Over the weekend, I ran the Spirit of Recovery 5K.
It was my 4th 5K ever(last weeks Mother’s Day 5K was not really racing but still a 5k). It still amazes me that I’m doing this distance. I’ve said it before, it’ll never be a favorite but it’s growing on me. I learn a little something new with each race.
One thing I do know is that with every distance, there are pros and cons.
PRO of a 5K: It’s over with relatively quick.
CONS of a 5K: It’s freakin’ hard work. Your lungs and legs are burning.You may want to puke.
In my head I tell myself, it’s only 3.1 miles.
Yeah, only 3.1 miles of practically all out running.
I’m trying to find my inner Lauren Fleshman since she thinks the 5K is “freakin’ awesome!”
I went into this race unsure of how I was going to do. Since Wallis Sands, 2 weeks ago, I’ve been laying low, my mileage has dropped and all my runs have been an easy pace. My legs have felt tight and achy for most of the time. I’ve been stretching, icing and rolling like it’s my job. What’s really strange is that my legs felt like this last month around the same time in my cycle (my apologies to the guy(s) reading this). Saturday was the first day since Wallis that they felt improved.
With that in mind, my plan was to run hard and maybe try for a PR if feeling decent.
I met up with my running buddy, Mariette soon after arriving. We did a quick 1 mile or so warm up before heading to the start. I should note here that last year this race had 120 people entered. This year it had almost 700. Still a small race but it was quite obvious that the usual attendees of this race were not used to having so many competitive runners.
Mariette and I lined up near the front of the pack. When it was go time, there were a lot of walkers in the front. In fact I was blocked by a line of them. Not cool. Especially when they yelled at ME for going around them.
FYI – Unless you are a competitive speed walker, if you are walking a race, line up somewhere other than the front. Thank you!
After getting around the walkers, I took off a little too fast. I just wanted some breathing room.
I felt good for the first mile. I was working hard but not dying. The course was relatively flat with some rolling hills. Nothing that I wasn’t used to.
Mile 1: 7:15
I was kind of shocked about how good I was feeling. My mind started to wander which was not a good thing. Then a guy pushing a stroller flew past me right before the turn around point. I felt like I was booking it and he looked like it was a walk in the park, pointing out the excavators to his child with no signs of breathlessness. Nothing like taking the wind out of your sails!
Mile 2: 7:26
This is where the wheels fell off. My focus was gone. As I was running down one hill before going up another, I clearly remember telling my legs to slow down. I have no idea why I did it and why my legs listened. I checked out. The finish line was almost in sight!
What was I doing?
I pushed up the hill, slow as molasses it seemed and got sight of the turn to the finish. C’mon legs GO!
Mile 3: 7:49
I pushed as much as I could for the last 0.1 – 6:43.
First words out of my mouth when I saw Mariette (who was super speedy and got 3rd overall female and 1st in her age group!) – That sucked!
I completely sabotaged myself with my lack of focus. Why did I purposely slow down with less than a mile to go? I think I forgot that I was running a race. As odd as it sounds, I seriously think I did.
Yesterday, I stumbled across an article about whether it’s muscle fatigue or it’s brain fatigue that makes you bonk in a race (particularly longer races). Read it HERE. The study concluded that it really is all in your head that you’re tired. I immediately thought of the quote –
“The body achieves what the mind believes.”
Further proof that mental training is just as important as physical training.
I’ve clearly got some work to do for the next 5k in the series!
Any tips on how to condition my mental physique?