I was hoping a good night's sleep would help me to understand what actually happened yesterday. Instead, it's approaching 7 a.m. and I've been wide awake for at least three hours (AND I'm without kid! What the crap.). Most of you already know that I ran a 5k yesterday morning. When I double booked myself, I decided that racing the 5k was more important to me than the 4 miler. I figured this race would be a fun thing with friends...no pressure at all. I'm thinking I need to start running "no pressure races" all the time!
Most of the time, I have an idea of what I want to accomplish during a race. Being preggers messes things up a bit. Based on my 5k result, I decided to try to stay in the low 8's for my pace per mile. I knew I'd be ecstatic if I got 32 minutes. I did a warm up mile with Theresa and felt like I was dragging. Of course, warm up miles are always intended to be 9 minutes or more...and I felt like I was running SO SLOW. When we finished, we realized we just ran an [8:04] mile! WTH. No wonder I felt sluggish. After that, I thought "If I just ran that mile, surely I can make my legs average 8 minutes for four more."
As expected, the start was congested. While the fasties (Theresa, Jess, and Amanda) made their way to the front, the rest of us decided to join the 32 minute pace group. There were only about two people between us and the pacer, but somehow he got what seemed like light years ahead of us right from the start. I basically spent the first mile trying to catch up with him rather than looking at my watch to make sure I wasn't starting too fast. There was a lot of weaving initially. At one point, I had to jump on the curb and into the grass (we were running on residential streets for about a mile or so). When I realized I was about to collide with someone else, I jumped off the curb and landed way too hard. It shook my little belly a bit but didn't cause pain so I wasn't too concerned. The pacer went out way too fast and that mile ended up being [7:35].
Sometime after the mile 1 marker, we hit up the trails on the golf course. I will say that the course was very pretty but very boring. Once you get on the trail, there are no spectators...only your fellow runners. Fortunately, I was running at a pace in which there always seemed to be someone around me. I can't imagine being one of the leaders...so lonely. The course had little rabbit hills but nothing to brag about. The small declines were actually nice and allowed for some brief relief. My goal for the next two miles was to stick with the pacer to make sure I didn't get crazy. I figured I would speed up the final mile if I felt good. The pacer ran another fast mile but was a little more in control. Mile 2 was [7:49].
Even though my plan was to stick with Mr. Pacer for another mile, I was feeling really good. It was weird. I felt like I was going slightly slower than I was capable of at that moment. I knew it was risky since I still had two miles left, but I decided to break away from the pacer a bit. At this point, some of the people around me were getting a little tired. It was mentally helpful to be able to pass people. Mile 3 was even better than my other two [7:34].
I don't always pay attention to my pace during races. If I do, I typically only look at my mile splits. I think I was in such shock about my splits so far that my eyes seemed to stay on my watch most of the last mile. Shortly into the last mile, I felt like I was starting to break down. I was beginning to feel it. I looked at my watch and it said I was running a 7:25 pace at the time. After seeing that, I knew I couldn't give up. I could have easily slowed down and still met my 32 minute goal, but my mind would not let me settle. I just kept running...trying to keep my pace under 7:30. I didn't do any math in my head to figure out what my final time would be, but I knew I wanted to make my last mile my fastest mile. With a half mile to go, I was feeling awful. I was so hot, the sun was beaming in my eyes, but I just needed to cross that finish line. I could see that we were about to get off the trail and back on the road to head to the finish. I looked at my watch one last time to see how much distance was left...ONLY 0.15 TO GO! I gave it all I had in the last section but completely wanted to barf. Mile 4 [7:21]!
As I crossed the finish, I was feeling weird. I was bent over, hands on my knees, and dry heaving. For a few moments, I was scared and nervous that maybe I ran harder than I should have. I kept thinking of Baby Boo Deux. As my friends approached me, I don't even know what I looked like. I have no idea what I said. I just remember looking at my watch to tell them my time and being totally shocked that I just did that. Official race stats:
- Official time of 30:20!!!
- 51st of 1,007 men and women.
- 16th of 602 females (I think this is the one I'm most proud of)
- 7th of 197 women in my age group (30-39).
Kudos to the race director and team for perfecting the course distance. My Garmin showed 4 miles on the dot! Impressive. I had so much fun sharing this moment with some of my closest pals (missing a few which made me sad). My overall pace was 7:35 minutes per mile which was basically the same as my 5k that morning (7:34 average). I was stunned.
Side note on the feeling sick thing: Apparently it wasn't just me (which made me feel better). All of my friends said they started feeling sick towards the end, too. Maybe it was the sun, the fact that the race was at 6 p.m....I mean, how to you possible eat properly for a race at that time?! It's just a weird time. I don't know what it was, but I do know that I was not alone in the barf department.
Congrats to all my beautiful friends who I had the privilege to share the road with!!