Last week I signed up for my first race post injury. I had to drop Ari off at my mom’s Saturday and remembered they had a 5k that morning so figured it was a great time to really get back into things!
I woke up at 4:30 am on Saturday. I am not sure if it was that I was excited to race or that my mom’s beds are as hard as a rock (no offence mom!). I got up got some water and coffee and went into the TV room with my new read “Anatomy for Runners” to get into the zone! I woke up determined I was going to conquer today. My last run I had great pace and PR my 2 mile and 5k. After hydrating with some much needed water and coffee I decided to get a little yoga session in. 20 minutes of pre run stretch, thank you and shout out to Do Yoga with Me . Side note if you are new at yoga or are looking to release tension in specific areas you should really check them out!
Ari woke up as I was starting so we did it together! We ate breakfast and then about 7:20 left to head up the road to the race. It was a small crowd which I was actually thankful for. I think I get race anxiety when there is a big crowd and start off way too quick. I told myself I was just going to go at my own pace and we will see how it goes.
As this being a small town function it was a little more unofficial than I was use to. There was no info about bib pick up so I prayed that there was something when I got there wasn’t a long line and I could get my bib and get in the grove! With 69 runners 7:50am rolled around and there was no time clock so they had guys out on the route and it was time to time everyone via cell phone. Hey, whatever works right? The man yells “Runners’ take your mark” I start strava “GO!”
I head off down the road at a nice slow pace, my breathing is slow and steady. In through the nose and mouth, out through the mouth. I know the route and am comfortable with it as I grew up in the town, nothing challenging. I think this is a great day to be out running, the sun is shining, not too hot and Mom, Mans, and Ari are waiting at the finish line to cheer me on. I pass mile one and the guy yells “8:49.” I go to myself “WHAT! This is some great pace I have. If I can keep this up I can be done in 25-26 minutes!” That would be the fastest I have ever ran! I am going strong and steady, I increase my pace really pushing the hips to flex and drive me to the finish line. I pass a few people and then we are at mile 2 the man yells out “16:20”
At this point I have developed a side stich. I can’t figure out why, well I probably know why; I am going fast and although I am keeping my breath steady it’s probably a fast repertory rate than I am use to. I decide I am making some great time so I decide to slow down a bit to see if I can get rid of this stupid side stich. I have some people pass me and I am determined to beat this old guy who just passed me. I am heading down Greenacer I am about 1/4 mile from the finish line. I am in the zone, determined to finish this in record time, I can literally taste victory. I decide as soon as I turn the corner to Longmeadow St. I am going to start my sprint to the finish! I so got this…….BAM, SNAP, CRACKLE, DOWN I GO! I was so in the zone, despite scanning the road I tripped over a good size rock.
I literally just fell to the ground. There I sat which seemed like 10 minutes. Trying to move the ankle as I see it swell up, I think ” you have to be kidding me I was so close. This sucks!” I have a few runners stop and a guy who we know passes and says “I’ll send your mom.” I get up and go “No way, I am crossing that finish line even if I have to walk!” I walk to the end of the road. It hurts, but I’m not letting this stupid rock ruin my time. I go strong and sprint to the finish line in pain.
I cross the finish line take off my arm band look at my phone and it says 27:33. I am happy but literally so pissed. If I wasn’t “attacked” by that stupid rock I could of done this in 25 and change. After I forgive the rock I am quite proud of myself 27:33 with an 8:44 pace average.
I get to work and check out the race website and see my official time is 28:44 (I don’t know how it is off by 1 min but I’m holding myself to the 27:33 time) and I see I placed 3rd out of 8 in my age group and I was only 8 minutes behind the 2nd place time.
This is great! Since I started running 2 years ago this is the fastest I have ever run and was consistent with my pace. Knowing I can push myself to this level only proves I have more hidden somewhere. I know have new goals to strive for! If you believe in yourself you can do whatever you want. You can even crush your goals when a rock attacks you! Ok, I got lucky but still! I dominated Saturday and am only going to be pushing myself more! Can’t wait to see what this season has in store.
After I deal with this mess of an ankle you know I will be out on the road in no time! Until then it’s RICE for this kid!
Until next time!