Two weekends ago, I ran the Prostrate Cancer Awareness 10K. It honestly wasn’t my best race ever so I have been putting off writing this recap. Since I am trying to shift gears and get ready for my next race (the Tower of Terror 10 Miler), I wanted to write my recap and move past this race.
When my alarm went off at 5 AM on Saturday morning, I rolled over on the air mattress to shut it off. I proceeded to roll out of bed and started to get ready for my first race of the season. I wasn’t quite awake just yet but I was started to get a little excited about the prospects of running my first race since the Shape Up for Summer 5K in June.
Notice the “I am still sleepy” eyes! I also love my new FitFluential tank top!
Since I had been living in a nearly empty apartment for a week now, my pre-race meal wasn’t even close to what it normally is. I drank a protein shake and had the rest of a box of cereal. I know that trying something new is never recommended on race day but my options were very limited. After I finished eating, I hoped in my car and drove over to the race location.
Finding the race was really easy because it was very close to where the Iron Girl Clearwater races are held. I quickly parked my car and headed over to the registration area to pick up my packet, race bib and timing chip. I still had plenty of time before the start of the race so I went back to my car to drop off my goody bag and shirt. As I was making my way back to the starting area, I ran into Justine and some of her friends. Our little group chatted, stretched and even danced a little as we waited for the race to get under way.
Shortly after 7:30 AM, the race started. The first mile went pretty well. The course would through a residential neighborhood with plenty of shade from the large trees lining the streets. Unfortunately, the shade trees didn’t prevent the humidity from being really bad. When I reached the first water stop, my legs felt great but my pace was much faster than I had planned so I stopped for a short walk break.
That first walk break was the beginning of the end for me because the temptation to continue walking was greater than my desire to have a strong finishing time. The second and third miles of this race involved the Memorial Causeway Bridge, one of the three bridges that Clearwater is known for and the bridge that I ran my very first 5k race on. As we started going up the bridge, I couldn’t sustain a run and ended up walking most of it. Once I was off the bridge, I passed by the second water stop and walked through it. I am sad to say that my walking breaks lasted much longer than I would have liked.
At the turnaround, I tried to start playing mental games with running. I convinced myself to run from cone to cone so that I would get my pace on track. It didn’t work nearly as well as I wanted. By this point, my mental state in this race was completely shot. I trudged along and was very thankful when I crested the bridge again. Once we were off the bridge, the course followed a similar route to that of the Iron Girl Half.
The residential neighborhood on this part of the course was actually pretty hilly (for Florida) and the pavement was in bad shape. My walk breaks continued. No matter how much I tried to convince myself or trick myself to keep running, I just couldn’t sustain it for any decent amount of time. As I ran past the 5 Mile Marker, I realized that my pace was not going to be anywhere near what I was hoping for. My body and mind just weren’t in the mood for this race today.
The last 1.2 miles of the race were mentally tough for me. I tried to run as much as possible but it just wasn’t happening. My legs felt fine but my mind wouldn’t stop. As I made the final turn and headed towards the finish line, I told myself that I never walk across the finish line. I ran the last 0.2 miles straight and even managed to pick up my pace as I got closer. As I crossed the finish line, the stop clock said 1:20:44. I finished the race but I wasn’t pleased with my time. I know I can do better than that.
Mile 1 – 10:09 min/mile
Mile 2 – 12:50 min/mile
Mile 3 – 13:23 min/mile
Mile 4 – 14:38 min/mile
Mile 5 – 12:52 min/mile
Mile 6 – 14:08 min/mile
It certainly wasn’t my best race but I am glad that I ran it. The scenery was beautiful even though the weather wasn’t. If the humidity wasn’t bad enough, the clouds opened up and it started raining on me as I was coming back across the bridge. I learned that I need to be more careful about my hydration and eating habits during the week leading up to a race. Hopefully, I will be able take these lessons forward to make sure I always put my best foot forward during a race.
Have you ever had a really bad race experience?