Sunrise 8k #3
Today was not my day and I knew that almost from the start. That being said, since this was my last race in my 20s I wanted to give it my best effort. I can legitimately say that I did. (More on that at the end.)
First off, I did not start close enough to the front. It got pretty packed quickly. Matt mentioned that he was trying to get my attention to tell me to move up. Yeah, missed that.
Thankfully the congestion did not last long.
I could tell from the start that this was going to be a tough race. The best way to describe it is that my legs did not feel fresh. They definitely did not feel race ready. I kept reminding myself that this was my last race in my twenties and to make it count.
Mile 1 – 7:27
I still had hope in mile 2 but it was starting to get hot and I was already sweating a lot. The pace felt tough. I switched the screen to see lap info (average lap pace) and tried to get back to my 7:14 goal after a small hill at the start of this mile. I didn’t quite get there but it was my fastest mile of the race.
Mile 2 – 7:22
I’m not sure what happened in mile 3. Last year it was my best. This year I felt like I was going to same pace as mile 2 yet my average kept slipping and when I tried to pick up the pace either it was all in my mind or I went really slowly at the start of that mile and the average was taking a while to come down. I switched my Garmin back to the main screen, frustrated. The humidity was also starting to take its toll.
Mile 3 – 7:26
I knew that the hills were coming in mile 4. I also knew that I had very little left in the tank. The thought of pulling back never crossed my mind. I just wondered how much my pace would drop because of the hills. They felt crazy tough. Not bad and not unending but still draining. Somewhere in this mile I knew a PR was not in the cards for me so I switched my Garmin to the clock page but kept racing.
Mile 4 – 7:41
I felt totally spent during the last mile. It was really hard to keep racing. Somehow I kept going. I knew that Matt would be coming back around to push me to the finish and I had no idea how much I would have left. Not that much. I was further away when he caught up to me and though I tried I couldn’t keep up. I was even more at my limit than I was last year. I’m glad he did it though because with that last push I managed to tie last year’s PR according to the Garmin. Official time has me two seconds slower.
Mile 5 – 7:43
I have pushed hard in races before but never gotten to the “I think I’m going to throw up” stage until today. After finishing I had a couple dry heaves but managed to take a few deep breaths, pause and stay still until the feeling passed. That lets me know that I really did leave it all on the course.
While it may not have been my day, Mom did fabulously! (As if that were ever in doubt)
Not only did she PR with a 41:06 by nearly 30 seconds but she snagged 5th place Grand Masters! (I placed 2nd in my age group, again.)
Quick word about the race. For the first time, John Lehman (and his timing company) made available scrolling results in the lobby of the church’s activity center as well as labels with name, time and place that can be placed on the bib. I have never seen this done before and think it’s an awesome idea! Also, they had fresh cold grapes, the most perfect post-race refreshment ever.
(I did not eat that entire plate. Red grapes are better.)
Quick post-race reflection:
This race confirmed something for me that I’ve been thinking for a little while now. I think, for some unknown reason, that I’ve reached a sort of plateau. I’m not sure what it is but I’m not seeing the results that I had hoped for this summer. Holding the faster paces has been much tougher than I expected. I hope to take some time over the next week or so to figure out what it is and how I can break through. I want to start my 30s off with a bang on July 4th.