Tonight I was excited to be able to run the local 5k I missed out on last week. I felt amazing yesterday, so I couldn't wait, though my legs felt tighter as tighter last night and today, and I started getting insanely nervous at about 3pm! My stomach churned and I could feel my heart beating far more wildly than I expected. Speed always makes me nervous- I stress out before speed and tempo runs, and I honestly think I was as nervous before this 5k as I will be before my marathon! (we'll see) I'd packed a couple of alternatives, but decided to run in my Scottish singlet- if I couldn't run fast, I'd at least look serious!
I registered and chatted with friends before the race started. Should have warmed up, but didn't. They told us the course was changing, so there would be a detour and the turn around would come sooner than usual. Yay! Definitely a psychological boost! I took off a little fast, but settled into a conservative pace and watched people get further and further ahead of me. My goal was about 22:30 (my first "old Kate" 5k time) but I would have been happy to go sub-23. I had my eye on a colleague of P's who's times suggested she'd be doing about that pace. She was miles ahead of me early on, but I could see A near her, so I told myself she had gone out too fast and that I would catch up. I glanced at my GPS very occasionally, and checked my watch at 500m, and saw 2:17. OK if I kept that pace, but slower than my usual first 500m! I kept on.
I was really feeling my legs, and I was pretty knackered already! Saw P and A on their way back, both looking good, and sure enough P's colleague wasn't far ahead when I finally got to the turn around. I was shocked to see 10:44 a few seconds on from the turn around- I felt like I was picking up, not like I'd rabbited off. I kept trying to catch up to P's colleague. We were both working hard, and the gap was only closing very slowly. But other people had stopped passing me, and I felt strong (strong in a completely shattered sort of way anyway!)
Coming up to the 4.5k mark I looked at my watch again and saw 19:xx. I knew I would take around 2mins to finish and was so excited to think I was going to beat my goal and smash my pb (which is 22:04). Breaking 22? A dream come true! I was gaining on my target, and she knew it, so she picked up. I sat on her tail, then kicked out. We sprinted together to the end, with girl guides screaming us on (very random, but tons of fun). In the end she passed the line a fraction ahead of me. I'm not fussed- she's uber-competitive, and I know she wasn't expecting me there, and that I threw her a bit. It came down to the fact that I couldn't face making a sideways movement to get past, so it was all elbows! Plus I couldn't quite find the finish line. Moved to the side, checked my watch- 21:40!! (minus a few seconds at the end) Was that course short? No- P did the same, A was slower than last week... So I broke 22, a killer PB- all in all a brilliant come back race??!!
Cut to 15 minutes later, A and I standing with P's colleague and a new race buddy (E). A toasts my new PB. E asks for the time and I tell him. He says "But you were behind me" I twig. As E is saying "I don't want to burst your bubble, but..." P's colleague says "Wow- if we'd done 21:40 I'd be amazed!"
I was using my HRM and had been looking at the "exercise time" function instead of stopwatch!!! D'OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Actual time was somewhere below 22:34 when I stopped my watch. I am hoping the official time comes below 22:30- I think it should.
I am still pretty happy with this race. Sub 21:40 never seemed right to me, even with the 10:44 first half. My first half would actually have been closer to 11:30, which means my second half was pretty darn good! I used my GPS and HRM but didn't focus on the numbers. My max HR was only 193, which was surprising, but my average was 183, which to me suggests that I was fairly consistent (in RTV last week my average was lower and my max was higher). Listened to Freddy Mercury on the MP3 and finished on my theme for the season- don't stop me now.
I'm a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go go go
There's no stopping me
I'm burning through the skies Yeah!
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man of you
Don't stop me now- Kate is BACK!
PS- Go Wes!!! You have been such a great support to me and I am so excited by your first half!
Update: official time 22:21- cool! 5th= overall woman (very small field- I was guaranteed top 10!)