There comes a point as a runner when you can feel that everything is clicking. Sometimes it’s miles 8-11 on an 18 mile training run, sometimes it’s the 4th hill in your hill repeats. And sometimes… if you’re lucky, it’s right smack dab in the middle of a race.
I’m not sure what it is… it could be a lot of things… it could be the fact that I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last month, it could be the speedwork I’ve been doing, it could be all the strength training I’ve been doing (yes, even lower body), it could be trying not to be a total pansy while running with a faster running partner… but likely, it’s a mixture of all those things and you know what? It feels DAMN good.
Saturday morning, my mom and I ran the Chick-fil-a Frostbite 5k. This is the 3rd consecutive year I’ve ran this race and I went into this race with fairly low expectations. I had PRed the previous week and Friday night, after a wreck of a day at work, I ended up carbing up a little more than necessary for a 5k (NOT quite a la Michael Scott, but damn near close)… wine, potatoes gratin, some cheesecake… you get the idea.
I was familiar with this race course and familiar with how annoying Hendersonville Cops can be during races (don’t even get me started on the race that they ushered us along the wrong course), as one on a motorcycle tried to push us all to the right side of a quiet, residential street I just got pissed and blasted off **. Instead of then realizing that I was running like a bat out of hell and slowing down… I just kept at it. And something happened during the race… I was running much faster than I normally do, but, I wasn’t entirely uncomfortable (meaning: I wasn’t looking for an inconspicuous place to vomit along the course). I felt like I was running a race, but I wasn’t feeling as terrible as I felt at the previous 5k that I PRed in. With this in mind… I expected a race time in the 25:30 range.
The first time I saw the race clock at the finish, it had just rolled over to 24:00 and I knew, I was not only on my way to another PR, but that it was going to be a sub 25:00 PR.
My official chip time was 24:32. (Yes, that’s right… that’s an average of 7:55/mile. I know, I can’t believe it either). And you know what… I came in 2nd out of 21 in my age group! How sweet is that?
I could get used to all these new PRs and awards…
Now if I could only get an in-race pic where I don’t look like an enormous walrus wallowing my way to the finish line…
** Of course, I understand that generally, the cops think they are helping out and keeping us safe… unfortunately, I don’t think any of the cops that work these races have ever RAN a 5k, so I don’t think they understand that idling around a bunch of runners with their exhaust and their loud bikes makes for a pleasant race experience.
And because I'm feeling all Linky-mcLinkerston here is Last Year's Chick-fil-a Race Report.