7:15am: My alarm goes off, I hit snooze.
7:30 am: My puppy cuddles up to me and puts her cute furry paw around my neck.
7:31am: Why couldn’t I just be a puppy? Adulting sucks.
7:35am: I think I feel sick and shouldn’t run this 5km road race today.
7:45am: Fine, I’ll get up and drink coffee and do this race.
8:00am: Drinking coffee, walking my dogs and wondering why do I always sign up for the hard stuff, running a marathon would be much more fun than a 5km right now.
8:05am: Got on my race outfit, my warm up clothes and my running shoes.
8:10am: Master track races are so much better, they start in the afternoon! This morning stuff is BS!
8:15am: Start to run to the race, forget my race bib, go back and get it.
8:35am: Run into Lisa halfway to the race start line and continue to do my warm up for the race.
9:10am: The 5km starts.
Sunday was my first road race in a while and I knew it was going to be mentally uncomfortable. Coach Timo, gave me carte blanche on pace, only suggesting to cruise at 3:45/km for the 1st km. Transitioning from track to road is not exactly easy, at least not for me. I get used to the relying on my 200m split times to control my pace. I LOVE spikes and the feel of a faster but softer surface. The complete dead air of an indoor track is probably my most favourite thing. Outside; even a small 5kmph wind can feel like a hurricane if you’ve spent most of your winter inside.
I was nervous for the first time in a long time, but not about my time, more about what starts to happen to my brain at 3km. The race started, and I felt very comfortable at 3:45/km, the kind of comfort, where I could run that pace all day. For the first 3km I was pleased with my ability to listen to my coach, pace the first 1km exactly as he said and was ready to see what kind of kick I might have.
I ran the very first MEC 5km race years ago and won it. I loved the idea of the race series, the low key, low maintenance and low budget of the experience. Somewhere between many years ago and today, a lot of other runners have joined in the fun. The park was packed with runners, racing distances from 5km to 10km up to 15km. Here’s the issue I have with MEC doing a 15km first, then 5mins later running the 10km and finally 5 mins later the 5km goes. You can probably guess the bottle neck situation that happened. As I quickly approached the 5km turnaround, I got stuck behind the 10km pack and soon my pace was broken.
Not only is this the place where my heads starts to melt down, but I couldn’t quite find my stride. Only training for the 800m and 1500m this year, mentally finishing the last 2km was not going to be easy. My brain kept telling my legs to stop; my legs kept telling my brain to shut up. At some point I allowed for a compromise and decided to take my carte blanche ticket and use it. Sticking to my 3:45/km pace, Sunday would be my 5km practice race.
I was happy with my result and happy to have a road race under my legs. This is my ‘tween season to test my longer distances and take that training load back to the track this summer. Good, bad or ugly I’m going to run more 5km’s and with a lot of hard work and a little patience, the goal I have in my head will happen.