Originally posted on: April 6, 2013
Funny number for taking off on the runways ;-).
Today was the Race the Runways 5K road race and like they say, you race with the weather that there is that day. Well today's weather was the story - the sun was out, but there was a slight problem it was cold and windy -- very, very windy.
The cold would not have been bad, but the steady 20+ winds and higher gusts were pretty tough. Oh well that is just the way it works and you still have to smile and have a good time.
I warmed-up my usual 30 minutes before a race starts, I know it is early, but I find that I need to do it that early, because running helps to relieve my tension, plus it gets me moving around, which I need to do more than just sit around waiting for the start. At the 20 minute mark I went back out for another little warm-up run and to find a tree to stand behind, the lines were pretty bad .
The winds were at our back for the first 1.5 miles and I could have gone faster, but I knew that almost the rest of the race was into the strong headwind, so I "saved" something for that. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I wish that I had just gone out hard - lesson learned.
When one of the guys I know passed me, who I know is faster than I am, I got to thinking that I was going too fast and yes I admit it a little intimidated and just let him go, which really meant that I slowed down a bit (when I look at my pacing on the Garmin Site - I can see exactly when it happened). This is something that I have to work on. I know I can go faster and can't let that kind of thing happen in a race!
When we got to the turn-around - HOLY CRAP!!! No that isn't what I said, but you get the idea
:-). The wind was pretty bad at this point, but manageable. When I got to point where I had to go back across the stream of runners going the opposite direction, I lost about 5 seconds trying to get across, the oncoming runners were supposed to yield to the runners crossing - they didn't and it was like playing football, only trying to avoid contact ;-).
Once I got out on the runway - WOW! the wind was blowing hard throw this section and I was getting passed by a few runners - I just didn't have the mental toughness to run any faster. When we turned off the runway it was a lot better and I picked the pace up again, until we hit the wind again when I slowed done, while no one passed me once we got off the runway to the end, but I was toast more mentally than I was physically.
The wind just blew away my focus (I know that was bad - but it is the truth).
So how did I do? My official finish info is below:
For the conditions, I will take it, 7 seconds slower than my last 5K race, but I am happy with the results, but not happy with my effort or mental toughness - I should have done better. I felt fine after the race and could have kept running at that with no problem.
No I am not beating myself up, I am simply being objective about what I let happen during the race and have to work on fixing it. If I can't be honest about what I need to work on to improve, than I won't improve.
I ran in the Mizuno Ekidon's and they did great - in other words, I didn't distract me during the race and I didn't think about my feet at all during the race, which is what I want and expect from a pair of running shoes.
The biggest take-aways for me and this race are:
- In a 5K go out hard and then run faster.
- Just because I am running ahead of someone I think is faster than I am, doesn't mean that I am running too fast - I am working hard to improve and maybe it is working.
- If someone does attempt to pass me, it doesn't mean that I have to let it happen, I can and need to fight back against the pass - whoever it is.
- That I let the wind psyche me out too much and I lost my focus. I need to be able to race strong in any weather or race conditions - my competitors are facing the same weather that I am.
- I need to work on that mental toughness aspect of my racing and running. It is definitely something that I will work on - if anyone has any ideas to help me with this I would love your suggestions or links to help me become mentally stronger.
One of the Charities that this year's Race the Runways supported was Veterans No Boundaries
Which has many of the same goals that Team - Red, White and Blue does to support our Veterans to be more physically active.
Overall, I was happy with my race today, but learned a lot about what I need to get better at. My experience at racing is really at the novice to intermediate levels. I have a lot to re-learn and that only comes from actually racing more.
I do have a feeling that this is one of those races that I will want to do again next year, but maybe I will do the Half instead of the 5K, we will see. It will depend upon my running goals next year. A big think you to the volunteers and all those that helped to make this race such a success in rather daunting weather.
This is what I came home to though :-)
Yes - he is just a little spoiled.