PR by over 30 seconds.
Temp: 28 degrees, 12 mph
*Trying* to approach this as a fitness check-in, see where I’m at. Feeling some trepidation going in:
- Never raced in true winter
- Not sure where I’m really at. Last race was 11/13 (went out too fast and couldn’t hang on mi 3). Dec training wasn’t as strong as I wanted. January was better.
- First time racing with Often Running/Saucony racing tank on and I wanted to represent. Beyond grateful for this opportunity, after training with many racing team members thru 2016, joining this elite team was a personal goal. I want to contribute to + share in the successes of this team.
Did my normal bfast drill: oatmeal, coffee, banana+pumpkin.
Arrived with race crew, grabbed bib, hit bathroom, and tried to figure out what gear to warm up in + race in. I’m usually cold, but also didn’t want to overdress. Double + triple layered on for the warm up. Ran a mile out on the race course and a mile back…the wind felt stronger than I anticipated. My legs felt heavy on that two miles. Worried I used up energy I needed to race. Switched into long tights, base layer + OR tank + new saucony fastwitch racing flats. Worried my saucony Brisk gloves + headband/ear warmer wouldn’t be warm enough. Didn’t have a ton of time to debate and just went with it. Had time for a few quick strides and made my way to the start. Did my normal starting line prayer + mental mantra process as I waited for the GO.
Felt decent off the line, didn’t think I was too fast. Watched out for those white poles (thanks, Carol!), and the pack started stretching out. I should be at 3:35 to 3:40 at the .5 mi. Hit that point on my garmin and I was at 3:30….NOOOOO!!!! tried to settle myself and do some deeper breathing to calm. Had a girl cut me off back and forth a couple of times and just had to move up. Hit the 1 mi course marker and garmin said 7 flat. 😳. But it didn’t register on garmin for the mile until 7:08. Started to stress I was too fast and would die, but quickly had to tell myself, “I feel ok, this is what Clint recommended, and I have a wind push right now. I’m good”. Wanted to keep that pace for the next mile if I could. I knew that from the turn around to the finish, I would be in wind and the real work would begin. Seeing everyone flip before me was motivating, everyone looked strong. My hubs + kIddos made it and were cheering! Yes!!! I needed that extra “go mommy go”! Mile two buzzed in at 7:08! That third mile…yikes. Really having to work to not die off. The stomach pukes were already in full swing + my breathing was much more labored. Focused on form and on my breathing. There were a couple of guys 75 feet ahead and I thought maybe I could close the gap… it was a huge mental boost for me as I got closer to them, when my body was telling me I was done. But what wasn’t a boost was the super strong cologne. Downwind. I knew I had to either back off or pass or I would literally puke from the Old Spice situation. I worried I wouldn’t have enough left to pass them, keep moving (and not get passed back), and finish strong. BUT. I. WENT. My watch was at 2.6 and I just kept telling myself, 2 breaths in, 2 breaths out, I can do anything for 4 min. Saw my fam one more time, Clint, then Rach cheering me and telling me the finish was just around the corner, GO!! And Clint said “GET ON YOUR TOES!” 🤔 good idea! Thx, Coach! I didn’t look at my 3mi split, I just WENT AS HARD AS I COULD up the slight incline, the turn, the finish, on my toes. Crossed the line, stopped my garmin 👏 and it said overall pace 7:10. 😳
Cheered the rest of my teammates+ pals in, and ran back to the car to change into dry and warmer clothes. Lots of joy + success with everyone. Did a brief cool down and ran to the awards ceremony. So thrilled to be among a strong group of athletes. The entire team placed, Rachel and I both PR’d, as well as our friend Tanya. We all celebrated at One World with too much food 😍. After analyzing my race on garmin, I wonder if I could have negative split the race without the wind. Or did I not kick in my finish soon enough (only last 1:05 of race was increased speed).
WHAT I LEARNED
- Trust… Myself. My coach. My training. Clint was on point 👌 with my warm up + pacing + what to expect.
- I didn’t freeze, my gear was on point for me, including the lighter gloves + no hat. More would have been too much and a distraction. Fastwitch flats felt amazing.
- My body CAN move that fast in winter temps!
I know that not every race will have a PR and such a positive environment, and when those days come, I want to soak it all in. I’m beyond thankful for this opportunity! Thank you, thank you, to Mitch, Often Running, and Saucony.