WELCOME BACK TO MY BLOG! hahahah. I'm going to resurrect this thing- hopefully more successfully than my attempt at resurrecting my legs this weekend in the last 2 miles of the race. ;-)
So this fall I really felt like I got more of a handle on my nerves for racing. I had several races in the fall so that by the time that the marathon came around I just felt like I was used to toe-ing the line & executing - and not letting any nerves get in the way. I also had figured out a pre-race routine that mostly was just being peaceful and listening to some worship/chill music to get me in a good mental state. Well- I tried to replicate that for the race- but unsuccessfully! HAHAH.
I was just so worked up and nauseous and nothing I could do was changing that. I wanted to throw up & cry literally at the same time. Terrible. HA. I love running and I love to race. But I think that how BIG my goal was, how uncharted the territories was (aka I was trying to run 3 miles at faster than I have ever ran 1 mile), and just the overall high profile race that Carlsbad is (aka one of the biggest 5ks- it's like a 5k party)- made it all kinda a perfect storm for my nerves- NOT in a good way. HA.
Running my warmup, I was just a mess. I was working so hard to calm myself. To say affirmations & to pray. But the nausea wouldn't go away. I honestly had no idea how I would run the race feeling this awful. I only got to do 3 strides on my way to the start because I somehow was running late. And I honestly didn't care. I just was a mess.
I found my friend Chase at the start & we had a plan to run together. I told him how nauseous I was and just how this wasn't what I had planned for- he was just like it's ok- we've got this & gave me a hug- which is definitely what I needed.
Gun went off & I was like- ok get into the zone. We started out- I looked down at my watch in the starting stretch 4:40 pace. Um, BAD IDEA. Backed it off- and Chase was in front of me and in the first half mile I looked down- 5:15 pace. I yelled up at Chase- 5:15- too fast. We slowed down- but then got behind a group and slowed down way too much. Went through the mile at 5:55 and then hit the turnaround for a slight and gradual uphill all the way til 3. The combo of 1. running my fastest mile, 2. the turnaround, 3. the uphill all had me losing my rhythm and it was a fast fade. HA.
Seeing 6:20's on my watch I was like- HOW IS THIS HAPPENING. LACTIC ACID IS UNFORGIVING. HAHA. It was just a tough race. I had such a mental struggle seeing my pace slow and basically having no control over it. That's never fun when racing. My favorite thing in training is to have control and to decided when to go & not to go & to feel like I still have gas in the tank. And my least favorite thing in racing is to somehow no longer have control and just be struggling to live - and running slower paces than I would be for training. But that's what happens when you go too far into the well. (One of the craziest things I've seen of this is when Joshua Cheptegai led out the 2017 World XC Champs and then basically hit the wall and was running backwards.)
I've decided that what most likely happened was that my heart rate was too elevated with this anxiety/nausea + the fastest mile I've ever run out of the gate (partially uphill) meant that I pushed myself over the edge and into the red. Who knows really! This is really just how I'm trying to process everything in order to figure out how to make the next race better. BUTTTT what I do know is that 5:55 didn't feel that hard- so speedwise I have something to work with. I just really need to work on building the strength to hold it.
Hoping to get to do some mile repeats & longer intervals now that 5k specific training is done - I want to build the strength I need to hold the speed I've been building up- and I also think that my achilles could use a break from the explosive speed to fully heal back up! I'm grateful for everyday I can run- and I want to not have to feel like I'm treading on thin ice with each workout I do. It's a lot better to feel like you're on solid footing. And I've been cutting out my leg strength work to not aggravate my achilles- I can't wait to have my achilles healed up to add that back in because I know it will help me.
Anyways- 19:29 for the 5k- (I literally was going to write not my best, not my worst- but IT IS MY BEST. hahahahaha- previous PR was 20:18)- I guess because I executed it so poorly and faded so badly I don't feel like it was my best performance- even if it was my fastest one so far! It's not THAT bad of a day if I fade hard into what is still a pretty significant PR. I'm looking forward to another 5k where I feel like I executed it to my abilities! IT'S ALL A LEARNING PROCESS, GUYS!!! And luckily I love this sport so much I just want to figure it all out- if not all at once. HAHAHA.
So my race outfit is from Oiselle- and these Flyte shorts are pretty much my favorite shorts for racing- they just feel like you're not wearing anything and like your legs are totally free to move. Just the best. I have pretty much every color they have ever made in the Flytes because once I found out how comfortable they were I decided I needed them in every color. HAHA. Also- the Ballard bra is JUST gorgeous and Oiselle makes my favorite bras to wear. They just support so well & are easy to wear. I found Oiselle in 2012 when I started running and loved that it was a running company started by women. They're the best!