One week out, I was super pumped for this race. Ready for a new personal best, excited to race hard, and felt good about getting into the core of my training for New York. After this race, it was time to get into a long, hard, gritty ten (ish) weeks before marathon day. The excitement for this race dwindled as the stress of work, life, and missing my other half took a toll as the week went on, and before I knew it I was picking up my bib at the expo. I still had hope and a race plan for a good race, but I was exhausted.
The morning of, my alarm sounded at 4 a.m. and I hit snooze – on race morning, that’s NEVER a good thing. I should be up, awake, and rearing to go, no matter how poorly I slept (it’s not the night before that counts, but the weeks leading up). I dragged myself out of bed, got my things together, and walked to the shuttle buses. Besides being really tired, everything felt fine. My legs were a little tight, but nothing I wasn’t able to loosen up with some dynamic stretching at starting area.
My race plan was to not look at my watch until after the downhill at mile 4, and then speed it up after halfway through. I wanted a new PR (around 1:25) and a top ten finish. This was an elite race, so I knew I wasn’t going for the podium this time around.
Once the race began I felt better, and was happy to just be running semi-hard. I tried to be chill and not worry about placings until everyone thinned out a bit. After the fifth mile, I found myself alone, with some guys here and there – passing some and some passing me. I heard a female behind me. I could tell by the sound of her foot-strike (if you listen, you can usually tell the difference between male and female by the way their foot hits the ground). She got closer, and wanting to hold the place I had, I listened to how hard she was breathing. As long as I didn’t burst away and lose my own breath, I knew I’d drop her eventually, and I did.
At the 10k mark, they had a race clock and I was on target for my goal. I felt good about that, and decided that I would continue to push and ignore my split times on my Garmin. But slowly I began to fall away from my goal pace, despite feeling like I was faster. I got to the hill at the end and trudged up it to the SDTC cheer station at the top. It was so nice seeing them there. I threw up a little in my mouth but I just had a flat little bit left. Two fellow club members followed me through the finish and helped me leave everything on the course. I started dry heaving 20 yards out, and crossed the finish line ready to vomit. Is this my signature? Haha! I sat down for a minute and was able to keep it contained. I was surprised to hear the announcer say my finish time was just under 1:30. I thought for sure I had run faster than that. It felt really hard. Bummed, I made my way to my friends and started recovery.
Though I didn’t accomplish any of my goals for this race, I can say that during the race I had fun. I’m glad I didn’t look at my mile splits because it would also have robbed me of that. I finished with all I had for that day, but in hindsight I should have started out faster. For my energy level, I think I would have had a positive split no matter what, so had I started out faster I could have shaved a few minutes off. But this is part of learning how my body works under different circumstances. Race day is hardly ever completely ideal or perfect. Collecting the data and knowing how to respond to the non-ideal is how I plan to accomplish future goals. I’m trying to be patient.
76th of 4148 overall
13th of 2188 women
6th of 369 age group