To spare you the suspense I did not run 19:15. I ran 19:30. So although I am not happy with how I did, I am happy with how I felt doing it.
And the race was freaking awesome! I love racing. Everytime I race, I love it and want to do another one asap and am pumped. Then a day or two passes and I forget all about it and I want just train and not race.
I ate my carefully planned breakfast - caramel filled chocolate bar (no Milka. They do not have Milka in the grocery store I go to! WTH? So I bought the only other chocolate with caramel filling and although it was twice the price of what you pay for Milka in some European countries it was not very good. BUt of course it did not stop me and I ate one bar yesterday for dinner as well. I digress.), then drove to the race site.
I warmed up for around 18min, stretched, etc, did 3x45sec strides to get HR up, 3x50m fast strides to warm up the legs. It seems that I was the only one doing warm up but I did not care. As predicted, wind was blowing, and the way the course was set up, 2nd mile was with tailwind, 3rd mile was with headwind, 1st mile was a mix of headwind, tailwind, crosswind.
The gun went off and 4 or 5 boys/men shoot to the front. I went out and settled into 3:50 pace, which felt quite comfortable (would be quite bad if a 5k pace felt hard after 400m, would it?) and kept plugging in. Then we hit some crosswinds and my average went to 3:52, then we hit tailwind and average went to 3:51, at that point we did a u-turn at mile 2 and went straight into a headwind for the last 1.1 miles. At that point I passed all high school boys except for one. And I also forgot about my watch and did not check it until now (Damn!) and started to concentrate on reeling him in. It was not very well executed because he was running behind a pick up truck whereas I had to fight the wind. I should have tried to caught him before the turn. I actually thought of that while we were still running with the tailwind but then I somehow zoned out and forget to do it. Then I had the discussion with myself whether to pass him or not. Because that kid was leading the race until now and then I pass him at the end. That would not be very nice. But as I was getting closer and closer I forgot all about feeling bad about passing him. I caught up to him with around 150m to go. He said good job and I told him to come with me. He sprinted for 10meters and then died. Come on, you still have 150m to go, you do not sprint just yet if you have nothing left. So then I started sprinting, I passed him and then because I was not wearing glasses I was not sure where the finish line was because I though that it was supposed to be somewhere else and the road split and there were two crowns of people and did not know where to go. So with 30m to go I came to stop and asked the RD where to go. I am sure that she thought that I was an idiot since the finish line was right there but hell, I did not know! I crossed the line in 19:30ish. Of course I did not stop my watch when I crossed the line and did no check the finish line watch properly, thus I am calling it 19:30.
My stupid watch did take splits every 1k but it did not beeped after each kilometer. I wish it did, it would have reminded me to "care" about my pace.
Here are the splits:
3:49 (HR 174)
Geez, I had no idea that the second k was that slow and the 4th one...Ugh. I really should have paid attention instead of thinking about who knows what. I know why I was not paying attention though. I said that I was to run 19:15 but I did not want it badly enough. I did not really think that I can run 19:15 so it was just a random number.
Now I somehow wished I believed that I can run it because now I believe that I ran it now, actually I think that I can run even faster than that. If I had believed that I can do it then I would have wanted it and I would have done it. Are you confused already?
Ok, so the race was not a very good race. BUT I am pleased with how I felt. It felt quite easy. Like a tempo run. Unfortunately I was not paying attention to how I was feeling when I was running and thus I did not realize that it feels way easier than it should feel. And because it felt easy I know that I am in better shape than I thought I was and I am sure that I can run 3sec/k faster anytime now.
Also, I think that I have finally become a distance runner because when it was over I was like, what? This was it? That was short. Instead of my usual: "What? I still have 18min50s of running left?, then a few moments later, what? I still have 16min30sec left, f* this, why is it so long?" No such thinking this time. Woo-hoo! I do not consider 5ks insanely long anymore. (Changing my feelings towards 10ks is next.)
I have a lot of thoughts about this race right now and it is quite confusing to explain to you without making it even more confusing.
To say it plain and short: I am confident that I am in 19:10ish shape. Which of course does not matter at all because unless I do it it does not count:) But now I am FIRED UP! I am excited for training. I am excited for racing because not only it is fun but also because I am getting faster and faster. I am excited that I am getting faster and that I have both Michelle and PPC now to help me get faster.
One last thought. Now I cannot decide whether I should try doing some running races over next two months (because right now I kind of want to) which would require intervals/faster running or just keep start building base starting Monday (I cannot run more than 1h without being trashed. I need some base mileage.)
Picture is of my shoes with jingle bells. I think that I will keep those jingle bells because they might be useful when I go running when I visit my family at home. You know, to scare the bears in woods off. Bears hear jingle bells from afar and go away so you do not cross paths with them. Scary. And maybe it works the same way with deer. There are so many deers here always in my path. I will try once the hunting season is over and I can go on trails again.