Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There is no try...

Do or do not!

Yeah, I just started my post with a Star Wars quote, a Yoda one at that. Look at me, my second blog post of the year! Anyway, I realized I never blogged about my last race so I thought I'd come over today and do a quick recap/whine.

This was almost three weeks ago now. So the Museum of Aviation Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K is one of the bigger races around here. I knew this when I signed up because I saw they had capped entries at 1,500 runners. There were several articles in the newspapers leading up to it as well, so it was pretty exciting and nerve wracking. This was my sixth race so far, and most of the the 5Ks I've run have had around 100 people or less running. I knew this one would be a lot more, and I also knew it was going to be COLD! Georgia was already having some sub-zero temps the week before so I know everyone was nervous about how cold it was going to be come race morning.

Saturday, January 18th, it was twenty out. TWENTY! In GEORGIA! Crazy. I got up, layered up as much as I dared because we all know we warm up a lot once we start running. I try to dress for about twenty degrees warmer than it is because I seem to warm up a lot once I'm running. I put on an extra fleece to wear until the race started. Grabbed my coffee and breakfast and headed out while it was still dark. When I got to the race location at the Museum of Aviation at the Air Force base here it was so crowed! I've never seen so many people at one race before! Again, exciting and nerve wracking. I milled around a bit, talked to some people (I'm new to racing so I don't know a lot of people at the races usually.) Talked to my coach on the phone a bit (my dad!).  I was a bad sport and did not go out to watch the marathon or the half start, because now it had warmed up to twenty-two! Ugh.

My goals for the race were, of course, to PR. I was already in the lucky position of having PRed at every race so far. My last PR for a 5K was 25:57, so I was really hoping to hit something around 25:30. And even though I knew it was a bit out of my reach, I really wanted to place high (top three) in my age group. Anyway, cue the start of the race and we're all off jostling and pushing each other (I hate that, because I'm small I always get pushed!) The three miles went by fairly quickly and I warmed up fast. I even got a little warmer that I would have liked about 3/4 of the way in. I knew I was having a good run, but not my best and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to push my pace any faster than it was.

Needless to say, this was one race I was glad when it was over! As soon as I crossed the finish line and stopped running I felt like I had a brain freeze from breathing in all the cold air. UGH!

Oh hi, that's me (taken by the newspaper photographer). I always forget to shut off my running app, so here I am at the finish line making sure it's off. As you can see from the time, I didn't PR.

I waited around for the official results and talked to Matthew on the phone a little. When they posted the leader board they posted 1-4 in every age group and that's when I saw I had come in fourth place. Talk about disappointed! Does it get any worse than FOURTH place? Mind you 1-3 all took home trophies for crying out loud.

Don't get me wrong, I knew this was coming. I'm fast, but I'm not that fast. Most of the races in which I've won my age group have been smaller races where there is only five or six girls in my age group. So I've gotten lucky. Not so much this time. I've been telling myself to be prepared for the day you don't do as well as you wanted to, but still I was a little annoyed with myself for not doing better.

So what now? We try again! My next race is February 22nd and it's a biggie too! About 1,000 people sign up for this particular 5K every year and this year should be no different. But what is different is my strategy. I hope to PR and that's it! Of course, I'll be lucky if I get top ten in my age group at this race, which is totally fine. Also, Matthew and the kids plan to come out to this one and it will be a great motivation knowing they are at the finish line!

Race stats:

Official time: 26:18 (avg pace 8:26)
Age group: 4th out of 20
Overall: 43rd out of 336