How’s that for a silver lining?
(Obviously, because today was my only 5K of 2011. Or…any race. Since October, as a matter of fact.)
And it almost wasn’t. Here’s the trouble with afternoon races, especially races that I am not pre-registered for: I will invariably sit around all morning being grumpy and thinking of reasons not to attend.
Fortunately, Twitter shamed and cajoled me in to putting on my big girl panties and getting out there.
Knowing that I wanted to get some extra miles today, I started off with an easy 35 minute warm-up. It was a beautiful day for racing, I thought to myself, as I meandered around the community center and watched the 500+ runners assemble near the start. I positioned myself a little bit back from the line, maybe 3-4 people deep. I was certainly not going out to win this one and didn’t want to tempt myself to go out at a sprint.
And then we were off.
Mile 1: Hey, we’re going downhill! Nice. La de daaaaa….STILL going downhill? Okay then. This feels too easy. Why do I have a feeling I’m going to pay for this later? Mile split: 6:40.
Mile 2: Um….we are still descending. Here is the part where I will attempt to convince myself that we will somehow avoid making up this loss of elevation, in spite of the fact that the course starts and ends in the same place. Oh hey, finally, a little uphill. It actually feels good after all the downhill pounding. Mile split: 6:53.
Mile 3: And, climb. Climb, climb, climb. And: O HAI, headwind! Where did you come from? I guess you were at my back for the last two miles.
I hear toddler voices behind me: “Daddy, where are we?” And: “Are we going very far?” I’m confused until the guy with the double baby jogger passes me. FML.
We climb more and I’m afraid to look down at my Garmin – so I don’t. I feel like I’m in major oxygen debt; the Bank of URFD is going to foreclose on my pathetic ass. Finally, I can see the top of a steep hill: I know that the finish is just around the corner so a mile marker must be near. Turns out, it’s just at the hill’s crest. I cringe as I glance down at my chirping wrist: 7:55. Wow. Just…wow.
Finish time: 22:30. I am definitely on the wrong side of the 7-minute mile mark here. That is tempo pace, not race pace. Hmm.
I guess that’s one way to get a long run done, huh?
So, yeah. I could whine about my time, but I won’t. Instead, let’s count all of the positive things that came out of today:
- Enjoyed gorgeous sunny weather
- Spent time with running friends instead of with my iPod
- Made back most of the entry fee with AG swag
- Got in a long run that didn’t feel long
- Got in a speed workout that was really only tough for that one (uphill, headwindy) mile
- Officially race-christened the Brooks Launches that I bought oh-so-long ago (at Chicago Marathon expo! Actually didn’t love them for this distance, but more on that later.)
- Laid down a time that should be easy to smash in my next race
Success? Yes! And I’m glad I went out and did it, in spite of my lackluster performance. I feel like I should be more upset with myself for running a time that’s 2+ minutes slower than that of which I’m capable, but I kind of just can’t muster it. I’ve been cranking hard in February and I am tired. I guess I’m not surprised that I’m not racing well. If I’d wanted to run a good 5K today, I wouldn’t have piled miles on in spite of soreness, or strength trained on Friday, or passed on the usual pre-race rest day.
Anyway, I’ll get there. That’s the point of the overload, right? It kills you…and then you take it off and you fly.
Today’s EAT: So, I do most of the food shopping around here. Given the hubs’ long work hours and the, um, flexibility (to put it charitably) of my professional schedule, this is a no-brainer.
But this week he volunteered for grocery duty, and I didn’t object.
As a result, we now have a giant box of jumbo bakery croissants to work our way through. (Two of them fueled my run today. Lackluster performance, what?)
Whenever I end up with an abundance of a random ingredient, I do my best to create meals around it so it doesn’t go to waste. Tonight’s effort was Open-Faced Shrimp Po Boys:
So easy and delicious! Yes, you could grill or saute the shrimp instead of frying them. But I say it’s not a true Po Boy unless it’s packed full of battered things. And…it’s seasonal, because it’s almost Mardi Gras. Right?
Recipe: Open-Faced Shrimp Po Boys [original]
Today’s DRINK: A shower beer was the first thing on my mind when I returned from my afternoon running/racing extravaganza. Seriously…if you aren’t familiar with the glorious amalgamation of sensations that is sipping a good, cold beer while being pelted with hot water, you must try it.
Today’s RUN: Sunday weekly wrap-up!
M – OFF
Tu – 7.5 easy (1:06, 8:50 pace)
W – 5.0 easy (treadmill, 39:20, 7:52 pace) + bootcamp
Th AM – 3.6 easy (30:00, 8:24 pace)
Th PM – 7.1 w/ 5@ tempo (53:53, 7:36 pace) + yoga
F – 6.0 easy (55:41, 9:16 pace) + full-body strength circuit
Sa – 5.3 easy (45:23, 8:38 pace)
Su – 11.8 w/5K race (1:39:25, 8:27 pace)
Total: 46.2 miles. Shooting for something in the 45-55 range again this week. And coming this week: TRACK IS BACK! This, I am excited about.
Today’s QUESTION: Struggling to think of something topical and cohesive here. So, um…tell me about your weekend? Did you race? Or create random meals? Or enjoy shower beers? Any ideas on how to use up these croissants?