25K Training – Week 9 – The Agony Of Defeat!

Well as I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was the 5K  Irish Jig that I was so looking forward to last week. The race was a huge success overall with over 3000 participants and is deemed as the “inaugural race” of the Grand Rapids area running groups.

The weather turned out to be rather horrible for running a race this weekend. We had been experiencing temperatures in the 60’s much of last week which is very warm for Michigan this time of year. The sun had shone all week and I made my Wednesday and Thursday runs in shorts and just a shirt. Well Mother Nature had other ideas for Saturday’s run!

The weather turned horrible Friday night going into Saturday morning with temps dropping into the 20’s overnight and snow predicted for the AM period with up to an inch of accumulation.  I really hate it when the weather forecasters actually get it right in this case.  It was snowing heavily at times as I drove towards the race location.

I got invited to run a 7 mile warm up run with a group that a girl I work with runs with every week and I graciously accepted as I had a 13 mile run on the plate for this weekend as training but wasn’t sure how I was going to fit it in with the race and all so this seemed like the next best thing. So that’s what I did and other than the fact that it sometimes was hard to see with the snow blowing into our eyes as we ran, it was a good run.

I finished the 7 miler about 25 minutes before the 5K was scheduled to start and initially I thought 25 minutes would be too short of time between the first run and the race but I was wrong. It was actually too long. My leg muscles started to tighten with the cold and being rather wet from sweating during the first run I actually was getting chilled. This created an interesting start of the 5K for me as the stiffness was concerning.

Knowing that the long term goal for me is the 25K in 6 weeks, I wanted to be sure I didn’t injure myself so I kicked back what a thought was a “little bit” from my normal running pace but as it turned out, it was a “lot slower” than my normal running pace. I was so enjoying my second run that I didn’t pay attention to my pace time and ended crossing the finish line in 27:37 which the poorest showing I’ve ever had in a 5K! My personal worst prior to that was 25:11.

Talk about disappointing! I felt awful! I was feeling way too good to run that slow of a pace, so what happened? I simply didn’t pay attention to my time and not knowing the route, I didn’t react to the changes I needed to make to my pace to finish the race well. Plus as I’ve been training for longer distances, I am now naturally keying in of consistency of pace more than speed. Now you might want to say that because I ran 7 miles before this race that I should be happy to have done what I did? I am, but knowing I could have done much better is still bugging me. A lot!

Last year I would have never considered running an 11K before running a 5K and now I do it and end up feeling disappointed? But that’s why I run and why I love it. I’m proud of yesterdays accomplishment but it only means I have to push harder to get to the goals I have for myself. I also may invest in some new tools to help me keep track of my pace such as Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS trainer. More to come on that.

With six weeks to go, I still have much mental preparation to get ready for the 25K. I am confident that I will be ready physically to run the race and though I know I won’t be competitive in the race itself, I still want to make a good showing in and meet my goal of less than 2 1/2 hours.

Well this next week should bring back some warmer temperatures and I’m looking forward to another good week of training in the spring sunshine. See you out there on the roads!

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