Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breaking a barrier and a W

My race this last weekend was all that I could have hoped for, especially as a spontaneous-out-of-the-blue kind of race. There are races that I’ve planned MONTHS for that have been much less rewarding that the “Monster Dash 5k”. Here’s what went down. 

Setting the scene
This was an afternoon race (2:30pm) which had me all out of sorts in the morning. What do I eat? When do I eat it? How close to the race can I snack? How much water do I drink? Blah blah blah. Ended up eating my usual pre-race meal (bagel and nut butter –currently obsessed with sunflower seed butter) as an early lunch and hoped for the best. 

The pre-race mental game
While I warmed up I felt pretty terrible: sluggish legs, tight muscles, laced my left shoe too tight, etc…so I had low expectations for the race despite the fact I’ve been visiting the oval weekly.  I also knew the race had an uphill start which I wasn’t too thrilled about…but it was an out an back course, so there was a downhill finish to look forward to. In the back of mind, I knew this was a good opportunity to PR.  With consistent speed work and a few xc races to strengthen my legs, I figured I had a shot…but I tried not to think about it!

mmm, the oval
When the gun went off, everyone surged up the first hill. Phew! Nothin’ like getting real out of breath immediately! About a half mile in, I passed the lady in first place, and that’s where the real ‘magic’ of this race began. 

The Magic
Volunteers were hollering ‘first place woman!’ as I ran by, and when I passed the turn-around and was running toward the rest of the field, I felt so much support from all my sisters in sport out there. They hooted encouragement like ‘you go girl!’, and ‘you got it girl!’ and ‘go first place woman!’ and ‘beat those boys!’.  I felt so much gratitude for those ladies and a lovely sense of camaraderie.  I have never had that kind of mid-race encouragement before, and it was downright amazing. Got some warm and fuzzy feelings. 

The warm and fuzzies not shown
And then things got more awesome. I sailed down the last hill and squeezed myself under my spring-summer goal of running sub-19 minutes (18:58)! Note: that darn 19 minute 5k goal has been lurking for quite some time and was starting to become a 'barrier' in my mind. It was a 13 second PR and I finally got to experience breaking the tape in a race. I threw my hands in the air with a big grin on my face…I couldn’t help myself! 

Super official tape
  And the final and biggest miracle of all: non-horrifying race photos. Truly a treat!



  1. Wow that is so awesome. Congratulations on winning the race. I can only imagine what an awesome feeling that must be. I'm still trying to to break the 20 minutes barrier which I'm confident I'll do very soon. Again, congrats on that fine performance.

  2. What a thrill for you! There is no better feeling in the world then surpassing your goal. All your hard work paid off. I am hoping to be there with you in the sub-19 category. I have 13 seconds to go....feels like 13 minutes! So inspired by your great story.

    1. You can definitely do it! All it took was a couple more track workouts and an aggressive first mile...then all you have to do is hang on and finish strong!

  3. WOW!! Great post, and awesome pictures! Congrats girl!