This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Okay here is the story...I didn't hit one of my pre-race goals. Nada, zip, zilch, none, yet I am pretty satisfied with how I ran.
Ummmm Harold what in the hell are talking about?
My goals for this race were:
A: sub 21:00
B: sub 22:00
C: cop an AG
Did not even come close as you can see by the results ticket.
Yet, I was happy with how I did.
Well the conditions were not ideal, but you run them the same as everyone else, the uphill start makes
it is tough for me get my wind and I struggle mentally with this start every time I run the Thomas College courses, in a race.
Going out it was a bit breezy, so that didn't help all that much either. Although I stayed with Gus a lot longer than usual, once we turned around he blew my doors off. Someday I will catch him.
The only place that I don't understand what I was doing was going out from the school to the turn-around I kept slowing down for some reason. I thought that I was actually pushing harder in this area, but the graph doesn't lie and the closer to the turn-around the slower I was going - even though it was down-hill or reasonably flat there.
I would love to blame it on the head-wind, but I really don't remember it being that bad in that area. So it was more of a focus thing than any weather related issue. That was a little disappointing.
Usually gets me the most on this course is coming back. The hills are deceptive...they don't look like much, but they come at the part of the race where I struggle the most every time I run in a 5K race and when you add in a grade at that point, well it was not all that great.
As you can see I did slow down a bit on them and to be honest, I could have pushed a bit harder past the school. Those head games we play with ourselves.
Once I got back off the hill, I got into race-pace again and felt pretty good the rest of the way. I didn't attempt the sprint at the finish to get under 23:00, I just cruised in at a nice pace.
I felt like I had plenty left in the tank, so I didn't leave it on the course.
So why am I so happy with my effort levels this morning.
When warming up, I just didn't feel like I had much to give today. I have been battling allergies most of the week and I could tell before we started that something was bothering again today. Coughing, runny nose, etc. it is just part of my spring allergy season, which doesn't mix well with racing.
Honestly, once I figured that out, I was more interested in how the N1 Tri's were going to do under race conditions. They did fine - which meant that I didn't think about them at all during warm-ups and the race.
Overall, finishing 24 out of how ever many that showed up was not all that bad and a lot of other runners were saying they were about a minute off their usual times, so I was in the same ball park. One thing that I did learn was that racing on consecutive weeks probably means that the second race won't be all that great either.
I did try something a little different for my pre-race meal. I had a cup of coffee and a Steve's Chocolate No-Bake Cookie for breakfast on the way over to the race. It didn't bother my stomach and I didn't have that empty feeling that I get when I don't eat. What's not to love peanut butter, sugar, oatmeal and chocolate :-)
So while I didn't make any of my pre-race goals, due to things beyond my control, I am reasonably happy at my effort level and how the Tri's did. Could I have done better, maybe...but it wasn't meant to be and I am not going to beat myself up over it like I used to.