Thursday night I ran a 5K, but lets back track for a few hundred words……
Tuesday morning when I found out about this race I was very tired and overwhelmed because I hadn’t slept more than 3 hours due to grad school and working late. The previous weekend was rough with several migraines and migraine symptoms which took a huge chunk of time out of my life that I would have spent doing papers and reading for my classes. The online learning platform for my classes was also down for part of the weekend. Going into this week I was behind from the week before and I had a major problem completing one of my assignments. This caused me to almost quit grad school entirely (I did not quit grad school). I had a meltdown instead and I struggled to do the assignment. It seemed like the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life–It was not the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life and it wasn’t even a difficult assignment. I turned it in two days late and I will probably score poorly on it but its done and over with now and I am no longer stressed out. Everyone gets stressed out sometimes and Monday was my day/night to have a meltdown. Anyway, I knew about this race since Tuesday BUT I wasn’t certain I would do it because I was just cranky and miserable. Tuesday was another long day because we had our athletic department sports banquet that night. I ended up running at 10pm and then staying up until about 1:30am reading and listening to lectures. Then, Wednesday came along and I had another long day of working and that night I volunteered at a local youth track camp, which I really really really enjoyed! Phil and I went to a diner for dinner and then I came home, ran, and once again stayed up late doing work. Being behind going into this week really messed everything up and on top of that I started a new class on Monday and work has been incredibly stressful the past 3 weeks. Thursday morning when I woke up, on the floor in my office because I fell asleep doing work, freezing cold and still wearing sweaty running clothes from the night before I decided I was going to race. Soooo, I got a shower and then fell asleep getting ready for work. Thankfully, Phil came upstairs and woke me up so I wasn’t late. I quickly grabbed some stuff I thought I needed for the race, like a jersey, my garmin, and a sparklysoul headband and I shoved them in the tote bag that I use to haul my laptop and books around. My running backpack sat in front of my bedroom door as a doorstop even though it should have been accompanying me on this adventure. As I made my coffee I realized that I had no pants on and that I was literally just wearing crazy printed spandex shorts and a striped shirt so I had to go back upstairs and find some pants before I could go to work. On the way to work it started to rain and I got really mad because I did not want to race in a downpour!! The work day went by rather quickly but when I had to walk outside to show someone how to get to the building that is right next to ours (yes, she couldn’t find it) I realized how cold it was, and that it was still raining. I became irritated that I didn’t have any warm clothes to wear for a warmup or any dry clothes to change into after the race and I was now considering not even going at all. THEN…… I thought, “A power outage would really be nice right now. If the power went out I could go home before the race and grab my backpack with the warm clothes in it”. About 30 minutes later the power went out…..DEAD SERIOUS! Then……the campus closed so I got to leave work early and I had the perfect amount of time to come home, have a snack, and grab my backpack. My snack was kettle corn and pepper jack cheese with a cup of coffee….is that weird??
Before I left I searched my car for a good CD to listen to on the way and I coincidentally found a mixed CD dated 5/21/07, which I took as a sign that it was a good day to race because it was 5/21/15 so I put that in the CD player and off I went!
__________________ACTUAL RACE RECAP BEGINS HERE________________________
When I got the race it was a little after 6 o’clock which was the perfect amount of time for me to arrive at a race that started at 7pm. I like to give myself at least an hour before the start of any race. I signed up for the race, ended up with a large t-shirt, and did a 2 mile warm up. Oh, did I mention the race was on someone’s front lawn??? The tents and sign up table and even the port-a-potty were on someone’s front lawn….the start and finish line were on the street in front of the lawn. I thought that was odd but I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought until I was warming up and my mind wandered.
My race outfit was one to stand out in a crowd and that is the way I like it when I am running unattached, as I am at this point in my life.
Go bright or go home….thats my motto these days!!!
Before the race started I knew I was going to win, I am sorry if that sounds arrogant or cocky but sometimes you just know. I had a feeling and I knew. I also knew I wasn’t in spectacular shape but I knew that every run I have had lately has been of high quality. My mileage hasn’t been high but the quality of my runs has been amazing which is sometimes more important. When the race started everyone went out like they were running a sprint race and not a 5K. I don’t let things like this get to me because I know how long a 5K is and I know that races aren’t won in the first 100-400 meters. I ran the race as if I was running a 5k with the intention of winning a 5K. I passed the two women who were ahead of me before the half mile mark and then I didn’t see them again. As I said, I had a feeling I was going to win this race. I felt super strong the whole time. Unusually strong for someone who has only run one race this calendar year. I think this was because I felt mentally strong and confident. Mental strength is powerful and I believed in myself. I also zoned out completely once I took the lead and the only thing I remember from the whole race was a women walking on the sidewalk who said, “DAMMMM that girl looks like she’s in great shape.” I remember that because I immediately thought, “I am not in race shape at all woman but thanks for noticing that I am running well.” Then I zoned out again until the finish line.
The clock read 18:50 but don’t be fooled because I am certain the course was short. According to my garmin I was running at 6:13 pace which equates to a 19:18 5K, still a great time but I hate inaccurate courses. That alone is enough to make me never run a race again in the future. I know I really didn’t run sub 19 tonight because, as I said, I am not in race shape and running sub 19 is too far of a stretch for me to believe at this point in my training. I’ll take the 19:18 though! That sounds more realistic, still slightly unbelievable, but realistic. Plus, my watch is usually accurate and I finished 7th overall with only 6 men ahead of me so 19:18 is believable. After the race a woman took my picture and I waited to see where the second girl finished. I said good job to her and then I went on a 2 mile cool down. When I ended up back on the lawn for the awards I was given a medal for first in my age group and not for being the first female. In fact, I wasn’t even listed as the female winner. Upon picking up the medal I mentioned how usually the top three finishers are removed from the age group results because they receive awards for placing top 3 but I was told that wasn’t how this race did it. When everyone started leaving and I realized that they did not give me the medal for placing first I questioned it. The second place woman, who ran 20:44, was listed as the female winner and I was not. I would have been more upset if prize money was involved. Thank goodness we were only talking about medals and not money because I am serious about my prize money earnings. I don’t even understand how this happened. I wore the brightest and most unique outfit out of any of the women and I won by almost 2 minutes, yet I was denied the win. We finally got this worked out and I was promised that the results would be listed correctly online, which they are. I couldn’t care less about the medal but I do care about the results. After taking a hiatus from racing for nearly 6 months I needed to just race, it was a good race so I want credit for it!
Would I do this race again? Probably not.
The course was short and the results were messed up. How do you mess up who was the first woman? The race was for a good cause so I do not regret running it but its not on my 2016 list of “races to run”. It gave me a benchmark for where I am in my training. It was a good way to get back into racing by choosing something local and low key. Overall, I am happy with my performance and I can not wait to run more races.
The biggest takeaway here is that I was psychic Thursday….and that I just ran in the moment and became one with the race, it worked out.