Double race weekend?
After leaving for yesterday’s race in pitch black, I was psyched for daylight savings AND a later start time. Too bad my body didn’t get the memo and woke up me up at 4:30 am. I managed to doze after about an hour but was wide awake again at 6:30. So much for the extra sleep!
This morning’s race was held at Mt. Diablo in Walnut Creek. I’ve long admired pictures of the beautiful fire trails in this area and couldn’t wait to take a crack at them myself. The 5K had a late start (9:40) and the sun was already blazing by the time I arrived.
The parking was about a half mile from the start so I got a chance to check out the Castle Rock Park area.
This was my second race organized by Brazen Racing. The 10K I ran this summer was also put on by them and I loved them both. Super-organized, festive, relatively inexpensive, and sweet bling for all events. To anyone who thinks that people running a 5K don’t deserve a medal, I say this: it took a million times more guts to toe the line for my first 5k than any subsequent race. Recognize. But I digress…
So I arrived, took in the scene, and stood around like a running buddy-less loser until the race began. After my close call at placing in my age group yesterday, I have to admit that I was scoping out my competition. Everyone I saw had a blue bib for the 10K and I began to get my hopes up. I might place by default! Before we took off, I managed to get a picture of my sweet Lindsay Lohan tracking device.
I seeded myself somewhere in the middle and off we went! Knowing that the course was straight up and straight back down, my plan was to warm up, cruise up the hill, and fly back down. Full disclosure: I checked the times of the last few years and discovered that if I ran anywhere near my current 5k pace, I had a chance of placing in my age group. I love that that’s so important to me now. I’m such a tool.
The course warmed me up alright. We were running uphill right out of the gate. I should have dialed it back but I was having so much fun dancing over the uneven terrain. There is something so delightful about navigating rocks and roots. I would say it reminds me of being a child but I spent my childhood singing ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at my parents. I’m finally getting to be a sweaty kid and it’s fun!
It was all games until I realized that my heart was about to explode out of my mouth. I kept digging and as I neared the turnaround, I had a chance to see who was coming back down. I only saw one woman who looked anywhere near my age and I got pretty excited. Too bad I had totally shot my wad on the way up.
As I headed back down, my heart rate came down a bit but I was struggling. I can’t remember the last time I stopped to walk during a 3 mile run but without any other ladies around, I figured it could only help to walk. I took about 10 steps to slow my system down and resumed running. With about a mile left, I was pretty much out of gas.
Note to self: RUN MORE TRAILS. YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER.
All of a sudden, a fast-looking woman I had noticed at the start shot past me. I had passed her going uphill.
Note to self: PASS PEOPLE GOING DOWNHILL. TOWARDS THE FINISH LINE. ONLY IDIOTS PASS PEOPLE GOING UPHILL.
I was averaging about a 9:20 mm at this point and still on pace to place. I kept pushing when I could and taking 10 second walking breaks when I couldn’t push anymore. With only a half mile to go, I saw a woman in a green shirt pass me. She was just about my pace and clearly near my age. I knew chasing her down was my chance at placing (obviously this felt like getting on the podium at an Ironman to me) but I didn’t have it in me. I was just hoping to outrun the eight year old boy who was steps ahead of me. With the finish line in sight, I dropped back to let the kid sprint and then sped up for my finish.
Maybe they were 29?
Official time: 29:19 / 9:24 avg – new 5k PR!
4th/21 AG, 53rd/219 Overall
* I was 30 seconds behind 3rd place and a minute behind 1st and 2nd.
* My time would have been 1st or 2nd in any other adult female AG. WTF?
If I sound disappointed, I’m totally not. I find it kind of hilarious that I even have the possibility of any acknowledgement at my current level of running. That said, I’m TOTALLY HUNGRY FOR A WIN NOW.
This was a really fun and really hard race. Trail running is no joke. It feels like what I imagine speedwork is like wearing a kevlar vest. I really love the way it feels to my legs and feet. The idea of being able to do it without my lungs exploding is totally worth the work it’s going to take. Much more to say on this subject but the recap is now longer than the race. I’m out!
Anyone discover a dormant competitive streak in themselves? Tell me all about it!