Race morning at 6:45 a.m. Tigro jumped up on our bed, sat on Kyle’s chest and looked at me. We have to get up earlier throughout the week, so I know he just wanted food, but it was as if he was yelling “RACE DAY!” at me on repeat. I flipped over and stayed in bed for 15 more minutes. All I could think about was how I really didn’t want to go – anywhere – let alone race a 15k. I didn’t know why I was feeling so unmotivated, but it had been a long work week and the weather had been pretty gross so I chalked the funk feeling up to just “one of those days.”
There seemed considerably less people at this race, but that’s to be expected for a 15k distance. It was also 20 degrees at the start, so that may have kept some people home. I ran my warm up and felt confident I could PR, but still felt like a race wasn’t in me. We lined up at the start, and I took off at a reasonable pace, but instantly didn’t feel good. I decided I really needed to focus on my own time and make sure I still get that PR. My legs felt okay, but it was just an overall heavy feeling of exhaustion. I pushed through the miles at a steady effort and was in the lead almost from the start, but second female (the girl who I beat at the 10k), stayed close behind. At first I didn’t know why, I figured she’d pick up the pace and blow past me, but then I realized she was actually racing. She was in it to win it, so she was staying with me until the end or until she felt it safe enough to push past.
Nothing exciting happened, and we remained close and she let me stay in front until mile 7. She said, “Just two more miles,” and to me that signified the race was over. She had plenty left in her to pick it up and take the lead and the win. She came along side and left me in second. I didn’t fight it. I was so tired and still a little worried about my time and whether or not I could make it under 60 minutes. She went on ahead and finished a whole 17 seconds ahead of me.
I still got my PR, and I know it was all I had for the day, but I felt like a disappointment. Not really to myself, but to those around in the running community. Everything can’t always line up on race day. I’ve learned to deal with the disappointments as they come and move on. But this was different. I felt like I let them down, not because I didn’t win, but because I didn’t give them a race. I didn’t make it close and exciting. I know it’s a kind of disappointment I will have to learn to deal with as I continue to progress and compete, but I guess I didn’t realize it existed until now.
My fellow competitor ran a good race, brought home the series win for the second year in a row. I placed 2nd in the series, also for the second year in a row. My splits were a little off because my watch needs to be updated, but this is about what they were: 6:15, 6:20, 6:17, 6:22, 6:21, 6:26, 6:28, 6:25, 6:22, and 1:44 for the last 0.3. For my legs it felt like a tempo, but it was all the energy I had at the time.
I went back and compared my times on the courses from last year. The * indicates a PR.
I’m happy with the progress. Last year I was overcoming injury and also getting acclimated to the elevation change (sealevel to 4,200 ft). Though it didn’t show for this race, I feel stronger than I ever have and am excited and hopeful for my next 26.2 in seven weeks!
Time – 58:59
16th overall of 309
2nd female of 148
1st in age group of 8