Tuesday, April 23, 2019

CSP Meet: Part II

            I had been mulling over the 5K since I asked coach to put me in it. I wanted a test run at a 5K, but was this really the time or place? I hadn’t tapered for it. I only ran outside once (it’s been all treadmill work otherwise). I didn’t feel the need to win it, but I didn’t want to be last either. There was a 21 minute seed, and one close to my 20:13 PR that I set last fall at the Three Eagle 5K. I’ve been putting in a lot of work on my run, but these were COLLEGIATE distance runners I would be up against. Let's first just remember that I was never a runner, ok? Not a distance runner, not a sprinter. Any running I had to do in college, I struggled with.
I was 95% sure I wouldn’t run. If I got a NH for PV, then I thought I would have to (which was almost the case)! Was I going to let the fear of failure keep me from taking a risk? Or maybe it was really the fear of embarrassment holding me back. My legs were fatigued from vaulting. I had been in the sun all day. I watched the 1500 race and saw how fast the girls went out. Could I handle it? What did it matter anyway? Would it matter if I was last – by a lot? At the end of the day, who would even know, or care? Sometimes when you crack open the door to self-doubt, it ends up being flung wide open.
            I also knew that I didn’t want to look back and regret not taking the chance. I checked in, re-warmed up, put my hip numbers on, and toed the line with the (gulp) college girls. My only strategy was to drop to the back right away and try not to go out too fast. I hung at the back, but stayed on the girl in front of me. First mile was 6:24. Too fast I knew. We caught up to another girl who was dropping back, passed her, and I lost the one I was hanging on to. 
I slowly reeled in another girl, but when I tried to pass her, she picked up the pace and I pulled in behind her again. We ran the next several laps together, and whenever she would slow up on the one corner, I would say a few encouraging words and she would pick it back up again (better than me trying to pass every time). I hung on to her until the final lap when she kicked in the final stretch and I didn’t have what it took to go with her. I finished in 20:23, taking 9thout of 10. Andy told me that if I beat one collegiate distance runner, then I could consider myself successful. Score! I’m glad I sucked it up and just ran it. It was tough, but a really great experience that I would do again. I like the strategy and mental aspect of distance/endurance racing.

            All in all, it was a great day! I can’t be too upset about missing out on 11-8. It will come. The 5K wasn’t a PR, but I still ran well. And I had my Mom and Katie there cheering me on. I would do it all again!

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