I had 2 goals for this race, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit my first one, but:
1. Win. I have good reasoning though. I knew I had a chance to win. I didn’t know how good of a chance I had, but I really, really wanted to win this race. And besides the fact that I knew I could, the winner won a firefighter helmet (hence the name “Run to the Helmet”). I mean, seriously, how cool is that?!
My second goal of course was based on time:
2. Run under 29 minutes. Earlier in the week I ran 4 miles in just under 29 minutes. A 7K is roughly 4.25 miles, so I thought 29 minutes was a good, achievable goal sine I intended to run faster during a race than a training run.
It was really cold. Colder than I had anticipated. The temperature when we got out of the car was 52 degrees, decent running weather. However, the wind chill was about 10 degrees colder and the temperature was dropping as the morning went on. Cold and windy are some of my least favorite weather to run in.
I did a quick 1.5 mile warmup to literally warm up, kissed Matt and Kenna goodbye, and headed to the start line. They had a sign for 5-minute milers, but I noticed several people who I knew I’d be faster then so I stayed as close to the front as I could. I also happened to run in to an old work friend at the start who I only see at races. It was nice to see a friendly face and catch up while we tried to stay warm.
When the race started, I stayed with Christina and continues to chat for the first 1/2 mile or so. This really helped me manage my pace in the beginning. I really have to work at not going out too fast and having someone to talk to seemed to work.
But, once I saw a woman I really wanted to beat pass me, I was determined to stay with her. From miles 1 to 2, I worked on slowly passing people to catch up to her. I was able to cat h up right at the second mile and just decided not to push ahead but to stay with her and another woman as we ran. The three of us only had 2 girls in front of us and tried to keep a steady pace for the next mile.
We rounded a corner right at mile 3 and that’s when the one I really wanted to beat started to pull away. I was losing steam and knew I still had over a mile to go, so I decided to keep my pace but still keep her with in sprint-reach, just in case I had a last surge of energy.
This is when the race really started to kill me mentally. I’ve run this course several times – it’s right next to where Matt teaches and we run it once or twice a week in the summer. I knew I was passed most of the tough parts, but I also knew we still had to run through the school parking lot. I don’t know why this killed my mentality so much, but I was dreading that part of the race. I was able to keep my position but couldn’t make up any ground.
When I finally rounded he last corner I could just make out the 28 on the clock. If I was going to be under 29, I was going to have to sprint it in. My legs were dead, my lungs were shot, and I was done. What little energy I had left I used and crossed the finish line in 29:04. 4th overall female and 1st in my age group (the winner was also in my age group and finished in 28:21).
Did you run a race this weekend? How did you do?