So I’m going to write half of this before the race– it isn’t until noon (what a weird time, eh?) and so I get to wait all morning. Right now I am seeking the happy medium between ‘well-hydrated’ and ‘have to go pee at the starting line’.
The weather today is pretty good for racing: cloudy and high 40s. I’m not getting much done this morning, and I’m kind of grumpy about that. It’s 30 minutes before the race and I’m definitely antsy. I ate a banana, because I’m running through my lunch time. I asked my partner to make me Japanese curry last night because it makes good race fuel, and my guts feel happy.
. . . .
Yay, the race is over! It went really well, better than I expected, really. I finished in 36:28, which is a full 3 minutes faster than my time last year. I guess all that training worked! I should’ve followed my favorite pre-race advice and trusted in all the hard work I’ve put in. (I wasn’t the slowest runner either, this time; it was a strange experience passing a couple people.)
I’m oddly proud that I ran so fast and took no walking breaks. Even my ‘test 5ks’ wound up with a short break in the middle; I never could sustain a race pace without catching my breath. (Of course, the big hills probably didn’t help. The race course is quite flat in comparison. It had a couple small hills and I was like "Hah! You don’t scare me, little hill!") There were several occasions where I was tempted to slow to a walk… and every time I told myself, "No, you’re not actually tired enough yet, run more." So I stuck it out, and the next thing I knew I was looking at the finish line.
The trail was very muddy, and my shoes are pretty gross– I nearly slid through a big muddy patch right before the finish line. And I actually really like the race shirts this year. They say, "When your legs get tired, run with your heart."