I took 5 miles in the Garden yesterday on a hilly course that would have had me near tears only six weeks ago. For me a 5 miler is far better than the 5K, but I'm certainly looking forward to the longer races to come. I am a distance girl, not a speed girl (except for when I'm driving - my family has referred to me as "speed bat baby"). I didn't end the race feeling like I was going to barf or swearing I would never run again - instead I finished happy, only wishing I had pushed harder for miles 2-3 and had less "fuel" left in the tank at the end. This is all good information and experience to carry forward into my summer races, and it will help me to develop a strategy for racing on hills.
I didn't have a goal for this race - just to run it and enjoy the beautiful day with friends. Even without a time goal in mind, my initial reaction was to berate myself about how I could have run better. My uber competitiveness lasted for only a few seconds before I realized (as I do on a regular basis) that the time is not the point of the sport. Running is meaningful because it's so much more than a configuration of minutes and seconds. A race is another opportunity to get out, have fun, get better, get stronger, make friends, conquer hills, enjoy the amazingly powerful feeling of the run, express your inner badass, and earn your exhaustion. Of course there is always a way to improve, but that's why we train. This summer I'm trying to save my critiques for training runs and just enjoy the races as the reward for the hard runs in between.
My chip time was 46:45, so a 9:22 pace, which was good enough for second place in my age group!
Big shout out to Jody Derington - also second in her age group - for her setting a new course PR yesterday:-)
Also - head on over to Gene Chavez's blog to congratulate him on finishing second in his age group for the 5K!