Today I went racin' and it felt good. Like real good. It was a small race out in hammertown. 8 clicks. out and back. No fancy shirts and no fancy finishers medals. 5 of us from the Runway went out together, warmed up, hit the startline together. orange power strolled in and everyone took notice.
The weather was perf. cloudy, light wind, and warm enough to wear shorts and singlets sans arm warmers. We gathered on the startline and boom we were off. Today I did a few things differently.
1. I raced for the first time sans my garmin. I pulled out the new timex. As per usual The coach was right. It changed everything. I spent NO time distracted by my pace, fretting over going too fast or going too slow. I ran by feel. unfortunately I went out too fast. I clocked my first click around 4:10. oops. I tried to pull it back but not so sure it happened. ha.
2. I raced in both compression socks for the first time. Perhaps it was mental but my legs felt fresher then fresh, I had more pep and bounce in my step. Afterwards I stated well I be running with those from now on. Better find me some orange ones.
3. I ran with a clear head. I somehow channeled my nervous energy. I know I know it was a small race with not a whole lotta pressure but it was good practice. i did not make nervous chit chat at the start. I took my position, did my usual hug, kiss, ear rub and jump routine and focussed straight ahead.
4. For the first time in a long time I felt like a real live athlete. I felt fit and strong. And well I know thats not really changing anything it helped bring the old confidence back. My level of fitness right now is kinda crazy to me. I mean I just ran a marathon 20 days ago and to go out and run hard was amazing. there has gots to me something to be said for that.
I am learning that in these short distances, it really is about strategy and planning. You need to think through each km because you do not have the time to lose, literally. Today i had to remind myself a few times that it was me against the clock and nothing more. When I saw the timex hit 33 mins on the ole watch, I knew I had to dig and pour it on to make my 35 mins goal. Strategically, I should have been smarter and started a little slower but now I know this for next time. one of my running buddies told me awhile back in training when we do mile repeats and such that think of the repeats like gears of a car. Each mile you gear up and go faster and faster so your last is your fastest and strongest. I need to bring this train of thought to my short distance racing. All in time, my friends.
All in all today was wicked. I won my agegroup, was 5th overall (which I am still a bit confused about, as I only counted 2 women ahead of me!? but alas, registration does not lie, right?) and I ran a PB of 35:28. I am thrilled. First time I have EVER won my agegroup. pretty cool right?? Team Runway killed it! The coach won men overall and Gilly won the womens top spot. Carolyn Hicks placed in her agegroup and ran a killer PB while Jeff Smith was 2nd in his agegroup. A great day for all. Pretty proud to be part of the Killer run club The Runway and feel lucky to have a coach who never seems to be bothered by never ending questions or queries and whom never seems to stop believin' in me. Awesome, right?
Time for a bubble bath and some white wine...