I haven't run a 5k since early April, 2006. Yeah, it's been awhile. I ran something like 26:50, which was a bit off my PR from the year before when I ran 25:40 on the same flat course. I know that I haven't been running very much (like hardly at all) for the past 7 months because of my injury, but I still thought that with my current fitness I should be able to run faster than that. So in a way, signing up for this race was kind of intimidating because I knew that I would be really bummed if I couldn't PR with the amount of training I have done since the last race.
Coming into today I had a couple of really, really tough weeks emotionally. I found out that someone that I really cared about and trusted had been very deceptive. And I had to find that out from someone else. It was particularly troublesome because I've been through this all before and it was probably the lowest point in my life. I've had a lot of crazy feelings and old memories come flooding in and it has really been draining. Sorry- I don't really want to get into it, but let's just say that I have a lot of manger (man anger) built up in me right now. So Colleen and I spent last night picking out a bunch of wonderfully mangry songs for me to put on my ipod for the race- Before he Cheats by Carrie Underwood and Fighter by Christina Aguilara were 2 of the gems. There was also some Alanis thrown in for good measure. Nothing like a little extra motivation to get you to dig deep!
This morning I had a big cup of coffee for the first time in about a month. I started shaking about half way in and just about shit myself (thought you would like that gem). But It made me super hyper and I was really stoked for the race, which is probably the most fun race in the area. It is a huge tailgate party for the Ohio State/Michigan game and all runners have to choose either a blue or red shirt. Every entrant gets a free beer after the race and it's just a huge party. The race itself isn't really a PR course. There is a very long and reasonably steep hill that you go down at the beginning and then have to climb back up at about mile 2.4. It is BRUTAL! But the course is fun because you get to go around Browns stadium twice and a lot of it is right along the lakefront.
When we got to the race we immediately ran into Janet:
And I had to associate with a Michigan fan for the rest of the day (roommie Colleen):
Also at the race were a bunch of CTCers and my roommate Matt and his gf Shanna.
Colleen, Janet and I took off to go for a warm up run around the flats downtown. We were out for about a mile at a super easy pace and then did some stretching. I remember back when I thought it was crazy that people warmed up for these things. Why run even farther?? But after you've run a marathon or half marathon, you realize that you actually CAN warm up for the short races! It was great!
Then we lined up for the race.
Mistake #1: Lining up at the front
The race started a little late, which was kind of a bummer. I had to restart my ipod 4 times because I really wanted to start the race with "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (I know, I know, the song is practically a racing cliche but I like it!). But when the race started the adrenaline started to pump.
I can't remember the last time I actually ran fast. I think my legs gave out on me about 3 times in the first block just trying to get into the rhythm. Then we turned downhill for about 0.4 miles. I was being passed like I was standing still! It was really a defeating feeling. I was feeling sluggish and slow and my lungs were starting to burn from the cold air (I have a tad bit of asthma). The 1 mile marker came up on me without warning
Mistake #2: Running mile 1 in 6:55
Oh, F&ck! I'm pretty sure that my fastest mile ever was somewhere around 7:45. I was in for a world of hurt.
Pain. Lots and lots of pain. I think I did it in around 7:45
Mile 3: Uphill. What kind of sick freaking joke is that??? My lungs were screaming for albuterol. I was fading, but so was everyone else. The hill was scary.
When I turned the corner towards the finish I looked at my watch and say that it was still in the 22's. That gave me such an amazing boost. I didn't have as much kick as a lot of people I saw, but I was thrilled!
Pace: 7:37 per mile
Place: 24th overall female (out of 266)
I think if I could actually breathe I would have thrown up. It hurt like hell to take deep breaths. I looked longingly at the people that could run through the finish line straight to the post-race bagels. The thought of food was repulsive to me. But... I did manage to choke down a beer
I am now officially addicted to road racing. The adrenaline, the pain, the brevity, the free t-shirt. Who wouldn't love it?
Then I went to do what all girls do when a relationship ends in a fabulously horrible way. I spent an exorbitant amount of money at a hair salon- cut, color, the works!. And I'm heading out on the town tonight. Pics to come!
A Few Good Swims
2 hours ago