Pre-race training and plans: My last race was May 31 and I ran 23:10 (5k). Since then I have been working on being more consistent and increasing my mileage. And in that time the only kind of running I have done, besides a handful of days, is what I call my 0% effort run (just easy jog stuff). The only "workouts" I have done was a 1 mile time trial. On Sept 8th in 6:42. On Oct 29 without timing I did 5 miles of my 10 miles at an uptempo pace. On Oct 30th without me knowing Dad timed my 10 miler in 85 mins. On Nov 4th, Dad timed a 10 miler in 75 mins. So this is when I decided I wanted to run another 5k race because I thought I could break that time in May of 23 minutes. So I looked up races and found a few that I though about doing and kinda just thought it over for awhile. I had found some for the weekend of the 8/9th and some for the 15/16th. I finally decided I needed to figure things out so went out and sat with dad and we decided to wait until the weekend of the 15/16th. So now this took my race choices down to about 4 or 5. So I did some research on the races and took a couple of days to think about it. I finally decided to do the 2nd Annual Secret Santa and Ugly Sweater 5k in Jackson, Ohio. In the upcoming week I added a day (Nov 9th) of 9 miles with 4 x 1 min pickups.
Pre-race day- Friday Nov 14th.- I dread pre-race days so much. I have a superstition that I have to run about the same time as the race so this changes my dad since I normally run at 3:30 pm. I hate the changing my schedule but it is something I must do pre-race days. Luckily this race was at 10 am so it put a little break in my day. But on this day I was trying to find something to keep myself busy so the NCAA D1 Regional races were going on and you could follow online so I was doing that to keep busy. But got distracted and ended up not starting my pre-race run until a bit after 10:30 am. My actual run that day felt great. It was 18 degrees outside that day and I would normally be wearing 2 layers of pants and 3 layers of shirts and numerous gloves and a headband but I decided I needed to be prepared for race day and tried with just 2 shirts one pair tights a headband and 2 pairs of gloves. The run went smoothly and now I just needed to survive the next 12 hours of the day.....
Race day Saturday Nov. 15th, 2014- My Mom (who I owe major props to, has been sick all week an still came to the race with me)-we woke up before 7 am and started to get ready. Luckily this race was kinda close being just over an hour away, meaning we didn't need to leave until 7:45 to get there at 9 am for registration and warm-up and such. I got ready and checked the weather in Jackson and they were at 19 degrees but going to get up to 30 by race time (10am). We arrived to Jackson just about exactly at 9 am. We took our gift donation of the huge My Little Pony and paid $25 for the race. I ended up getting a shirt because the turn out was very low. Mom and I people watched until 9:29 when I realized I needed to have already been stretching to get my warm-up in. So I stretched fast and went out and warmed up 5 min out and back for at total of 10 mins. While warming up I decided I could go without a headband but need 2 pairs of gloves. SO I changed my shoes and stripped down to race gear but but I noticed and told my mom that something didn't feel right. My shoes felt like they didn't fit. I was debating on running in just my normal shoes but decided maybe when I ran they would feel like normal. I was listening to people talk and I heard a girl talking about her college scholarship and then I knew I wasn't going to win. I decided to only wear my pink ribbon and then all of a sudden I look around and no one was in the parking lot anymore. So I took my powerade zero and tissues to the area everyone was around. I was listening to conversations and heard this girl that was talking about her scholarship was a 18:25 XC runner. Then we all started to head to the starting line and I started to panic. I had forgotten both pairs of gloves. Mom took off to the car to get them and luckily we ended up going past the car so I could get them from her. The n we were off to the starting line and the guy that was starting the race told us the map they showed up was wrong ?!?!?!? (A few years ago I was purposely lead in the wrong direction on the course by the girl in 2nd places friend, I got lost in town and cried for 35 mins until some people came out of a bar and told me how to get back to the park.... I stopped racing after that happened for a long time). I was really worried now as this was a really small race and I always seem to be by myself. So now I knew I had to stay focused no matter what happened this race.
Race Time- At around 10 am we took off. A few little kids and some high school kids were ahead of me and we were going. Less then 400 meters into the race my toes were hurting really bad and I knew wearing these racing flats was a bad decision, but nothing i could do about it now. As we started to go up a hill this guy in the crazy sweater said "I remember running with you before" I quickly without thinking replied "You don't want to be anywhere near me because I am in the worst shape of my life" this got him to pass me up the hill but on the way down still all between .3-.75 of the race I ended up catching him and passing him back along with all the kids that took off. So now the only people that were in front of me were this girl on scholarship, a boy and a guy in my age group. But they were all way ahead of me. I was just trying to keep an eye on them to see which way they would turn... a few turns came so fast that i couldn't see which way they had turned so had to really look around to figure things out. The first time someone gave split they said 10:11 and I looked at my watch and it was 7:59. Hmmm.. I knew this wasn't the mile mark or a half way mark so I am not sure what this spot was suppose to be... I also have came to realize that they guy yelling out the time must have been yelling 10:11 because it was 10:11 am just meaning the race was off a little.. but that this truly wasn't any given spot on the course. So I just kept pushing on and watching the race way in front of me between the young guy and the guy my age..... they were in a battle for quite a long time. The scholarship girl was way out in front of the whole race with no competition at all. As I was coming down toward the track I looked down and there were arrows pointing to turn left, so I slowed down and started to turn but my was standing there and I asked are we suppose to turn here and she said "No, not that way, straight ahead to the track." So when I entered the track with one lap to go I entered at 19:22 and I knew I if I had anything in me I could get under 21 mins (my goal at the start was to get to 23) so I was happy... however since I had done no speed work my pace didn't change at all and I finished unofficially at 21:02 (so a 1:40 last lap) .
The female runner had won the entire race, I never heard her time but she was way up there and then the 2 males were fighting for 2nd and 3rd overall in the race and for first male. Sadly for me (explained later) the young boy won between the two. I head they both got under 20 mins so once gain I was in space all alone - like always-. But at awards came the shock we knew they were just doing 1 female overall and 1 male overall, but the shock came when they did age groups and they combined male and females together so even though I was 2nd female in the race and 4th overall. I was only 2nd in my age group because the 2nd place male and 3rd overall guy was first in our age group.
I got my shoes off as soon as I could my toes were is so much pain. I went to cool down backwards on the track and yell for the other runners as they were finishing. As I was doing my lap I saw this girl come in and stop before the lap on the track and everyone was trying to get her to keep going. My mom called for me and I went up and got her we did the last whole lap together. I later found out that she was only a junior high student and had Type I diabetes and she wanted to quit because she was embarrassed by how slow she was. When I was talking to her I told her this biggest thing to take from this is you wanted to quit but look you are finishing the whole race. I told her about how slow I one was and that now she has a goal to go after for her next race (I also later found out this was only her 2nd ever race). She managed to run the whole lap with me and got to finish.
Re-cap - So with a 2:08 improvement since my last 5k I was very pleased. Hey- and now for my next goal of breaking 21, I only have to be 3 seconds faster.. LOL.. Also my dad always predicts what he thinks I will run but doesn't tell me it until after I race. He predicted I would run 21:20 and be surprised! But BAM! I beat his prediction! 21:02