I raced twice last week. I know you probably shouldn't race twice in one week but I counted the first as my speed workout. I also feel like I need a steady dose of road races to help with my mental toughness. I need to constantly be reminded what it feels like to hurt … to be outside that comfort zone.
On Wednesday, I headed south to Salisbury MA to run an all women’s 5K, Run for the Roses. It was a last minute decision … and a good one. I met up with one of my good friends and we warmed up together. The race started on the road, then headed onto a trail within a few seconds. We ran the trail for a little over a mile, then back on the road for less than a mile, then back on the trail to the finish. It was a good course, although I always think the trail part slows you down. I ended up finishing 8th with a 20:58.
On Sunday, I raced my first Sugarloaf 15K. What a great race. Not only would I do the 15K again, but I now I want to tackle that marathon! The course was beautiful.
My long runs right now are just hitting the 12 mile mark so racing a 15K seemed iffy. I decided that if I could run 7:30s and come in at 1:10 I would be happy. Of course on race morning, I started to doubt if I could hold that pace. I warmed up, did some strides, and headed to the start. I had been told that this race takes off fast so I was ready for that and told myself not to go out too hard. The first 1.1 (the race starts .1 of a mile before the 17 mile marker) was 7.52, followed by 7.20, 7.25, 7.29, 7.26, 7.26, 7.19. I’m not sure what happened but somewhere between mile seven and eight I started to feel really bad. I worked through it but posted an 8.08 split. I was not happy with that at all. I was able to pick the pace back up and clocked at 8.47 for the last 1.2 miles, which is 7.19 pace. Finish time was 1.09.18. That was good enough for an 14th place finish and 2nd in my age group. I was very happy with the outcome.
Not only does racing teach me how to hurt, but it makes me want to train harder.
Next up … 10K trail race at Prince William State Park in VA.