Ever since my space out 5k from last month, the Father’s Day 5k at Margarita’s has been my target. I wanted redemption so bad. I’ve been working on speed at the track and hitting the hills. I wanted a new PR.
I was feeling confident that I could achieve it up until Saturday morning. I woke up with a sore throat, running/stuffy nose, a cough and just feeling blah. My son had a cold so it was no surprise that I got one too. I had plans to run with a friend that morning so I thought I’d go out in hopes of maybe feeling better along the way.
My legs felt fine but my breathing was labored. My energy levels were low. After having to take a couple of walk breaks, I cut the run short and headed home thinking that my chances for a PR were slim to none the next day.
I hydrated and rested like a champ Saturday but still woke up on Sunday with the same symptoms. I still was holding on to the idea of a decent race but my confidence was shaken.
When we got to the race, I did an easy 1 mile warm up. It was already warm and I was sweating within a couple of minutes. My breathing felt ok and my legs felt good which were all positive signs.
Maybe there was a chance?
I lined up near the front. It’s always so intimidating when you look around up there. Of course, there were a bunch of young kids but there were also quite a few people that are doing the race series who consistently place in their age groups and overall. I still had in my mind that the race was going to be more of a tempo run than a race.
The gun went off and I got swept in the crowd. Within a 1/4 mile my mouth was dry and burning. I looked down at my watch and saw 6:30. WHOA! I knew I wouldn’t be able to maintain that speed forever but I didn’t want to slow down. Instantly my mind switched.
Maybe you can PR?
Two words popped into my head:
I repeated those words over and over during the course of the race. When a negative thought came up. I replaced it with YES I CAN!
I had driven the course earlier in the week and knew what to expect: slight uphill around 0.75 mile marker, flat/incline mix, followed by a downhill, the turnaround at 1.5 miles and then a long gradual hill, followed by a another during the next mile. Ironically, part of the course is the exact same as my last 5k, including the infamous hill where I forgot I was racing.
Mile 1 – 6:58
I cruised through the first mile feeling good despite my burning throat. I was extremely shocked that I held on to the 6’s for at least one mile.
Mile 2 – 7:37
I slowed way down for mile 2 but for good reason. It was the hilliest section of the course. My breathing was Darth Vader hard while I was trying to stay on my toes, pump my arms and motor my legs up those suckers. A small victory for me – Passing a dude climbing a hill who had previously passed me during a flat section. Boom!
Mile 3 – 7:20
By the time we got back to the main road, I was really sucking wind. My legs were feeling heavy but the infamous hill was approaching. I was not going to have a repeat. I pushed, repeated I CAN numerous times and passed another dude once I reached the top and rounded the home stretch for the last 1/4 mile. There was no slowing down this time. I definitely was present and in the racing moment.
Mile 0.1 – 6:24
I. Am. Going. To. Puke.
Finish – 22:46
A PR of 39 seconds and 1st place in my age group!
Totally unexpected and totally shocked that I could do that especially when I wasn’t feeling 100%.
I think if I would have stuck with my attitude of “this race isn’t going to go well” I would not have PR’d. But just flipping the switch to a positive statement made a world of difference. It’s definitely something I need to do more often.
Do you have a positive statement that you repeat when the going gets tough?
Hope you all had a great weekend! Did you do anything fun?
I’m linking up with Katie to keep the marvelous of the weekend going into Monday.