It’s been a tough year. While battling flu and food poisoning, my training suffered with me being 10lb under weight after pacing Carlsbad marathon (3:15). Ready or not, I have signed up for multiple 5k races a year ago.
First was Carlsbad 5000 which I upgraded to the All Day 20k last minute. I wasn’t feeling a PR but thought I can hold an ok pace for the four 5k’s. It’s more a social day as Bessy and her friends were doing it. The first one went as planned under 20, but I got an asthma attack. I then toned it down for the 2nd race to slip in at half marathon pace. Thinking I was recovered for the 3rd race… I felt my heartbeat jump way too high and had to shut it down for a minute. This lead to race 4 which was just a victory lap jog. I chalk this off as good training.
Next is Triton 5k the following weekend. Since the race starts at 9am, we decided to bike to the race to hit up the awesome post-race bike-discount brunches (Galaxy Taco). I learned an important race rule… never look back! On the ride up, I lost Bessy a bit so was looking back constantly. And then BAM, I slam right into a iron fence post, where it sliced my knuckle, blood pouring out badly as if I made a donation onto my handlebars. In addition feels like I was stabbed in my collar bone, likely bone bruise. I continued on to make it to race medics who bandaged me up. I was more mentally shot than physically for the race. Somehow I overcame pain and demons in my head to sneak in under 20min with Bessy. It sucks because I was well-prepped for this one, doing the classic 4x1mile at goal pace workout few days before.
Round 3, a week passes, ACT 5k: Last year I won this race, probably because it was long and I had some in the tank. This year, I previewed the course beforehand, and once again long (3.3 mi). Time goals out the window, this is a position race. I had a good start leading a pack for 1.5 miles. Then just backed off a bit to save a final kick for that extra 400m. I let the guys take the lead, but then see Bessy blow by me hard near the finish, and knew she was much stronger, and they all gapped me too good that my plan failed. I jogged in the rest knowing it was over. Bessy ended up storming forward to get 2nd overall of all genders. Amazing considering she joined this race 15 min before the start! At the awards ceremony… the most sexist thing happened. They assumed the top 3 would be male. So they didn’t even look at Overall Results, or call Bessy up! I had to go to the announcer to correct him and Bessy got what she earned.
Yes my run form isn’t that great but I am working on it. Also, perhaps too much racing, as I am getting mentally burned out to go hard… but I still show up for the social aspect. What I am really learning, to be a good runner you don’t need to sign-up for races while training alone. Just run with some good company and you can work with each other to push your best.