So, without further adieu, the race report that I am the most experienced in writing:
The time where I thought I was going PR, just because I'm awesome, but then I discovered about a mile in, that 5Ks don't care how awesome you are, they just want to steal your soul and stomp all over your confidence.
Friday before the race, I was amped up! I had committed myself (mentally) to the pain and suffering and was ready to go to battle. Bring on the pain, bitches! Strangely enough, the pain wasn't really the issue. I mean, don't get me wrong, that SOB 5K hurt like hell. BUT, some other factors were at play, as well.
Things I learned from not PRing:
1. The timing of the warm-up is KEY. Particularly when it's cold and damp outside. I thought I was timing my warm up perfectly, I finished with about 5 minutes before race start (and I should note that that was 5 minutes LATER than the dude yelling into the microphone was suggesting. Uhhh.. there's like 200 people here dude, we don't need to be at the start line 10 minutes before the race starts). It was our first really cold, really damp morning of the fall and I was freezing my ass off in those 5 minutes.
And then... 5 minutes turned into about 15. Because, they started the 10K first and then kept saying... we'll start the 5K 2 minutes after the 10K (seemed reasonable to me). EXCEPT 10 MINUTES LATER... we get lined up.
I get it. It's a charity race. No bigs. But, holy crap, it was cold outside. And my legs became frozen blocks of ice in that 15-20 minutes of standing around waiting for the start. And for a 5K, I kinda like my legs to be warm. Ya know?
I did jog around a bit on the track before the 10K started. But, those last 10 minutes, I was standing around waiting to get started.
Throwing jealous death daggers with my eyes to that
little girl with tights AND a hoodie on. Bitch.
Lesson Learned: ASK the RD what the precise start time of your race is going to be. And then don't believe him and jog around for an extra 5 minutes.
2. Uhhh... Here's a little nugget of knowledge: To run fast, you should probably practice running fast. Like, I dunno, maybe have some intervals in your training or something.
Lesson Learned: You're probably not going to PR, if the fastest you've been running in your workouts is 8:30 pace. Dumbass.
3. Dress for success. So, here's an embarrassingly little factoid... My 5K PRs have always come when I'm wearing compression tights. This thought didn't occur to me, until about 30 seconds into this race when I was wrangling with my shorts waistband, trying to keep those fuckers up.
The thing is... when I run fast (say anything under a 7:45), things... body parts... jostle around a bit too much. I'm not talking about my boobs. I got those suckers locked and loaded in my sports bra. I'm talking about my gut. It's uncomfortable, it's inconvenient (cause it jostles my shorts off) and it just fucking sucks.
Lesson Learned: Wear compression tights to suck in all those jiggly parts. (Also, related: will have to be a winter race, because I cannot handle compression tights when it's over 38 degrees).
This was about 400 meters into the race. This was before
my dream unicorn of a PR gored me with it's horn.
4. Time your splits. So, this is a change for me. In the recent past, I've been firmly in the... "I don't need to know what my splits are as I'm running" camp. My idea was that if I looked down and saw a 7:19 for the first mile, I'd flip out and slow down. That was old Amy. New Amy WANTS to see a 7:19 for the first mile and then a 7:19 for the next mile and the next mile, etc. I'm no longer scared of running too fast. Now, I'm scared of running too slow. (Thank god, because uhhhh that's the point of a race, I think). Welcome to racing, Amy. Took you long enough to figure this shit out.
Lesson Learned: Time your splits. And then speed up!
With about 600-400 meters left to go.
God, I hate 5Ks.
5. Constantly tugging at your shirt, because it's too short is annoying as hell.
Lesson Learned: It's time to retire the orange Scenic City shirt. Especially after your belly makes a sneak appearance in every race photo.
The words of my eloquent coach after seeing my results.
Thank god my next race is a half marathon... Uhh.... this weekend.