I have not raced since last October doing Ragnar ADK with a bunch of crazy people I now call my friend. So when I say I was a bit anxious about strapping on a number again, I mean these nerves were big. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I would finish, but that I didn’t really know how to race this.
I was majorly out of practice for racing in general, let alone a distance I had never done.
Man oh man was I excited!
I woke up about 6:30 for my pre-race shake out. It was pouring. Seriously sheets of rain, so I took it inside. Before a race, no matter how early I have to get up, I do a shake out run. It cuts through nerves and reminds my body that I can run and will be fine.
I got home from that, ate breakfast and drove down to the 11:00AM start. When I got in the car, it wasn’t raining. I live 5 minutes from the start of the race, but by the time I got there, the sheets of rain started again and continued from then on.
I had a plan to warm up by running the course, but that was kind of futile because even though it was 45 degrees, any warm up I would do would be lost by the start. So bout 10 minutes before race start, I did a couple small laps and some strides. I wasn’t ideally warmed up but that would have to do.
I lined up, the gun went off and I found myself first person overall. I would stay that way the whole race so I focused on running faster than normal but not too fast as to bonk.
The rain and wind made the race interesting, but I hit the first mile in 6:04. I was feeling the burn build up a bit in my lungs, but I kept what I thought was a solid pace. The course is out and back so you literally get to a cone and have to stop and turn around. I did this cautiously so I didn’t jerk anything the wrong way. I started up again and hit mile 2 in 6:10. I get what people say about 5Ks, the second mile is a bruiser.
In the last mile, I remembered the email I got from my coach beforehand about how there would be less than 6 minutes left of the race and to go all out. I did my best and hit the last mile in 5:58.
I finished in 18:40 and was first person overall.
This was a great experience and hopefully I can improve my time in the future. I was very happy with how it went under the conditions. This race was small, around 50 people, which even the race director was surprised and didn’t bring enough food.
There were no medals, no fanfare, a perfectly typical Ithaca race. I loved it!
I got a few pictures with my running buddy L afterwards and we cooled down a few loops together. I felt great after the race and my body was like “ok, are we going again?”. That signals to me I have potential to improve and I wasn’t sore today (until I slipped on a patch of ice and now I can barely walk, but that is not this story).
Do you like small races or big races?
What is your race warm-up routine?