I have been having some trouble locating my mojo since Mooseman. All my runs have been pretty poor - slow, sluggish, and hard. There have been many sides stitches. My rides have been mixed - some pretty good, but more than the usual frequency of rides in which I just can't get my legs to turn over at even 85rpm in an easy gear. My swims have been okay - actually had my longest swim ever (4400 yards) yesterday.
Last weekend James and I decided to sign up for a local 5K. I was not looking forward to the race. It was a new distance for both of us. We've each done 1 10k, 2 Half Marathons, and then I've done an Oly and two 70.3s. So we had no idea. In March when my running was going really well I ran an unofficial training run 5K in 23:09 (it was truly all out). Given how poor my legs have been feeling I was just hoping to go sub-25. I was frustrated with myself ahead of time for being so slow. Needless to say I was not pumped for this race.
We got up this morning, ate a regular breakfast and headed across town to this local race. It was cool seeing so many families and young kids planning to run. We had looked at the times from last year's finishers and knew that we needed to line up in the front despite planning on race finishes between 20 and 25 minutes. (In fast, last year the female winner ran 26:15.) There were no chips or anything so being up front gave a better chance of your listed time matching garmin time too.
I don't remember all that much from the race. I went out with the first 15 people. There was a woman at the very front. I promptly got passed by two women as we ran through the woods on an uneven trail that made me a little nervous. Just before mile 1 there was a turnaround and I got passed. Shortly thereafter I passed a woman. I ran in this position for a while. It was painful. My legs did not want to turn over. I could feel my pace slipping as I went. I was breathing as heavily as I think I ever have while running. It was good actually to just give in to breathing fast and hard and not trying to control it. Just before mile 2 I got passed. Then we hit a hill and I passed the woman back. Then she passed me back. I don't know if I could have held on to her. I don't know why I didn't try harder. I had in my mind that I was in 5th place and I was pleased with this. The third mile was hard as hell. My pace I'm afraid was quite sad. I actually tried not to look at my garmin at all and just keep moving. With a third of a mile left we turned back onto the trail and through the woods to the finish. I just didn't want to get passed in this last stretch. I tried to pick up the pace. I did, but it didn't feel fast. As I crossed the finish line I was handed a popsicle stick with my rank - #22 overall. I pulled over, sucked wind and grabbed knees. Two minutes later I felt fine. James came in #12. He was not pleased, having blown up around 1.5 miles in (a "learning experience"). There were two women who finished ahead of him. As they hand posted the results I went to check whether I had in fact held on to 5th woman. In the end, I don't know! There was no indication of gender on the results sheets. I was either 5th or 6th depending on whether we think Antolin is a man or woman's name.
We stuck around for the raffle. There were no awards based on time. James won a gift certificate for 3 personal training sessions. Very cool.
In conclusion - 5Ks are not fun. But its nice to race for less than half an hour and then be done and get to hang out. Now I'm off to the pool...
Rove the Cove 5K
Official Time: 22:29
Place: 22/175 overall, 5th or 6th woman