|Another view of the Old Milk Truck on the trail.|
It was pretty neat to see that some substantial work had been done on the trail since we'd been there last. After just a few miles on easy trails, we got out onto a rolling road and enjoyed trotting along. I declined adding on more miles as I had wanted to rest my legs for the upcoming Love 'Em or Leave 'Em 5k. That turned out to be a moot point.
I went to work for one day and spent hours on my feet running around trying to cram one week of work into a few hours. This honestly isn't a big deal generally as this can happen quite frequently with some of the more physical aspects of my job. Friday though, I was super tired after this. Really? After almost of week of lying about napping and knitting with fun, easy (and they were easy - legs were feeling great) runs, one day of work leaves me practically napping at lunch time? Hmm.
Yep, I knew signing up for this race that it was going to be iffy with timing of my cycle but that's just the way it goes sometimes. I'd had great running the previous couple weeks and higher mileage. I thought it possible that legs would be tired going into this which would be just fine but i'd had a great short speed workout just to get the legs moving while we were in Albuquerque. I felt great then! Oh well, just go out there and do the best you can on race day.
I woke with even more symptoms and warmed up feeling very blah. I did some strides which didn't feel very strideful and made my way towards the race start. At least I'd timed that perfectly. I was about 10 minutes before the start of the race. I peeled off warm up layers, draped them over a fence and wandered into the corrals amusing myself by watching everyone start to really bop around when this song came on over the loud speakers. We were off at the airhorn and pretty quickly i was across the timing mat.
I was trying something different for pacing per my Coach's wishes. I'd been having such good runs and faster than expected that she really wanted me to run this race NOT looking at pacing at my garmin watch. I'm game so i set my screen to my long trail running screen which gives elevation, overall time, time of day and distance. Now i know i should be able to figure out pace per mile with this information but my brain does not do those sorts of calculations without pen and paper so this was safe. I'd let it beep me what the mile laps were at least on the first one because I was curious.
We start off and it's pretty crowded. I just try and maintain a steady and strong pace without weaving. It's honestly feeling hard and I'm not too happy about that because I know i'm slow. Harumph. We get onto the path along Green Lake and a guy pushing stroller pushes past all of us on the gravel. I know i wasn't the only one a bit demoralized by this. Ha! The first mile clicks over at 7:30 and I know it's not my day. the only thing to do is just keep engaged in this race and fight for it and I do.
I desperately wanted to walk as breathing felt hard and legs just didn't want to move any faster. I usually listen to other people around me and gauge their breathing with mine. Today, I'm working just as hard as everyone else. I just want to hang on as we hit the top of the lake and into a strong feeling headwind. Oh joy. It's actually pretty good weather at mid-40s and maybe a quick shower every once in a while. I opted for a running skirt and short-sleeves. I dropped my gloves before the race but kept my headband as my ears always hurt with cold wind.
I have my eye on a couple gals ahead of me. One is in purple and one is in a blue/black vest. Stay with them! The purple gal slowly pulls away. The gal in the vest is also hurting as at about 2.3 she pulls off to walk a bit. I am SO tempted but stay with it battling the wind. Finally we drop onto the little trail which will take us to the finish and i can see the clock is almost to 24. I push and manage to finish just over 24 minutes. Blargh. Really I couldn't say that at any point during this race that I felt good and moving well or feeling strong so 24 minutes is pretty good.
I knew I'd lost momentum into the wind but I didn't expect to slow quite so much. However, I was afraid I'd start way too fast so 7:30 was good. Miles 2 and 3 were 7:40 and then 8:05 (wince). This kind of thing really did used to drive me crazy but I know if this race had been the week previous I'd have run really, really well. It's just the way things operate for me. I chalk this up to a good training run and a good mental strength work out and move along.
A race that was well timed and that I went into with tired legs was the 12ks of Christmas just two months ago. I ran that hilly race which is three times as long at the same exact pace as this 5k (7:44). Ha! How ridiculous is that? I knew I'd run that race well and actually raced right on the edge pushing the whole time and was stunned and delighted with the results. This 5k? There is no doubt in my mind that as much as I like to pretend hormones can be ignored, they affect my ability to do certain things at certain times. So, yep I'm disappointed that the timing of this race was off but not too unhappy with the solid mental workout. If I could work it into my schedule I'd look for another 5k to jump into but there are other fun things ahead which might preclude that. And I went out exploring some more trails today. My legs were tired but a nice and easy trot on squishy, hilly trails was perfect recovery. After three weeks at higher mileage, I am looking forward to the easy running week.