|Before the race last year.|
I usually don't go into races with place goals, I'm always shooting for time goals. You can control your pace, but you can't control who shows up on race day. I hate when I put the pressure on myself to win a race so I can get a certain prize. That backfired at the Runway Run where I hoped to win so I could get a membership for the family. I tried not to do that to myself again but I really wanted to win those megaride passes for Carter. I ran my warm up and then headed to the starting line where I saw a runner I know from lots of other races. I've always beat her but our times are close and I figured with my legs being fatigued, it might be close. I saw her bib was for the 5k so I knew I didn't need to worry about her. Then as they prepared to shoot the gun a tall, skinny girl who looked to be high school age came up toward the front. I glanced over to see which bib she was wearing and saw her shirt said "Oklahoma Meet of Champions" which means she was either a state champion or runner up in track or cross country. Then I saw her bib was for my race. I knew there was a slim chance that I could beat her. As we took off she shot out in a commanding lead and I tried to hold back and go out conservatively because I didn't want to crash and burn especially with having to eat a caramel apple, drink a mimosa, and eat a chicken and waffle!
For the first mile the Meet of Champions girl was out in front with a few guys around her. Then there was the lady I know from other races and her friend close behind her and I was a little ways back from them. The caramel apple station was set up wonderfully and the volunteers did a great job. They handed the cup with the caramel apple slice in it to me and I was able to grab it and continue running. It took me a while to get the whole apple slice down and I'd say I worked on it for a good quarter-mile or so. I went through the first mile in 6:48 and passed the woman closest to me. She was in the regular 5k. During the 2nd mile I started really catching up to the lady in front of me but I also knew she was in the regular 5k so I wasn't too worried about catching her. We went through the mimosa/orange juice stop and they were set up so far out off the course that I didn't even notice them. My 2nd mile was 6:59. Around that point I passed the lady in front of me. I could see the top girl had at least a minute lead on me. I figured I could kill myself trying to catch her and probably not do it or I could focus on maintaining the gap that way if she threw up or something, maybe I could catch her. I wasn't pushing really hard but I didn't let up either, I'd say I was maintaining my effort.
I started wondering when we were going to hit the mimosa station because I hadn't seen it yet. It wasn't until I was approaching the chicken and waffle station that I realized I must've missed it. The chicken and waffle station was set up oddly as well. They were set up on a curve and as I was turning the corner they were on the inside of the curve. Instead of handing me the chicken and waffle, they just held out the tray and I grabbed one. The chicken fell out of the cup so I ran back and actually had to stop to get the new cup. I was determined to try the chicken and waffle though and I was glad I had because it was so good! The breading on the chicken was sweet almost like it had some syrup in it and I really enjoyed it. I had an even harder time getting it down than the apple, especially because I missed the drink stop so my mouth was dry. I didn't swallow the last bite of it until I was rounding the turn to the finish line. My last mile was 7:26 but I know would have been faster had I gotten my chicken and waffle passed off to me a little better. I was pleased that even on tired legs and eating food I was still able to finish in under 22 minutes with a time of 21:51.
I ran my cool down and tried not to be too discouraged I hadn't won. I was just disappointed that I had placed 2nd overall in the race but wouldn't get the megaride passes even though I beat the top male who would get megaride passes and I had beat the top female in the regular 5k who would also get megaride passes. I knew on fresh legs I may have been able to keep up with the top female but I also knew she likely would have outkicked me at the finish if I had. I didn't realize how disappointed I was to not have won Carter megaride passes until I got home and saw Ty and started crying. I know it was silly to cry over not winning a race, but I was just so disappointed I wouldn't get to experience the fun of the fair with Carter again like we had last year. It was so much fun! I was quickly able to let the loss go and focus on other things but in the moment it was a big disappointment. I was 2nd out of 208 overall, 2nd out of 128 females, and 1st out of 31 in my age group.
I was impressed with how quickly my legs recovered from the race. I never really felt sore and decided to go ahead with my planned 15 mile long run the following day. I was solo for the run since Thomas had just gotten back to town the night before. I was a little bummed to be alone so I decided to try out a different route from the house that I knew would be decently hilly. I figured it would be good practice for the Route 66 which has some decent hills. The course ended up having 1,350 feet of elevation gain! I really enjoyed myself though and felt like all the hills made it more fun. I was so glad to be able to get my long run in the day after a race and am excited for my first 20 miler this weekend!