Hey, I actually raced again!
The first time since the January Thaw 4.5 miler back – well yeah in January.
This was the first race that I can remember, that once I registered, I didn’t get all freaked out about or have several sleepless night about doing. I thought about it once in a while, but I didn’t just focus on it like I usually do. Hell, I even got some good sleep Friday night and only tossed and turned for after Bennie woke us up at around 1:00 AM to say loudly for about 3 minutes that there were deer in the yard – at least until I turned on the light and slammed the door. They left in a hurry.
After that I tossed and turned and turned and tossed the rest of the night – yeah I got to thinking about the race and couldn’t shut it off. Finally, I went back to sleep around 4:00 AM and woke up around 5:00 AM and just laid there for a while, kind of drifting. I wasn’t really tense or worked-up about the race after I woke up – good news!
Had a bagel w/peanut butter for breakfast (it didn’t sit right).
I only thought about turning around once on the way there, but it was more of a passing thought, than an over-riding need to not go to the race, that I usually experience.
Progress is being made on my old enemy race day anxiety. I don’t know if I have beaten it completely yet, but at least it doesn’t control me like it did for such a long time and I got to enjoy my race today.
When I got my number and swag bag – bummer no t-shirt (I really liked the shirts this year too), I registered too late to get one. Memo to self register earlier next year and yes, I plan to run it again next year.
It was a raw morning, between 35-38F, with an 8-10 mph wind out of the north and a couple of minutes after I finished it started to rain. So it wasn’t a great day, but not a bad day for a run – never a bad day for a run – well almost never.
Did my usual mile warm-up, but there was no, none, zero snap in my legs. They just felt blah, not sore or anything, just nothing there. Not a good sign of things to come for this race.
I lined up in the second row and off we went. The first part is straight out of the Thomas College parking lot, not a steep grade, but a deceptive one for the start of a race. Actually it is a pretty flat course for around here and my time should have been faster. My first mile was about where I wanted it to be, but for some reason or other, I just ran like crap the second mile 7:30 pace and never really picked it up on the last mile (although I was passing a few people) at about a 7:20 pace.
I finished 29 of 414 official finishers.
You can see the results on Cool Running and more photos on Maine Running Photos (I will add the link when they are posted)
I just didn’t have any spring in my legs, maybe that 15.0 miler on Thursday was still affecting me more than I thought – but no excuses, I ran as good as I could today and will use this as a nice “where I am now” time trial to know where I need to improve. Hint Hint: race pace mile and 2 mile repeats.
Surprisingly, I finished 1st in my age group, so that was pretty cool, but I have a feeling that was more a result of who didn’t show up for local runners who are faster than I am, than me having a great race. But like they say you have to show up and I will take what I can, when it comes to AG awards.
What did I learn this time:
- No super long runs in new shoes the week of a race.
- The Launch are not a 5K race day shoe, they felt great on my feet comfort-wise, but I didn’t feel fast running in them. No snap.
- That my Achilles didn’t bark at me too much, it liked the slower pace.
- Bagels are not my friend before a race – need to just stay with my normal oatmeal.
- Going out to supper and having 12th Anniversary dinner, is probably not a good pre-race meal, but wouldn’t change it, we had a lot of fun last night.
- I was over 30 seconds slower in this year’s first 5K 22:39 versus 22:06 last year.
- I need to work more on speed work/race pace work at longer intervals.
- That my race anxiety was the lowest it has been in a long time and gives me hope that I can run a few more races this year.
The reality is that
I was not real happy with my time or effort and I think that my gun time of 22:39 was a lot more accurate than the official time of 21:46 (which would have made me feel a lot better about the race). However, this was only the first 5K of the year and I will have several opportunities to do more before 2014 is over.
The Brooks Launch are probably the most comfortable shoes I have run in a long time, but they are not 5K to flat 10K race shoes, but for a hilly 10K or other higher distances, they would be my choice. Very happy with them so far.
It was also great to see, so many people that I have known from around the area, Troy, Tracy, Sue, Mark and others:
Hopefully, this will be a good harbinger of things to come, especially my battles with race anxiety.
After all I can’t be too disappointed with an AG group win and a decent time, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t do better – because I know that I can, but I also need to enjoy the moment too. I did.
Thank you to the race director and race volunteers, you all did a GREAT job and I had a lot of fun while participating in the event.