This past weekend after about a four year hiatus I decided to do the cross country series. I really think the hiatus lasted so long because I really do not enjoy the first race the 3k. It is awful, miserable and I just really dread it. This year was no different. I started back with Liz on Dec. 31st with a bike test which almost had me puking on the compu trainer and for pitiful results. I then went from doing about 4 work outs a week to doing 6 days a week training with most days containing two work outs. I was tired and my legs were tired. I knew I would hate the 3k but felt like it would be a great work out so lets go with it. The day before my calves were extremely sore from the bike test, running long, and tons of jumping at 9 rounds so I went to my favorite Chinese Foot Massage and received an hour of their glorious magic. The next day when I showed up to the race and begin to warm up, my legs felt light and good! At least I had that going for me!!
The race could be summed up in one word - HARD!! Usually I am a happy racer smiling and acknowledging those around me but during this race I was pretty much blind. I was on the pain train and could hear people shouting my name but no way could I tell you who it was or acknowledge them.
Why was I in such a pain?? If you look at the results I averaged just a little over 7 minute pace. Well... here is the deal. If you have not participated in the 3k - you are missing out on one of the runs little painful secrets. You run the first mile in an open field and then enter the trails. At the horn, everyone bolts like a madman. Even Lane is saying over the meagaphone, this is the race where everyone goes out hard and fights to hang on. That sums it up. I go out at paces that I shouldn't even do a 200 in and then still have to race the rest of the race. I wish I could get everyone around me to agree to start out at a pace we can hold or at least not get caught up in the frenzy. The guy who was running next to me at the start of the race - told me afterwards that we were running a 4:50 pace at the start. So this year after trying to hold on to these crazy fast paces that did begin to slow at each 200 yds but were still too fast - I enter the woods and think Thank God! This is my place. I am a trail runner. But the woods were a muddy messy mess and the effort to run in them was double. I am a trail runner and kept talking to myself to go - go and begin to catch 2nd and 3rd place girl. If we would have just had another few minutes of woods running, I think I would have caught and passed them both. Came out of the woods right on their shoulders and thinking I am going to sprint this last .20 of open field to the finish. Forgetting that I am not a sprinter and they both had the same idea. So I finished 4th with about 6 seconds separating all three of us. My hope is at the 5k and 8k when we are in the woods the whole time that I can catch them. I really would like to be in the top 3 overall in this series.
Never with more joy did I cross the finish line and be so happy that a race is done. Went straight to the car and hit Starbucks - then went home and cleaned house with all my adorable children and ran countless errands before hitting church and having a birthday party for Stewart. And that was that... the race was forgotten. I love that I have now moved to the point to accept my performance for what it is. If you knew me years ago, I would have spent hours beating myself up for not pushing harder or going after those girls more aggressively etc. Now I figure that I did the best I could at that moment and it is a great place to be.
And now I am just counting the days to spring... brr... br.....