I’ll start with some facts:
- The last 5K I ran was on July 16, 2015
- The last race I ran was the Philadelphia marathon in November
- I only started doing workouts at the end of February
- My training has only been consistent for the last 4 weeks. By consistent I mean running 40+ miles a week, which is way less than ideal for me.
Saturday morning I didn’t want to go to the race. I wanted to go back to bed because I was cold. In my opinion anything below 60 degrees is cold. I put some Nutella on rice cakes, wrapped them in foil, and shoved them in my backpack. I had no appetite and that was a problem. I put my uniform on and then I put on lots of layers because I was freezing. Have I mentioned that I HATE being cold??
I shivered as I drove to the race. I took a few bites of the rice cakes while I sat at a traffic light. On the drive to the race these were my thoughts: I didn’t charge my garmin. Is the garmin even in my bag? IT IS SO COLD! I hate the cold. Tomorrow is supposed to be the first day of spring and it feels like winter. I am going to race in tights, this sweatshirt, gloves, a snow hat, and 2 pairs of wool socks. Parking is going to be horrendous. I have been saying the word horrendous too much this week. I am late. I can’t even wear a sparkly soul because my ears will freeze. I really don’t have enough time to warm up. I hate running in the cold. I don’t even have my number. Why would I sign up for a race the day after attending an all day conference? I need racing shoes. When was the last time I ran a race? Oh yeah, the marathon. What were my splits from Thursday’s workout and why didn’t I write them down? It is so cold. I don’t think I have any adrenaline today. If I run 20:45 I’ll be satisfied. 20:45 is a realistic goal right now. I should have made coffee.
I parked about half a mile away and I ate the rest of the rice cakes and jogged to packet pick up. This didn’t go well and I nearly chocked. I eventually got my number and saw some friends before I jogged back to my car and decided that I would not wear tights, a sweatshirt, gloves, a snow hat, and 2 pairs of wool socks during the race.
By the time I got back to the race area we were a few minutes away from starting. I was walking to the line and someone kindly pointed out that my time would not be recorded if I didn’t put the chip on my shoe. If I haven’t mentioned this lately, I have been completely oblivious to the fine details of my own running the past few years. I just run and the less I think the better I perform. Brittany laughed at me and pulled the chip off of my race bib and told me to put in on my shoe.
I wasn’t nervous when the race started. I ran the first mile in 6:15 even though it felt like it took 10 minutes. I felt really terrible while I was running, like a rubber band was pulling me backwards. I just didn’t feel right. I knew part of it was the shock of racing after a long break from racing but I knew the other part of it was that I was going to get sick. Mile two was a blur. I remember being at 12:57 when I ran by the 2 mile clock. After that my garmin died because I didn’t charge it. There was a hill. The hill didn’t bother me much and my legs felt fine, I just didn’t feel like I was moving forward. The third mile went by pretty quickly once we turned back onto the main road. The last 1000 meters went by fast because there were a lot of people cheering. I ran by a high school girl and offered a few words of encouragement despite feeling terrible. Then she sprinted by me just as we crossed the finish line. For some reason this pleased me, maybe because she was small like I am. I really didn’t know what my time was but I knew it was under 20:20. As soon as I finished the race my eye socket was pounding. I felt like I was going to get a migraine. I was holding my hand over my eye as I walked away from the finish.
I jogged back to my car to get some warm clothes and then back to the race area. That was my cool down. I drank some water and my head stopped pounding. Then I found Liz! This made me really happy! We always seem to find each other at the most crowded races. It was nice to catch up with her.
Once I got home I had a full blown migraine. This probably explains why I felt so bad running. I am just thankful that I didn’t get super sick until I got home. I’m not even mad about it though because I still think I ran well.
Overall, I achieved my goal of running 20:45 or faster. Running 20:12 (chip time) was even better than I had expected, especially since I felt like I wasn’t moving and I haven’t raced in a while. I was happy to race again although there wasn’t really a reason that I didn’t race for so long. I just hate winter and I don’t want to train in the cold. I can’t explain why I haven’t run a 5K since July. I just didn’t race a lot last year. Hopefully this year is different. I would love to run PRs this year, and not the kind of PRs you get when you run distances you’ve never run before. I am motivated to train, especially since winter should be going away soon. The adrenaline run gave me a good idea of where I am and what I need to do going forward. The first race after not racing for a while is always weird. I am thankful that it went well. I feel nothing but confident going forward.