This weekend, I ran the Crimesolvers 5K, finishing in a time of 20:16. I'm actually pretty happy with the race, though I've still got a long way to go to get fit.
I have to admit that I wasn't that enthusiastic about running this - nothing against the race itself; it's just that I really don't like 5Ks. And I don't like races in August. (I also don't like green eggs and ham).
But....racing is a skill, and one that needs to be practiced. And...I also needed to have a cut back week, so it made sense to combine a mileage cutback with running this race. And my team was organizing this race, so pretty much everyone would be there. So I signed up. Like a job to be done.
I wasn't that much more enthusiastic on Saturday morning, when I woke up. Part of this was that I was completely distracted with a) my plans to go visit my parents for an overnight stay right after the race and b) the ridiculously large assortment of vanities, sinks, faucets, toilets, etc that one has to choose between when building a new bathroom. The race wasn't the center of my attention.
It was also moderately cool, but fairly humid. (inserts grumbling here before removing, since we all race in the same conditions). And the course had some ups and downs and turns that promised to make life interesting. But on the other hand, it was good for me to race in the conditions I like least - sort of a callousing effect, if that makes sense. If you only race on flat courses in perfect weather when you're in great shape, you miss out on a lot.
Warmed up, said hi to all my friends/teammates (a _lot_ of them were there), and lined up. And then we were off. Per my norm, I started off cautiously before picking up some - the very first part of the course had a moderate uphill that could really haunt one later if you hit it too fast.
Then, I just ran, at what I'd describe as a very hard cruise. I think part of my restraint came from the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with the course, so I was a bit hesitant. I didn't know if or when the next hill was coming, and I knew that if I dug myself into severe oxygen debt, there'd be no saving myself if I hit a hill. I think it was also that (unusual for me) I just wasn't focused on the race, and was thinking of it as a job to get done before rushing to the rest of my weekend.
But, so it was. And I ran on.
During the course of the race, I had been keeping an eye on the women ahead of me, idly debating whether they were masters women or not. In the third mile, I began making up the distance between myself and one girl ahead of me. A few seconds of internal debate, and then I decided to see if I could pass her. Both because she might have been a masters (though I was pretty sure she wasn't), and because the whole purpose of being here was to practice racing.
(and yes, I know I shouldn't have even debated whether to go after her - but as I wrote, I wasn't really in a racing mood for whatever reason).
So, I started to close, with the idea that I'd see what kind of kick I had after the 3 mile mark. Hit the 3 mile mark, and started pushing around the first turn towards the finish. I knew we had one more turn, and then about 150 meters or so to the finish.
Except whoops! Came around the last turn, and it was more like 50 meters.
And (this is the neat thing). I panicked a bit, and in the adrenaline rush managed to actually sprint. It felt weird and strangely awesome. And I chased her down, passed her, and just about tied another female as we crossed the finish.
Not the sort of thing that I'm generally known for, but hey, it happened. And in the post-race delerium, I just barely managed to restrain myself from crowing about my sprint. ("didya see me? I kicked! Really!).
And all the sudden, I was enthusiastic about racing again. And I couldn't wait to sign up for the next one, August be damned. All because I found a kick. Funny how that works.
It's too bad there aren't more races in August. Words I never thought I'd say.
-Splits were 6:35/6:31/6:31/40
-Used my new Foradil inhaler, plus a two precautionary puffs of my albuterol - No asthma issues, so woo.
-No allergies either - that's the one positive thing about humidity.
-This really was a fun, well-run race (full disclosure: my running team manages this race, but I had no involvement in the organization, and would have said so regardless). There was a barbeque stand or similar post race - though I didn't hit it myself, I thought that was an inspired choice for an August race.