Hi. I know. It's been a month + again. I started my first full time PT clinical in the middle of May and blogging has been on the back burner a bit...but you know I'm around. I'm done in 2 weeks so should have more time for blog fun times then!
First things first...I actually have a RACE REPORT to share. Shocking, I know. It's June and here I am reporting only my 2nd race of 2011...sad. But alas, I have been afflicted lately by something I'll call "race chickenoutosis". Symptoms include seeing races and being totally gung ho like 'oh, I am totally going to race that 5K!' and then not following through with it because you are too afraid that your 30-35 miles per week of easy running just isn't going to cut it when it comes to a 5K, and you're going to run a terrible race. And really, my confidence at this point doesn't need another hit, what with the Nashua 6K being basically the worst race I've ever run and all.
But finally I put on my big girl running shorts and decided I was racing a damn 5K. I picked one specifically for the fact that I thought it was going to be small and low key - the Tuesday Nite Trot. This was also good because I could go straight there from work, without having any time to go home and chicken out. So I finally showed up at Artesani Park....with no watch. I was running late for work in the morning and completely forgot it, so for the first time since freshman year of college, I would be running a race watchless. As I had expected, things were very chill, which was exactly what I wanted. Definitely a small race, tent with no frills t-shirts and numbers, a few people milling around. I kept telling myself that it was just a tempo run, run by feel, no one cares what time you run today. It's not big deal if you run a 22 something. Whatever. This is baseline...see what baseline is. There were only a couple of other women who looked even moderately serious so I knew I would probably be close to the front regardless...perfect opportunity to just go run hard and see what happens.
Annnd we were off. One of the fast looking girls and 3 or 4 guys shot off in a pack and I had no interest in going that direction since the more I looked at the girl the more she looked like the sub-20/sub-19 type. I glued on to a guy in a BAA shirt and just ran by feel. This was quite the interesting experiment - can I use what my body is telling me and figure out what I need to do here? I passed BAA guy, and was shortly passed by a college-age guy I had been chatting with before the race. Whatever. Then I heard someone's Garmin beep and I knew we were at the mile (not that it mattered)...apparently there are no mile markers in this race either. Another girl passed me and I wanted to go with her, but I was having the beginnings of a wicked side cramp and so decided to let her go. It was getting into misery time but it was like...just keep the legs moving, strong strides, breathe through this stitch. We finally crossed the bridge that signaled the turn towards the finish (running up the teensy 'hill' of the bridge and my legs were like whyyyy) and I was just desperate to be done. I felt like I had slowed down immensely the second half and really wasn't expecting anything stellar...so imagine my surprise when I get close to the finish and the numbers are still in the 20s! Um, what?! I crossed the line in 20:39 and it was like....WHAAAAT?!
So this...is really good. First of all, because my confidence has been restored that I'm not a slow pile of blah and that I actually am still capable of running fast, even on limited training. Second, apparently my baseline is a lot higher than I thought, because I remember when I had to kill myself over 3 months of XC training to run a 20:42 on a similarly flat course. Needless to say I am pretty pleased to run my 2nd best non-track 5K on probably the shittiest month of training I've put together in the last 2 years. Maybe there is something to this "run easy" business after all...but of course I also see the bright and shiny allure of sub-20 and the wheels start turning: If I can run 20:39 on no training, imagine what I could do with a couple months of 5K specific speedwork....
Oh, and I won a pint glass. Which is pretty much the best possible award, even though I have way too many at home already. :)