Thursday, August 09, 2007

Needs Transmission Work

I just cannot run a good 5k! It is driving me crazy. Anyway, last night's race was just a sea of hormonal teenagers and a handful of other crazy adults like me. I felt almost silly at the starting line with all of these young things.

The bell sounded and we were off. I knew going out too hard would kill me with the heat and the higher mileage and I much rather finish strong that start strong, so I took it a little easy. This kind of sucked because I got stock in a mob of overzealous high school girls who boxed me every which way and stepped on me and elbowed me, but that's what's so fun about cross-country! Anyway, my first mile was 6:27 which was right about where it should be given the tough terrain and the 105 heat index.

I have to say it was so funny. As soon as we came to the 1 mile marker this whole mob of girls just started breathing hard and slowing down and I picked it up and started wizzing by girl after girl. I felt really good! I probably passed 30 girls within half a mile. Craziness! At about the half-way point I could see the woman who I raced with during my last 5k and who I almost caught up to during the Johnnycake jog (she beat me by 5 seconds). I was slowly gaining on her--again. There were a couple of stronger high school runners in between us and I slowly picked them off. We came to the turn around and I was feeling great. But then I looked at my watch and we were well over 13 minutes and still no 2 mile marker. The hell? Finally, at 13:42, there it was. Geesh! I ran the second mile in 7:15? No way! That had to be way long--like 200 meters long. I was a little disconcerted by this. Maybe I was running a lot slower than I thought.

Anyway, with only a mile or so to go I picked it up a bit. I was afraid to really hammer it though. I had visions of the last 5k and sprinting and getting beat again and I didn't want that to happen. I also knew that there would be a big crowd watching us finish and I had this fear that I'd be this ridiculous old lady running so hard she puked and just totally mortify myself. In the meantime I seriously was feeling strong. I was so surprised by that. I guess I just didn't know what to do with it, so I didn't do anything and never down shifted to get that extra speed. Back to the race. We made the turn to come out of the woods and into the crowd. There was only about 1/2 a mile left and I was right behind the other runner. We made a turn and I made my move. I surged and passed her. Mrp said I got some distance on her, but then she came roaring back and sprinting up to me and then past me. I sprinted after her, but my sprint is pretty wimpy and she beat me by 1 second--again! UGH.

My last 1.1 was 6:54 (final time: 20:38). That equates to a 6:12 mile. That's more than a minute faster than I supposedly ran mile 2. It HAD to be long.

So, I am annoyed that I didn't just go nuts that last 1/4 mile and bury her when I was feeling strong anyway. I have that lower gear. I just need to find it and use it! On the other hand, it was crazy fun to run elbow to elbow with all those girls and wear spikes and get muddy and sweaty--oh so sweaty. I'm looking forward to doing it again in a couple of weeks, but this time doing it better and maybe finally run a 5k up to my potential!


Jim said...

That's still a fine race Salty considering the volume of mileage you've accumulated in the past week. Just think what you could do if you were totally fresh! Your nemesis woman wouldn't stand a chance.

GP said...

I'm looking forward to reading about how all of this 5K-speed work will kick in during the last leg of your upcoming marathon.

Great race, nevertheless! You know that you have the speed and the juice, you just need to find that gear. Sometimes it just takes a few tries to get it. And I'm sure it'll be there next time.

Robert said...

I'm with Jim. Keep in mind you had all of those miles this week and she was probably fully rested. She'll be a piece of cake at the next race. Don't resort to the Tonya Harding method! :-P

Papa Louie said...

The answer to your speed and beating your nemesis is you got to want to beat her. You have the strength but your mind needs that little push to dig deep and fight to the finish. You can do it!

DaisyDuc said...

Oh my, it was disgusting hot that night!! Despite your 1 second disgust, you ran a great race!