First, I must preface this race account with Calvin's awesome FIRST ever 5k race! The boy ran a rockin' race, coming in at 24:30 without even training one day. Man that boy has talent. I love it. And now I have us signed up (including the rest of the family), for another 5k in a few weeks.
TTTTTT is TT stands for: Thankful That The Thanksgiving TURKEY TROT is Totally Trotted!
I get myself so worked up about races. Why don't I just go out and enjoy the sights and sounds, people and pets, experience and excitement of racing?
Because...I like a CHALLENGE with plenty of pain (epidurals not included)...AND that is what all the other runs during the week are for!
So the latest and greatest idea of mine was to take a few months off from marathon training and dive right into 5k record breaking. That meant no more long 20 mile runs. What it did mean though was running my guts out on the track.
I have plenty of zippity do-DA mentors out there! I have brother Matt who is wicked fast indeed. I have friends here in Virginia who not only run super speedy marathons but blast it in a 5k. This time my friend Jen got on board and decided to be my personal "pacer" today.
My goal: Beat my fastest 5k time to date which was set exactly two years ago: 21:26. And while at it, go ahead and break the 21 minute barrier. That means I had to run a 6:45 minute mile. Ouch for me.
So at 8 am this morning, I attempted to break my personal record....
There are over 3,000 trotters lined up. Many friends have gathered together at the starting line ready to get hearts a racing.
The gun goes off. The first mile is downhill, so the plan was to hit it hard. Within 50 steps, my heart was a pumpin' overtime and my legs a screamin.' Jen places herself a few steps ahead of me and begins giving me a play by play attack plan. This girl isn't even huffing or puffing due to her amazing running skills (her PR is in the low 19 minute range)...and I try to not hold that against her.
You would think a measly 3.1 miles would be a walk in the park...especially compared to 3 and a half hours of running a marathon! But there is nothing like a full out sprint for 20 odd minutes...don't like it one bit. I definitely prefer a longer slower run...
So mile one passes. We hit a 6:35 pace. Perfect time, but I know it is way too fast for my skill level. The only good thing, is all of the children that weave all over the place have been left in our dust.
Mile two begins with a lovely uphill. Then another hill and maybe even another. Jen keeps telling me to pick it up a bit...what?! I think is she crazy! But after seeing our 2 mile split come in at 7:15, I start to worry. I am not going to be able to do this unless I can pick it up!
But then I think, one more lousy mile...7 more minutes...maybe less if I dig deep.
We turn the corner for the final .75 mile (uphill). Jen pulls the pace up and tells me to keep with her. I do! And then she says, "Heather, you will now pass me and start picking people off." I look at my watch, it says I am running 6:15's. I am dying. I can hear the announcer. I am getting closer. My legs are burning. My heart is about to explode. I pass a few boys. I see two speedy girls (go girls) that I just can't catch. I see the timer, it reads 20:50. Click, click...I give it a good push....I give it everything I have...
2 seconds off my goal time.
I think, "Seriously? I couldn't run just 2 seconds faster?!" Nope. I couldn't have. Not this time.
What a great day of pain.
I wonder if I burned enough calories in 21:02 minutes to cover my Thanksgiving dinner? I doubt it.