A little over a week ago I raced the Joggin for Frogmen 5K in Norfolk, Virginia. This was at the end of an 88 mile training week but for some reason I had it in my stubborn mind that I was going to set a PR (sub 17:53). Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that did not happen…not even close. However I did have an amazingly fun time at a great organized race that I will, for sure, run again.
Race morning, we lucked out with cooler temps but the humidity was still high (this is the beach after all). I did a one mile warm up alone then striders and some drills with friends around the starting line. We all sang the Star Spangled Banner together, led by race director Cameron Cooper, such a cool touch but maybe the runners within ear shot of me didn’t appreciate it, ha. Then we were off!
I found myself as 2nd place female a quarter to half mile in and the girl leading was pushing 5:15 pace, out….of….my…comfort….zone. So I backed off and settled into the grind. I focused on staying relaxed but pushing hard and until the half way mark, was lucky enough to have a man at the same pace to work with, we had passed the first female somewhere close to mile 1.
At halfway our overall average was 5:37 pace, which I was happy about. I still felt like I had a ton in the tank, and that I could pull off a PR, but things change so quickly in a race. Legs started to feel heavy, the man I was running with faded a bit, and the course that was previously super straight and fast, started to weave through narrow streets. With almost a mile to go and us still running past the park, away from the starting line, I knew the course would be long. And that’s the thing with 5K’s. I feel like, the second I start losing focus, I’m done. I started worrying about the finish line, I started asking volunteers which way to go, I turned down the wrong way on a street and had to back track (not by too much). These are all things that were 100% in my control, my fault, and I messed up. The finish line was very cool (see picture below) and I was elated to finish as first female, but I was not thrilled with my time of 18:26. It was a huge reminder to me that at Chicago I MUST focus. Stop getting sloppy when you are tired, stop staring at my watch every 10 seconds, remember to keep pushing.
Besides not coming close to the time I had in mind, I loved this race. Not only did our $40 race entry fee go to a good cause, Joggin for Frogmen beneficiaries, but we recieved soft shirts in sizes that fit all women (this is a race rarity and deserves bonus points!), a medal that doubles as a bottle opening key chain, gorgeous location, finish line food, and something especially cool…free race photos. Also the awards for first male and female were fantastic. Its hard to see the details in the photo but the handle is gorgeous. It’s one of my favorite awards ever.
The next day after the race was an easy day then I was back at the training. With only 9 weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon, I can’t afford the time to taper for shorter races. I do feel that I have come a huge way since my injury in March but in the grand scheme of things, hearing there is less than 10 weeks until your goal race is a bit terrifying! My right calf has been a bit cranky here and there, and a little twinge like that can give a huge sense of paranoia. There are days that I feel completely overwhelmed and doubtful and there are other days that I feel confident and in control. I guess that all goes in as half the fun right?! My next race will be the Rock & Roll Virginia Beach Half in three weeks. I have run this race for the last 3 years so even if the weather is bad, I can use it as a nice gauge of fitness.
Thanks for reading everyone! Have a great week!