Oh man, I almost decided not to run the race. I signed up on Thursday night when I thought I'd be staying in town. I figured that it was an ideal week for a race, since I had some good workouts earlier in the week, including intervals on Wednesday. I'd take Thursday off and have some strength work with a free personal training session early Friday.
At the Friday session, pushups and assisted pullups, squats of various sorts, leg extensions, bit of ab work. Yoinked my inner left knee a bit while standing up, but it seemed to get back in place.
I started being sore on Friday during work... hamstrings, some inner/lower abs, and the yoinked knee seemed to cause my inner left achilles to get a little inflamed, which seemed to later spread to my left TAs. Early Friday, I still figured that I could be recovered enough by the next morning to race well. Later on Friday, though, with the TA issue and the knee and the achilles and the sore hamstring and the sore abs, I began to have doubts. Hated to lose the $11 entry fee, but better lose it than cause an injury that would wipe out my chance with the marathon. In any case, with the soreness, it wouldn't be a stellar perforance. And even if I did well, it's in an oddball distance, which I wouldn't run again except in this race, so a good time would not mean much and would not help me track my progress anyway.
Woke up still feeling very sore... worse. Hurt to sit down, with the sitting down motion. Hammies and abs sore. I debated for about 30 min but decided that I could just go and run super easy at my LR pace and make it like a warmup before adding another 12 or so miles after the race. That way, I get all the goodies from the race (t-shirt, chance at door prizes, race auora) while not hurting myself or losing the $11. Good plan.
When I got there, there were lots of high schoolers of different colors camped out on tarps and tents. It was exciting, bringing back memories of high school XC. Since I had been debating for so long, I got there w/ a/b 30 min before the race. I got my number, switched into my Brooks Trance 8's, and set off to do a warmup w/ 20 min left. I actually felt pretty good. The soreness was just there... not bothersome. So I decided to rac it.
Since it was cool outside (ideal weather), and since I was sore, I didn't mind a longer warmup. Went around the big grassy field where the race was to start then did a bit of dynamic stretching, ROM stuff, and striders. Then, time to line up. Earlier, before the soreness, I figured a 7:00 pace would be excellent, since that had historically been my target for the 5K but now I knew I could do 6:45 under ven non-ideal conditions. So 7:00 with an extra K would be reasonable and nice.
Set off. It was partially grass, partially dirt, partially sidewalk. Grass and dirt was sometimes uneven, almost a bit riskily so. Passed the 1 mile mark in what was announced as 6:35, but that was short, which others agreed with post-race. Some time before the 2, I noticed that my Garmin had shut down. Boo. Now, no idea of my time at all, since I hadn't set my normal watch. So I just went by feel, which worked fine. I went along, and it was kind of exciting. Didn't ever see any other girls, so I'd just be alongside guys every now and then, and it was exhilarating just pushing each other and pushing ouselves. Didn't mind if I got passed, didn't mind if I passed. Just ran my own race. Hit the 2 at 14:00.
Could feel that I was slowing down some afterwards. Normally, it would only be 1 mile left. Just kept it going. At the 2, I started my normal watch, so I have splits from then on and can derive my times from there. Hit the 3 at 7:25. The last bit was a second loop around the big field where we first started, which was wonderful b/c we were looping around the finish and could see our opponents and where to kick. Perfect. Good for audience members, too, to see a lot of the runners. Finished in 26:53. 6k = 3.73 miles. 7:13 ave. Not bad, considering the soreness.
Afterwards, cheered on those coming in. Always gives you joy to do that. Then, after refueling, getting an apron doorprize, and watching awards, got to watch the XC races... mens and womens, JV and varsity. It was fun. The varsity race were the best. Finishes are fun to watch, especially with last-min passing, watching people kick. It's also great to see fast runners with good form, like the mens' winner. Effortless speed. Wow. Watching all of them and hearing their times, I felt old and kinda slow. Really, I'm just 5-9 years older... so the 5, not much older, 9, a lot I guess. I guess I just don't have the genetics to be super fast. Or is part of it not working hard enough? Oh well, I may not be as young (what am I thinking... I'm only 23!) or fast, but I'm seasoned, I guess, to the extent that 1.5 years of more serious running makes one seasoned. Oh well, keep training. Then, see what January brings.
Even tighter after all that. Maybe should've done a cool-down, but I was busy watching the races. And it felt too hot to do the LR right after, and I kind of just wanted a mental break. So I went home. Good day, though. Glad it worked out.
5/100 women. 60/269 overall.