On the 4th, Nick and I woke up extra early to run a local 5K. It was close to my parents' house so my dad was easily able to watch D for us. So helpful! The race director was my old high school cross country coach. I ran (it's a pun!) into him earlier in the week and he mentioned that he only had about 20 runners signed up. YIKES. Our last 5K was teeny and most of the participants were walkers, which makes for a slightly boring, non-competitive race. Luckily, he must have had some late sign ups because the race had about 50 participants, many of whom were high school kids who were fast. Much better!
I had a banana, granola bar, Clif gel and coffee before the race. We got there a little later than I had hoped so I was standing at the start line nursing D. Kid's gotta eat. I also didn't get a warm up in, which was not ideal. My last race was fairly successful and I attributed that in part to a warm up with strides to get my legs going. Oh well. It was warm, but not hot, with bright sun.
Nick wasn't feeling great so he decided to run with me. Awesome! I would not have had the race I did without his support. My goal was to get sub-23 (last race was 23:37 about 7 weeks ago, so this goal was admittedly ambitious). This race has some short but intense hills. I wasn't sure what that would do for my pace, but I was determined to run strong. When we started, a bunch of kids took off quite quickly and I saw I was the 4th woman. I hoped to improve upon that place, but my overall goal was a new post-pregnancy PR.
Each mile had a considerable uphill climb as well as some downhill. Splits were 7:26, 7:33, 7:27, 6:12 pace for the nubbin. Finish time, according to my watch was 23:08, but Nick says he saw us cross right at 23:00. Official times haven't been posted yet. I was third female, first in my age group (and I won a gift certificate! Woo!).I'm very happy with this time but the race highlighted, yet again, my crappy mental game. The last three quarters of a mile of every 5k are torture for me, mentally, even if physically I'm hanging in there. Garmin cadence charts show this vividly.
I don't really know what to do about this. I know it's a problem for me but I let it happen every race! This time, Nick helped push me through, but even with his help, we were literally a quarter mile from the finish and I couldn't muster anything fast until we passed the 3 mile mark. Frustrating.
I still have my goal of sub 23 before the end of the year. I haven't been doing much focused speed training, just a fair amount of plodding medium length runs on the treadmill (goals be damned, Maryland summer heat is unpleasant), so I'm certain as long as I keep it up I'll be able to run just slightly faster at these next few races. Next year I'll dream bigger with respect to time and distance.