I decided to format most of this in sentence fragments and bullet points instead of a WHOLE SERIOUS RACE REPORT with all kinds of RUMINATING AND SHIT. It was just a little Thanksgiving 5k, not the RACE OF MY LIFE. I did end up doing remarkably better that I thought I would, so that was fun.
The race: Hendricks Regional Health YMCA Gobble Gallop 2014
Date: November 27, 2014
Location: A small town in Indiana.
Course: A loop around the YMCA’s fitness trail and through the adjacent neighborhood.
Start time: 8 a.m.
Entry: I think pre-registration was $20; I had to pay more when I signed up the night before the race. I can’t remember how much! Dumb.
Shirt: Long sleeve men’s tech shirt with a turkey on it.
Gun Time: 27:38
Chip Time: 27:16
Average Pace: 8:48
Temperature at start: I’m guessing about 25. At one point I realized I was running with my mouth wide open and I’d lost some of the feeling in my tongue.
Some background: This was the third year for this race and also my third year running it. I did it in 2012 with Kenzie in the jogging stroller (apparently at the same exact pace I ran it this year, so that’s humbling), and last year I did it with Codie in my belly and PRed. So we have a history, this race and I.
The actual race: I was really surprised I didn’t positive split. What I FELT was that I went out way too fast, bombed in the second mile and spent the third just trying not to die. But my splits showed otherwise.
(I forgot to start my watch right away, so this is a little off.)
My current fitness level being what it is, I was planning to keep things casual and run somewhere around a 9:30-10:00 pace. Except that as soon as the race started, I decided to go ahead and try running at an uncomfortable pace from the start and just see how long I could hold it. I knew it was possible that I’d blow my load in the first mile and have to crawl to the finish, but with nothing really riding on this (like prize money, endorsements, months of training, airfare, hotel, all my hopes and dreams, that kind of stuff), I decided it was worth the risk.
The pace was comfortably uncomfortable for the first mile. I felt nervous when I saw some 8:40s on my watch because I just didn’t think that was a realistic pace for me to be running so early in the race, but I went with it. It felt good to be running hard again.
In the second mile I felt sluggish and sloppy. I’d start to zone out, then glance at my watch and see the numbers creeping up and I’d try to focus on getting them back down. My legs felt heavy.
Mile three just burned, and I don’t remember thinking about anything other than wanting to be finished.
I came really close to barfing when I was done, but other than that it turned out to be a not-awful 5k strategy (I’m calling it the “uncomfortable/sloppy/burn strategy” from now on), and one I hope to duplicate later this spring, but with splits in the 7:50s instead of the 8:50s. My PR is 25:06 and I did that when I was three months pregnant, so I don’t think 24:XX (or even 23:XX????) is too lofty a goal. (That is, if I ever decide to do a 5k again, because fuck.)