The Fourth Race of the Super Jock N Jill Winter Grand Prix Series happened last Saturday. this is the prediction run of the race series. That means that you must predict what time you think you'll come in for the 2 mile road race and then run without a watch. There is someone calling splits at mile 1 but that's it. No finish clock that runners can see.
Last year when I did this race I didn't realize the no-watch policy until day of race. I was not mentally prepared for it at all. I use my watch and especially my heart rate monitor to help me push harder in these short races. With no heart rate feedback, I tend to lollygag about at hard paces.
I think this is partly because I am so unused to pushing myself hard in activities. I didn't grow up doing any sports and was never really encouraged to challenge myself in any physical way. I am finding that the mental part of this sport is a bigger part of running than I ever would have assumed. When my lungs and legs get tired, my rational brain thinks about stopping and why the heck are you doing this? I've spent some years now training that rational brain that it really is ok if my legs get tired and my lungs start burning. I'm still not sure I even reach an all out stage in these short races. It seems that the more fit I've become the harder it is to put it all on the line. It is something I struggle with everytime I toe the line for a shorter race.
Struggle aside, I knew going into this race taht I was in comparable shape to last years prediction run (on fewer miles which makes me happy!) plus I had a better idea what to expect. What to predict? Last year I predicted 14:10 (but made early morning math errors, meant to write 14:20) and came in 14:31 because I really had a hard time with pushing myself. Plus it was a little icier on that race day. I decided that in reality I still was not going to end up going all out but I would probably run a little better plus conditions were good.
14:25. that's what I wrote very clearly on the prediction sheet. RPD and I had gotten there in plenty of time and I had an odd warm up. One in which once I finished I didn't really feel ready to run fast. No worries. Once that air horn went off, I'd be ready.
Immediately I got out well and didn't get boxed in on the first turn. I just tried to settle in and not go out too fast. I could see my 60 year old nemesis (PN) ahead and new she'd start out steady. I kept her in sight.
After about .7 miles, I thought I was sounding pretty good breathing-wise compared to other people and thought I should start passing people. I passed PN shortly and then just started reeling people in. I hit the first mile at 7:15 and was happy. THis was just what I'd done last year but I felt like I'd gotten a smoother start.
The last mile went quick. I didn't really have to argue with myself to keep going which makes me suspect I could've gone a bit faster but continually passing people was very satisfying. I felt smooth and very strong and finished with a pretty good kick, passing someone just before the finish. Someone in the crowd yelled "good kick" to me and that made me smile.
I was at about 1.4 miles when the winner of the race finished. I certainly did not win something for running the fastest. Results were posted today and I ran 14:25.6 just .6 second off of my prediction. That puts me at #5 for closest to their prediction! So I actually win something which will be determined later. I thought maybe I had just maintained pace again for an even 14:30 so I am delighted about this race.
I called it right.
I felt strong on fewer running miles overall.
I feel rather speedy.
And I barely could tell I'd run fast for a couple of miles just hours after this race.
Next up: the track race. This is the race to try and hammer. I can't wait to see what happens!