In the 3 months (omg, has it been FOUR???) since the Richmond Marathon, I have gained 7 pounds, lost all my cariovascular fitness, and been overly frustrated by my (fill in the blank) injury. It's so simple to just call it a knee injury, but it's really been so much more than that. Today marked my return to racing, and hopefully my triumphant return to all things speed. Do you know the hardest part of all this? Watching TMB pull so far ahead of me speed wise. There was a time not that long ago when I thought if I trained hard enough, I could keep up. Now, I'm 4 months of speed behind. 4 Months of speed turned out to be A FLIPPIN' LOT of speed, but I'm getting ahead of myself.... I feel like a totally different person than I was then. As though I've made a complete about face, and I'm now running toward my running goal via a different route than everyone I know. It's lonely over here in the recovery ward.
Our race day started at 7:45 when T & V arrived at my house to prepare for the race. T had an extra Cheetah Skirt (because who doesn't have two these days?) and V suited up. And then we were off on our 25 minute drive to the race. Bright sunshine and chilly temps here we come!
Once there, we registered & hung out in the car until we saw DeNiece & Melis and then we moved from waiting in the car to waiting in the building that was hosting the race. The locker rooms were totally sweet. Two thumbs up. In the waiting area we snapped this super cute photo, and then we headed to the start.
DeNiece, T, V. & g.
My strategy for the race was to run negative splits, for a total race time of 30 minutes. Since I knew I was aiming for 30 minutes I lined up toward the back of the race pack. It wasn't chip timed.
They called for the start and off we went. In no time at all T was just a glimpse in the distance, and before long I couldn't make her out at all. V was on the fringe of my vision, but the course turned off the main road and onto well packed trails, so I lost sight of her.
The course wraps you around a 1 mile loop, and then again over the same loop. When I was still on the first loop, the 2 male finishers lapped me. S'ok. I was feeling good. First mile was a little fast, 2nd mile I toned it down a little and it was also a little fast... 3rd mile was toned down more, but still... a little fast, and toward the end of the 3rd mile I realized that my "run 30 minute" race was going to be an epic FAIL.
I emerged from the trees and there was V about 10 feet ahead of me. No really, she was just suddenly right there. SO I ran up beside her and said Hi, and scared the (fill in the blank) out of her. So we ran stead for another 800 Meters, and suddenly I could see T standing on the side of the course cheering, we turned, and the finish was there. In my head I knew Dr G would tell me NOT to sprint. But. I. Suck. so... I sprinted the finish, partly because V was about 2 steps ahead of me and I thought I could just beat her, but partly because I still "had something left" and wanted to rid myself of it before I finished. I mean, I hate to run and not leave it all on the course!
My finish time/PR for my 3 miler was 27:42ish. I forgot to stop my watch. My actual finish time will be about 5 seconds slower, because I crossed the start line a bit after they called the start. Still it was a super fun "come back race", T had her best race performance yet, and I think that's a good sign going in to the Half next week. V had an awesome race too, and finally beat me, which is always a goal of hers. De Niece and Melis also had smokin' fast times (but not as fast as T's...). Over all, it was a good day!