95 degrees, feels like 101. Thats what my accuweather app read at the start of the fourth in the Race the Landing 5k series tonight. Not exactly the recipe for a PR.
After a ridiculously hot past few days I knew this race was gonna be a doosie. Walking up to the start, my friend and I were literally dreading it.
I started out feeling okay but didn’t make it far before realizing this wasn’t going to be my best. At about 3/4 of a mile in I started to really feel the heat. My legs felt fine but I felt my heart rate racing (up over 190 bpm according to the monitor) and knew I was doing the best I could with what I was given. By mile 2 I settled in (to a much slower pace than I have been running) and was back and forth with one guy the rest of the race. One thing I love about these small town races is what happen at the end. With about .35 left, we were running together step for step but I always have a pretty good kick at the end. He had been beating me the whole time so at about 1/4 left I told him to stay with me, lets finish together. By the time we got to the finish line, neither one of us wanted to beat the other, we literally both slowed down to let the other one go, both almost walking through the finish line. We both acknowledged each others good effort, cheersed our water bottle and headed our ways to meet up with friends. These kinds of things are the reasons why I run and am proud to say I’m a runner; the compassion, camaraderie, motivation, understand of it all.
I finished just less than a minute slower than last week (crazy what the heat can do). Now I feel silly complaining about the rain, I would have taken that over tonight any day of the week.
Unfortunately, this was the first in the series that I didn’t place overall. However, I got first in my age group and the age group awards were these awesome swords, so I am trying to view it as a win.
Its hard to finish a race and not make it a new PR. But lets face the music people, every week can’t be a PR. However, that doesn’t mean I should be a whole minute slower! Dealing with that is tough, but it is important to realize all the factors that go into racing that are 100% out of your control. I didn’t have any girls around me pushing me, the heat was insane, I probably didn’t hydrate well enough (however I could have control this). I also let my head get in the game too much: I was hot, I got off pace fairly early, I knew I wasn’t close to placing as an overall female, I was thinking about the 7 mile pace run I have to do at 5:30 am tomorrow and all these factors made me decide to take it easier than I probably could have.
With one more to go, I will know I need to give it my all for the last one and hopefully I will be better prepared (mentally and physically) to do so. I guess the best way to deal with disappointment is to take it to fuel you to work harder before the next race.
How do you deal with a “crappy” race?