Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Transformation into a Reno Runner.

I finally like I can call myself a real Reno runner now, for I have completed the RGJ Journal Jog. It is Reno’s oldest foot race held annually starting in 1968. It’s crazy to think that I only started my running journey in February of this year. Since then, I have entered 9 races and completed 8. All of the races I have done have been 5ks (with the exception of the Reno 10 miler DNF) however, this was an 8k or 4.97mi race. I was super excited to do this race. Every runner in Reno I know has done this race at least once, in fact almost every person I know, runner or not in Reno has ran or walked the race, so I was very happy to become a Journal Jog veteran. Seeing as how my longest race has only been 3.1mi, I had no idea how to approach this race. Normally when I finish a 5k, I am really tired and sometimes even light headed, so I knew I probably should not expect to run the same pace. So, I went to the trusty McMillian running calculator and plugged in my most recent 5k time and boom…it spit out an 8:53 pace for an 8k. My first thought was “yeah right, I will never be able to keep up a sub 9:00 pace for 5mi, but thanks for the laugh.” So I guess I was on my own. This is a scary thought to me. I have a huge fear of starting out way too fast and completely crashing and burning in the end, thus, I have counted on that calculator for everything, whether it be race paces or training paces. But I had no choice but to trust myself.

Normally before every race I wake up about 2 hours before race time and go on a 1mi shakeout run, for whatever reason I decided to skip this run. Also, the entire day before the race I usually take it easy and lounge around all day, however the day before I was moving to a new house and was doing anything but lounging. I also normally go to bed early enough to get a full 8 hours of sleep, and you guessed it, I didn’t go to bed until 12:30 knowing I had to be up by 6 to race. Needless to say, I knew in my heart this wasn’t going to be my race, but I pressed onward.  I parked about a half mile away from the race start and thought I would run to the start line for my warm-up. I was glad to know that even though I was tired and my legs were stiff from moving the day before, that they still worked. By the time I made it to the start, I only had 5mins til the start of the race. I got a quick stretch in and lined up in the 9:00-10:00min pace group. The race started right on time (which I love). The entire time I was running I was trying to judge how I was feeling, too tired? Legs too sore? The entire race went by really fast to me, normally I am staring at my Garmin wanting to know how much further I have to go, but I would have never known I had gone a mile if my watch didn’t beep. First mile beep, I looked down 8:40.Crap, I am going way too fast. Next mile 8:55, ah still too fast, I’m going to have nothing left. Next mile contained a not too fun hill and 9:09. At the end of this mile instead of thinking I was going too fast, I thought, I am not tired enough to actually say I’m racing. In fact I felt about as tired as I would during a quicker paced training run. So I decided to face my fear and pick up the pace a little bit, I could always slow down later. The next 2 miles flew by.  I was pretty shocked. McMillian said my projected pace would be an 8:53/mi and I finished officially with a 8:43/mi but the race was a little longer that an 8k according to my Garmin (5miles on the dot) and it says I did an 8:40/mi pace. I wish I would have realized a little bit sooner that I was running too slowly because I might have even finished it faster!  My official finish time was 43:19. I placed 12/30 in my AG and 169/505. Not too horribly bad, but the last race I did was 8/3/2013 and it was all steeply uphill and I was only 12 seconds off my PR so my last flatish race was back in June. I am really eager to see if I can PR again in a 5k race. The next one I have coming up is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on 10/6. I’m hoping for the best.

Splits: 8:40 / 8:55 / 9:09 / 8:20 / 8:17 Official time 43:19

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