I went into the Runners World 5k in nonideal conditions. As I mentioned in my training log, we did a November Project workout the day before and my legs did not feel fresh. I don’t regret doing the workout but it was more strenuous than I would have preferred.
While warming up, my legs felt November Project. More specifically, my quads felt fatigued. It almost felt as if I had raced the day before. I reminded myself: I’ve done back to back races before and done well, so I tried to get myself into that mentality.
Since I ran the 5k last year, I knew the course. I knew it was challenging and it was one of the more hilly 5ks I’ve done. I knew I wouldn’t PR, but I was looking to run hard.
At the start line, there were a lot of fast women. I was excited and nervous. The air horn went off and all of a sudden we were off. It was a crowded first 400 meters, and I was elbow to elbow with a lot of people. I saw five ladies take off like missiles and I knew they were much faster. I placed third last year but suspected that was not happening (and it didn’t!)
The first mile felt like it took a lot longer than it should. I was running in a large pack and we ran a 6:16.
Honestly, I was extremely discouraged.
I thought my race was done. My goal was to be around 18:56 (the time I ran last year). I spent the next mile sulking and wondering what went wrong but I also tried to regroup and refocus. Often times, things seem 100 times worse when you are in the moment. During mile 2, I saw my Runners World Festival team partner, Jason, who was killing it. He also ran the 5k/10k and half.
As went over the bridge, I saw a lot of familiar faces which motivated me and allowed to refocus and change my attitude. It’s a running race, not life or death. I ran the second mile in 5:45. Looking back, the elevation profile makes complete sense with splits. My time makes sense, but nothing makes sense when you are actually running.
After hitting the second mile in 12:01, I made it my goal to power to the end.
I wanted a course PR, and I knew if I didn’t run a 6:30ish mile I could do that. So I focused on the end. I also knew the final mile had a small uphill too. I remember the second place woman passing me effortlessly there last year. There weren’t any females around me, but there were plenty of men.
After the hill, I cruised down and towards the finishers shoot. Around 2.9, I saw the clock ticking 17:30. I stared at the 3-mile clock until I passed it. Then I stared at the finishers clock. I didn’t want to view the clocks, but I couldn’t look away from them either.
Thanks Ty for the photo
I heard them announce me name as: “All the way on her toes, Hollie, crosses as fourth place female”. I laughed because I am, after all, FueledbyLOLZ…I can only laugh in real life.
I’m extremely pleased with the race. I was faster than last year even though I was much more sore from November project. It’s my fastest time on an accurate course (I ran an 18:58 two weeks ago, and a 6 min paced 3.3 miles three weeks ago). Plus the course is difficult. I am proud of myself for regrouping and refocusing in the race.
Question for you: Have you ever mentally checked out of a race or activity?