Damn, it feels good to be a winner.
So I’ve been awake since 5:30 this morning, I raced pretty hard, then I worked (while dizzy, lightheaded and nauseous) a lunch shift. Fun fun.
Pros: Won first place female overall, perfect weather, great course - not too flat, not too hilly.
Cons: Breathing, as usual. I’ve got a horrible chest cough that makes my asthma even worse, so I’ve just been wheezing like crazy these past few weeks. Also, I definitely felt really tired by the second mile and once I knew the 2nd female was a longgg way behind me, I eased my pace. Also: ran solo a good chunk.
I was by far the most nervous for this race than any of the other ones I’ve recently done. I’ve established myself in the area with my times/places in two previous 5Ks; I didn’t want the third one to be a let down. It was run as a fundraiser for a neighboring school district’s XC program, and I know a ton of people there and thought I would face tougher competition with XC runners doing it. I was legitimately nervously shaking before the start, and my legs felt like jello warming up - which I thought was an omen of a bad race to come.
To make matters better/worse, my mentor/friend/former math teacher who I run with was volunteering at the event. She’s a freaking beast - she ran in college, went to like states or something in high school, ran a marathon a few years ago… - of course I wanted to kind of prove myself as almost as awesome as she is. So with her, and my mom and sister, I had people there cheering me on who I super care about and I wanted to make proud.
And myself, of course.
Which I did, I guess. I won, which I was really concerned about. But I always find faults soon after success. I didn’t sub-20, which, now that I’ve had a taste of, I want more than anything. If I pushed myself harder and not have fallen back on “well, I’m comfortably in first, so since I’m not feeling so hot, I’ll ease up a little”, I might have had a better time. I also went out realllly hard (my first mile split was 6:11), which is new for me. I’m trying to get it right - until this year, I’ve spent my whole life going out very conservatively and then having a huge kick at the end. Now that I’m trying to go out hard, I need to figure out how to start where I’ll still feel like I have strength left at the end.
The course was great - rolling hills through an area I’m fairly familiar with. The weather was PERFECT - sunny, ≈70° with a nice breeze. I was able to hang on with the boys for a fair amount of time, but by the last three-quarters or half mile or so, the one I was pacing with pulled out far enough ahead of me that I ran kind of solo. Maybe if I had more competition and people to pace with, I might push harder.
What’s done is done. I won and that’s a huge ego boost. Got myself a sick trophy - my first ever! Now I’m just trying to take it easy and not pass out. I don’t have anymore races on my radar right now, other than a mile dash (which I really want to try and break 6 in). I was going to take a little bit of a racing break after this one, but, of course, I’m already thinking “Okay, what’s next?”