Monday, April 13, 2009

"Hey, at least we don't have to do an Ironman"

Well, I still seem to be working in the PR department.

20:18.45 at Platteville on Friday. And maybe this means I'm finally doing it right, but this was no cruise around like the last 2 races have been. It. Was. HARD. And yet, it wasn't so hard that I don't think I can run 19 seconds faster sometime in the next 3 weeks.

It was a looooong day...we left at 2, got to Platteville around 3:30, and the meet started at 4. Watching one of my teammates race the steeplechase for the first time with a raging hangover was pretty entertaining (he gave up getting drunk for Lent, and it was Good he HAD to get drunk on Thursday night, apparently), and watching the SP chick who tripped me at Carthage go completely under in the steeple pit didn't exactly make me sad either...does that make me a bad person? ;) Anyway, the rest of the meet leading up to my race wasn't too eventful. All of my insane nerves that had built up the past week I think had just kind of reached critical mass and gone away, because I wasn't really feeling nervous, I was actually just feeling kind of crappy. My legs felt sluggish and I was cold and I just wanted to get the damn thing over with already. We had quite the crew warming up - the 4 of us WTC girls and a couple girls from Wisconsin who were also at the meet. It's cool that some of the girls on the team are really nice people and actually give us credit for doing what we do. Then it just seemed like we were waiting foreverrrr...putting on spikes, doing strides, hopping around, saying ridiculous things (I had a dream on Thursday night that I was doing an Ironman, and Brittany and I decided that while the 5K would probably suck, it wouldn't be as hard as an Ironman. Which is a good thing...haha). Finally - time for the start. Under the lights...I haven't run a real race that way since high school....

WTC vs WTF...the faceoff

From the moment the gun went off I just didn't feel right - the whole first mile my legs felt crappy, and I just felt panicked - like I was running at some ridiculous pace I couldn't possibly hold, or I was pushing with all the effort I had and it just wasn't fast enough. And that's not a good feeling to have when you're in the first mile of a 3 mile race. I came through the mile at 6:20, with Brittany right behind me - I had loooong lost sight of Jade and Claire (so much for staying with Jade...). After the mile mark I finally started to relax a little bit, or at least I managed to get my mind working enough that I could tell myself to relax. I was running behind Wartburg girl #1 for the whole second mile...I finally decided to put in a surge past her, and about 200 meters later she sprinted past me. Damn. Although I was mad to have wasted the energy on the surge, I fell back into rhythm and by this point was finally getting into it. I came through the 2 mile at 12:56, 5 seconds faster than last week, and I just told myself to hang on.

The 3rd mile of the 5K is when I just stop thinking...the 2 mile split is really the last split I think about, and after that its just autopilot. I had Wartburg girls #2 and 3 behind me for awhile, and then they passed me with about 800 to go. I decided to start picking it up a little bit with 600 to go, a little more with 400 to go, and absolutely kicked it in with 200 to go, and I tried and tried and sprinted my life out but I could NOT get past those 2 damn girls...I was a little cranky about that. Other than the finish I just have random flashes of things happening throughout the race - Dallas screaming ridiculous, yet really helpful things on the curve leading into the home stretch, some kid playing random notes on a kazoo on the other curve where it was dark and otherwise quiet, an Oshkosh girl with glitter in her hair for some reason (really, this is a track meet, not a pom competition), my number flying off about 3 laps in and most likely hitting someone in the face (these hip numbers were really crappy, and since I was 22, a number which doesn't exist, I had 4 separate 2's plastered to my body, 2 on my leg and 2 on my chest. Ridiculous.) It was cool running under the lights, and I was really happy about PRing again, especially since I had just felt so...not good going into the race, and even throughout the first half of it.

By far the best thing that happened at the meet was during the 2nd heat of the guys 5K. They're lining up, and all of a sudden all of our guys are going "where the hell is Zais?" Well, as it turned out, he thought the start was on the OTHER SIDE of the the gun is going off and he's sprinting across the infield (where the javelin is going on, by the way) throwing off his sweats. He got to the start about 10 seconds after the gun and proceeded to run his first lap in 68, catching the field 300 meters in. He went on to run a 15:46, complete with an utterly INSANE kick where he passed some 6 guys in the last 200 meters. Did I mention the guy is insane? So it was pretty fantastic haha. We also didn't make it home from the meet until 1:30 am...and then I got up and ran 12.5 miles with Brittany at 9 am on Saturday. We mileage whores are a special breed.

So what now? Well, this week is another Friday meet, technically hosted by LaX but actually being run at St. Mary's in Winona, MN. After this race, I really believe I can break 20...actually I'm going to stop saying that because "break" numbers and me tend to not get along. So I'm going to break 19:59. :) I have a plan - go out just a little faster, slow down the same amount (or less would be fine too, but I mean, I'm giving myself some leeway here.) My splits this past week were something like 6:20, 6:36, get my goal, I want to run 6:17, 6:28, 6:30...then close in less than 45, which I assume I could do. 3 seconds faster first mile, 8 seconds 2nd and 3rd...I guess it would be possible to throw some of that time onto the first mile too, but then we're getting down closer to what I would actually race a mile in at this point. This is me thinking out loud and babbling it out on my blog...its probably a good thing no one really reads this.

Anyway...bottom line: I think I can do this.

Today's workout was pretty hard - 6 x 800 @ 3:07-3:13 (5K goal pace) w/ 1:30 recovery jog. But I didn't fall apart (direct quote from my coach: "I thought you guys were going to fall apart, but you didn't!") and there it is - I ran the distance under the pace I want to run. Now take away 7:30 of rest, and we're in business. :)

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