So 4 days after Running with the Devil, 6hr, I find myself at the start of a 5k. I can't believe how nervous I feel.
My recovery has been slow and although I have no injury type pains, DOMS from running up and down a black diamond mountain for 6 hours has been rough. Only yesterday I was able to take stairs like a grown-up, facing forward, with both feet taking turns, rather than side-stepping while holding the railing like a really large toddler.
I haven't run this race in a few years, and forgot what the course was like. I did recall a mildly rolling course and was scared that trying to run hills on jello legs was going to push me over the edge of something bad.
I met John P. at just after I got my bib. He, Sid, and I tried to get a warm-up in. It was just shy of a mile and a little short for me. I am finding I do well on at least 2 miles. Oh well. We ran into more TNT runners and friends, including Bill, Margo, John R. and some new faces. I spent a few minutes chatting, but got right to focusing on what I needed to do.
5k's scare me. I have to run so fast, my lungs feel like they are pushing out my chest, my heart pounds hard, my asthma makes me wheeze, and I feel odd sensations in my body as I try to push myself as fast as I can. I don't think I will ever run much faster than I do now unless I can get into great shape by winter. I run better in the cold. My asthma seems worse in the summer and I whoop uncontrollably while running anything under 7 minutes per mile when my chest tightens.
Even though this race has a starting mat, I decided I still wanted to be up front. Over 2300 5k runners is a big race and I didn't want to get trapped. John and I were about 2 rows back from the start when the gun fired.
I wore my Garmin again for data. I was surprised at how fast so many runners got down to sub-6 pace. I immediately mentioned to John... "5:53, let 'em go"... I watched my pace settle down to 6:05, 6:11, then 6:45 instantaneous pace. We hit mile 1 with John a few meters ahead. I watched him do a double take as he saw the clock read Sub-6:30 for him. That was so cool to witness! My M1 = 6:31.
The course had already gone down then up some. We still had some uphills to run and I felt my quads rebelling. My asthma was winning and I just sat back, watching John move steadily ahead of me. I wondered if he would beat me today. I know he will someday. It could be today and when it happens I am going to be so happy for him.
I looked at my pace and was not too surprised to see the pace for the M2 = 7:00. I didn't feel spent, I just felt sore. I wanted to regroup and get ready for Mile 3.
Once I started Mile 3, I was ready to see what I could do. I opened my stride and realized nothing really hurt. I passed several people, some passed me back. Some I passed back again. I felt I was steadily speeding up as I approached the finish. I looked at my Garmin and saw I had .35 to go.
At this moment, I felt her behind me. I had more left to give so I pushed the pace. She was breathing down my neck. Trying to pass. I pressed forward, never letting her get even with me. We continued to speed up. I was sure if I pressed harder, she would fall back, but she stayed right in my peripheral. I wasn't sure I could hold it, but knew I couldn't let up until she passed me. I was not going to just give it her if I had something left in my legs. I pressed harder and finally I felt her slip off pace. I could no longer see her from the corner of my eye. M3 = 6:32
Ah ha! I have this.. or do I. Is this a set up? Is she backing off so I will too and then she will fly past me at the finish, before I have to respond? Only .1 to go. No way. Not today. She let up and I knew I had to take the advantage she gave me and widen the gap, just to shake her of any ideas she may have of taking me at the line... I kicked in as hard as I could. She did not come with me. My last .14 read as a 5:22 pace. According to the results, I finished 5 seconds ahead of her. We shook hands, thanked each over for the motivation.
That type of finish is what racing is all about. What a thrill!
20:53 chip time.
147 / 2358 Overall
14 / 1186 Females
1st Age Group.
Complete Results: http://www.compuscore.com/cs2012/july/westnite.htm