I'm backkkkkkkkkk!!!!!! No, I did NOT PR (not even close, nor did I place), but the feeling is there again. Finally! It's like finding your lost puppy. By being back, I mean that feeling of desire inside you when you race. To me, this feeling is what distinguishes a 'race' from a 'run'. I didn't even realize how much of my racing self I had lost until I found it this past weekend. It was sort of like finding money in the bottom of your washing machine. So, on to the RR.
I decided to run the Crescent Hill 4th of July 5K in Louisville, KY. This is where I was born and raised, and we returned this past week for a little visit. I convinced K to run the race, too, and my mom wanted a reason to use her new camera phone, so...
I had an 85 mile week planned, and had already done 65 of those miles prior to Saturday. I had also done 40 miles on the bicycle. I knew this wasn't good racing prep, but I wasn't really out for a PR, just a good workout. I'm not sure if I said this or not, but I've ditched all speedwork for the time being and I'm focusing on mileage. Alright, back to the race.
We gathered for the start and there was a fairly small crowd, but FAST crowd. I noticed many young high school and college runners, all in their team jerseys. K and I discussed who was fast looking, and then it was time to start!
For the first mile, the Top 5 females (including me) stayed in a pack. The end of the first mile was a loop in Kennedy Park, including a slope w/ gravel. I had noticed this on the warm-up, thinking how I HAD to be careful here, as I am The Most Accident Prone Person In the World. I slowed on the loop, as did a few other runners. The first gal increased her lead, and #s 2-5 (including me) stayed together. First mile 6:12.
Then the 2nd gal picked it up. I tried to stay w/ her for about a half mile, but that was clearly not happening, so I let her go. I was w/ #s 3-5.
Mile 2 6:28
I could tell they really knew how to race b/c they were obviously using me as their pacer, wearing me down, little by little. It was a tactic I learned in college, get on the person's shoulder and stay there until they wear down. So... on gal on my left shoulder and another on my right.
One gal made her move and picked it up a bit. I tried to hang for about a quarter mile, but she was too strong. I could hear #5 behind me laboring to keep up, so I pressed on. I had that throw-up feeling. I was thinking about leg turn over. I thought about Deena. I pictured Deena, legs going, going, that girl's breathing practically down my neck. I made ground on #3, but not close enough.
Mile 3 6:21
#3 really kicked it in, as did I, removing myself from #5's hot breath on my neck. The last 0.1 was sort a cluster, a REALLY sharp turn, my mom standing ON THE RACE COURSE w/ the stupid camera phone. Me yelling at her to get out of the way.
Final time 19:41
I really hope one of the those top gals reads this post. I don't know any of them. My mom informed me that the top 2 were college runners and #s 3 & 5 were recently graduated. Anyhow, they all ran GREAT races. It was fun to be in such close competition w/ the gals. In most of my races, I am alone, either in the front of the ladies, or far behind the group. I guess I am used to girl talk w/ Speedy Anna after races, but these gals were NOT very friendly. I tried to talk to them after the race, hoping they would ask me to run a cool-down, but they didn't. They didn't even want to make small talk. I would've loved to ask them about their training, blah, blah, blah. I was telling my mom this after the race and she said, "Well you're just a lot older than them. Why would they want to talk to you?" Okay, mom, thanks.
Even though my time smelled like rotten eggs, I am so thrilled to have the 'feeling' back. I guess I didn't realize how down on myself I had become. It's quite sad really that something I love so much turned so sour. My time does not show it, but that was by far my best race of 2009. So, that's why I say, I'm baaaackkkkkk! Yeah me!
Happiness is a journey, not a destination. ~Souza