I spent a lot of time last week trying not to do anything. I wanted to rest my legs as much as possible so that they would be refreshed for our 5K last Saturday. So I tried to give us extra time to get to Simon’s school for pickup. I tried to get at least 7 hours of sleep. And I didn’t run after Tuesday morning.
But my best efforts to not have sore legs were thwarted. On Friday we got out the door late to go to pickup, and I ended up giving it all I had to get over the bridge on time. And then that night Micah and I decided to “take it easy” by watching a movie until . . . late. So I was a little apprehensive about the race. I wanted, as always, to do well. I thought I was in good shape, and my legs are for sure stronger than they’ve ever been. The question was: Does strength beat tiredness?
As I weaved my way to the front of the starting line, I wasn’t at all sure. I could feel the soreness in my legs from so many miles on the bike and on my legs. I could feel the tiredness in the rest of my body from not enough sleep. But when the race started, off we went, Micah and I together. He knew I wanted to do well. I was hoping for maybe a sub-20:00, but would be happy with a PR. A win would be nice, too, but I wasn’t counting on it since I had no idea who the competition was.
The race started on the hill this year, which I wasn’t totally thrilled about. It was nice to get it out of the way, but then it also would be nice to not start with burning legs. Once we rounded the top, I kept hoping that it would get easier for me. I knew I was the first woman and I wanted to hold onto that, but I didn’t know where the 2nd woman was, so I kept pushing and hoping she wouldn’t pass me.
As we went down the hill on the opposite side of the park, around mile 2, I got a side-stitch. And we also came up beside the guy in 4th place. He saw that we were racing and put on some speed. I told Micah I was struggling but we kept pushing it. It’s funny how far 1 mile can feel when you are running it at a 6:30ish pace. I kept worrying that there was another woman right behind me, ready to blow past me the second I slowed down. So it wasn’t until we crossed the line that we let up. It felt so good to stop. The clock said 20:13 as we crossed the line.
Right after we finished, we had to go pick up our kids from some fields where a friend was watching them. (Sidenote: Oliver has a bit of a crush on this friend of ours. It is adorable and hilarious.) Because we had to go get our kids, we missed Abby coming across the line in record 5K time for her. Bummer.
We stuck around afterward for the awards ceremony where Micah was awarded 1st place in his age group (he came in 4th overall) and they almost didn’t award the top women finishers at all, which was a laughable mistake on their part. I mean, really. Not recognizing the top female finishers at an event that celebrates women? Come now.
And that is that. I was really nervous about this race. You know, because there are expectations of me and all. And because I know that I can win it (if no really good runners happen to enter). So it was a relief to do it and find out that I’m actually getting faster. And not to be disappointed in my performance. (Though, to be honest, I was a bit disappointed in the race organizers this year. No goodie bags? No prizes for the winners? Just a little tiny medal?) Next time I want to see if I can beat 20 minutes.