Racing on a Whim

I wasn’t planning on racing this weekend.  Really I wasn’t.  But when a Facebook friend posted Friday afternoon, “Who all is doing the Fantastic Four tomorrow???” I started thinking.  The whole reason I had NOT planned to race this weekend was because I had been planning on doing a 5K last Saturday and didn’t want to race two weekends in a row.  But since I ever-so-gracefully fell last Friday afternoon and didn’t get to race the 5K the next day, that was no longer a reason not to race this weekend.

So I did what any runner would do.  I checked weather.com.  High 82, sunny, gusty winds developing later in the day.  Hmmmm……  but the race started at 8, which should only be 60 and breezy.  So I decided right then.  I decided to decide when I woke up the next morning.

Well, that almost didn’t work out.  I forgot to set my alarm, so thank goodness for starving kitties.  (At least that’s what she would have me believe.)  Starvin’ Marvin came into the bedroom demanding breakfast at 6:38.  Registration started at 7:00.

I went outside with the dogs to assess the situation.  Yep, it was about 60ish.  Yep, it was breezy, not gusty yet.  Cloudy.  A little humid, but what the hell.  Let’s do this.

I tossed on some clothes, decorated my bedhead with a headband, grabbed the necessities and headed to the high school where I forked over $20 and then sat in my truck yawning and wondering why in the hell I had decided to do this rather than just crawling back into my snuggly bed.

I wasn’t real sure what my goal should be for this race.  Of course I wanted to PR, but that was kind of a given since my only other four-mile race was two years ago at a 9:49 pace.  I decided I’d just wing it.

We eventually lined up on the track and someone yelled “Go.”  Right off the bat, I set my eyes on another girl that I knew to be faster than me and in my age group.  The goal became to hang with her as long as I could.

Mile 1 – 8:29

I was still hanging with her pretty well but the gap was widening a little bit.  The course was a two-mile out-and-back, and by the turnaround point she was probably a solid 30 seconds in front of me.

Mile 2 – 8:50

Ahhhh, halfway there.  But I really didn’t know how much longer I could hold this pace.  I felt myself fading.  By mile 2.5 I was really wishing that the race had been a 5K.  And then the goal shifted again.  “MAKE it a 5K with a .9-mile cooldown.”  So I raced until my watch read 3.1 miles.  I hit the lap button at 27:11–a 40-second 5K PR!  Then I walked and caught my breath until my watch read 3.2 miles, at which point I noticed that my average pace was still 8:58.  So the goal changed again:  Keep it sub-9.  I tried.  I REALLY tried.  But the “pop” was gone out of my legs.  I was only keeping it around a 9:10 pace so my average pace was creeping up, but when I saw the finish I was able to pull off enough of a kick to land the average at 8:57.  According to my Garmin anyway.

Garmin stats:  4.04 miles/36:04 = 8:57 pace
Official stats:  4.00 miles/36:06 = 9:02 pace

I’LL TAKE IT!!!!  🙂

It was even good enough for a 3rd place AG award.  That’s why I love me some small town races!!!

As an added bonus, I scored a $10 Subway gift card as a door prize!  Woohoo!  That was half of my entry fee that I earned back!

Then I ran four more miles.  Because… well, you know… it just sounded like fun.

And then I came home and had an awkward self-timer photo session with my medal on the deck.  Because… well, you know… I’m a dork.

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8 thoughts on “Racing on a Whim

  1. I love this! Totally worth getting out of bed for, right? Congrats on the PR and the AG award! I love the photo 🙂 You crack me up with your race to 3.1 then “oh sh*t let's do sub 9:00” method! 🙂

    I have never raced a 4 miler. I bet I would be wishing it was only a 5K too. I imagine I would want to push just as hard!

    Like

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