Yesterday the hubby & I did another trail race. The stars aligned once again and we had good weather (we are notorious for rain at this time of year so no rain is a minor miracle).
When my alarm went off in the morning I was still tired and did not want to get up. But I was feeling fairly hungry and knew I had to eat something before we left. I just had a piece of toast with peanut butter. I didn't want to have too much and upset my tummy.
I was hoping to leave the house about 8:15 leaving us lots of time to get our numbers and do a long warm up. At 8:20 I couldn't find my husband. Eventually I found him outside CHANGING THE OIL ON MY CAR! The race started at 9AM - ack!!! I mean, yeah thanks, my car needed the oil change - but come on!
Anyhow, he came in, had a quick shower and when we arrived, there was still a huge line-up of late registrants. Luckily we were pre-registered so we got our numbers quickly and still got in a good warm-up. I took an Ibuprofen as a precaution, but everything felt great and I expected a pretty good race.
We started off on a somewhat narrow path (I don't know why they do this!). Unfortunately we were a bit further back than maybe we should have been. So the 200+ runners start off at the pace of a snail going backwards upside down - ridiculous. Then as the faster runners were trying to pick through - past the people who for some reason figure they should start out running side by side with their friends, yakking & taking up the whole path. This makes me angry! If you wanna yak, fine, but stay off to the side until the crowd seperates and then enjoy your merry time. GRRR! I try to make a point of staying to the right and only moving over to pass, then go back over. It's like driving to me ... mind you, many people don't obey that rule on the road either. :(
So this poor lady gets sandwiched between a few people and I don't know if someone ran her over or if she tripped or what but she goes down - HARD! I was a few people over but I saw her land face first, in the gravel, with her hands behind her back. When she lifted her head, her nose was completely scratched and bleeding. There was a good half dozen people helping her already so we carried on, but I sure hope she's OK. They really should start with a few waves.
We ran this same course last year, though I only did 5K and hubby did 10. This year we both did 10. It's a good trail, and it didn't seem nearly as hilly as it did last year. It's funny how as you get fitter those hills seem smaller or non-existant. There was one killer hill just before the end of the loop - three switchbacks to get up it! I don't care who you are .... that one is tough!
At the end of loop one (you bypass a short turn-off to the finish if you're doing two loops) my time was around 28-29 minutes. This really surprised me. I know I can easily run 5K faster than that. On the first loop I was running with this man and we got chatting a bit (nice guy, I ran with his son last race - ironic??). So I figured maybe that cost me a bit of time. I went ahead of him for loop 2 and pushed a bit harder figuring I could pick up a little time.
I knew at this time that I would not meet my goal of finishing in 54-55 minutes, but I was thinking I could get it done in 57 or less. There were no distance markers along the way so it made it kind of hard to judge your pace (I'm not blessed with a Garmin or anything like that). But, I followed close to my old guy - hahaa, so I figured I was on target. There is this older man, and every race he passes me about 3/4 of the way through and then I can't catch him. So this time when he passed me I focused on him and stayed as close as I could - which I did fairly well.
I was feeling really good. I felt like I was pushing hard, but I also felt strong and had no aches. I did feel a teeny bit hungry and thirsty though. When I came around the corner to the big hill I knew I was almost there and just focused on keeping a good steady pace, even breathing and getting up that hill.
Shortly after I crested the hill I saw my husband standing at the final bend waiting for me. He had a "look" on his face and told me I was at 57:30 and if I pushed it I could maybe break 58. My heart sunk! I immediately got this feeling of failure. I was so far off my goal time and I couldn't understand it.
I actually gave up. I refused to sprint at the end. Not because I was too tired, not because I was sore - but because I was disappointed. It's a bad personality fault, what can I say...
I finished in 58:30 - ugh! I'm still having a hard time processing this. I'm still wondering if the distance was longer than 10K. That's not a bad time for a 10K, but I know I can run it faster than that - even with hills and terrain and all. Last year my husband ran it in 57:30 and I really wanted to beat that time. I had set a goal that I was sure was achievable and being so far off it left me just shaking my head.
So now I wait until the next 10K (Feb 22nd) where typically people seem to run it 5-10% faster than this race. This would put me finishing it around 54-56 minutes, which is where I'd expect to be.
Now ... so I'm not all doom and gloom ... here's the positives. Last year I did the 5K option and finished in 32:46, which I was disappointed in too as I was running 5K in under 29 minutes at that point (this also leads me to believe this course is longer than described). If I take that time and double it, my 10K time would have been at least 65:30. So that means I improved by 7 minutes, or 12% - and that I'm impressed with.
My husband finished in 52:15 yesterday, this also means he improved by 10% (5+ minutes) from last year. I think we've both done well.
I'm going to take a few days off of running as I am a bit sore today. But I'm going to ramp up the weights this week. However, it's only 2 weeks until our next race so I can't let it completely slide.