I could tell the second I walked out the door into a humid morning it wasn’t going to be a banner day. I hadn’t had a full recovery day in 10 days and my legs were pretty tired. My new shoes settled right onto my feet as I jogged an easy mile to get moving. One of the things that didn’t help my performance was that between the portions of my warm up I had a big break. This race is full of tradition, including a reading of the names of special operations service men who have died in the line of duty, the national anthem, and three parachuters floating down with the flag. After stretching and relaxing through that I finished with 800M of pick-ups to get my turnover and heart rate going.
Soaked in sweat with my heart pumping and legs feeling lighter but not fresh we snapped a Team RWB photo. Then I was off to the Allen Stone Memorial 5k start line. I knew the crowd was competitive and settled into the third row of runners figuring that would be roughly my speed. I went out of the gate too fast for the first 400M, especially on the humid morning, but was thankful the sun stayed hidden as I ran through the first mile. I had a girl right next to me through the turn around then pulled away in the second mile.
Coming into the final kilometer I choked. Not crapped out on performing but actually choked. Some sticky spit got stuck in my throat with no water in sight and I slowed to attempt clearing my throat without making things worse. It kind of worked so I picked it back up for the last half mile. Set on cruise, the girl who had been neck-in-neck with me at the race’s start came on strong in the final 20M and we finished with a sprint over the line.
I ended up finishing in 21:40, averaging 6:59 miles. Not the time I thought I had run when I crossed the Allen Stone Memorial 5k finish line, it was actually a few seconds faster. I immediately grabbed some water to finally get my throat clear, collected my medal and waited for results with a bunch of friends. I found out I had won my age group then jogged a cool down mile that took long enough to miss my award being presented. I got a fancy handled mason jar with the Allen Stone Memorial 5k logo on it to match my medal and then called it a day.
I was happy to get a solid workout in, have success with my new shoes and still have something left for the next day’s long run. With two more weeks in my base phase, I’m excited to see what I can do when the weather’s cooler, my legs are fresher and my weeks aren’t packed with miles this fall.
How do you decide if a race was successful? What training phase are you in right now?