 75% of the time.
There are some races I feel awful during warm-up and then race awful.
The race started on an uphill. I immediately positioned myself as second woman, which was where I stayed the entire race. I was chasing someone who stayed about 15 seconds in front of me. Ultimately she broke away and finished about 30 seconds in front.
After going up the hill in the start, I felt pretty good. The woman and I stayed with a pack of men for a while. The first mile had a series of turns and it was like a mystery of what would come next. I ran the first mile in 6:09 (one second slower than my current fastest mile of 2015).
During the second mile I found myself alone. I could see a few people in front and focused on chasing them. Honestly I think having a group to chase kept me running faster. I know it did at the 8k too. Despite the hills, I still ran a 6:23 second mile. I was excited that I didn’t fade as quickly as last week’s 5k. Last week, I ran a 6:08 first mile and then bounced into the 6:30s followed by a 6:58.
By the third mile I knew I still had a chance to break 20 minutes again (which has been something I’ve been going back and forth with). I knew we also had to go down the uphill we originally went up. I hoped I could just hold on and break 20 again. I have stopped “counting my chickens” because every time I think I’ll break 20, I crash. I ran the last mile in 6:35.
I was able to power down the hill make my way to the finish line. We finished the last .1 on the high school track.
I was out kicked by a man in the last stride. I don’t think my legs could move faster if they tried.
I finished second female in 19:40.
I am happy with my effort and time for the race. I wasn’t expecting to run a race last Sunday but I felt good. This was my fastest time on the hardest course. It was really motivating to see progress towards my goal of a PR. I didn’t feel out of breath but I did feel like my legs didn’t have any faster turnover left!
Questions for you:
Have you ever jumped into a race the day of?
What was the last thing that motivated you?