The Great Race is coming up on Sunday here in the 'burgh and I'm excited. We have about ten people from the school doing it, so that's going to be fun as we meet up before the race and then again after the race for lunch. I'm sure we'll have good stories to share.
It's probably a good thing that I only "race" four our five times a year. The biggest reason why is that I become a big hypochondriac for the week leading up to the race. Okay, most people (including Beth probably) would characterize it more as being wimpy or soft...Every little ailment I'm worried is going to derail me from my goals:
- Is my left knee a little creaky from doing those mile repeats on the track on Saturday? I better ice it.
- Is my hammy feeling a little tight today? I should actually stretch today.
- Did I do too many miles this week? Am I going to feel too tired to run well?
- I think my back and neck are feeling a little stiff--did I sleep on it funny?
- Was my shin feeling sore--is it the beginning of a stress fracture? More ice!!!
- I'm feeling a little heavy today, maybe I shouldn't have that 2nd package or poptarts or cookies? (Notice that the nutrition isn't as serious as the physical ailments)
...and on it goes...
Like I said, it's good that Beth only has to put up with me like this only a few times a year. So far this year, my races have been the 10-miler in February, a 5k in May, the sprint triathlon in July, and the high school alumni 5k in August. That's it. The rest of the time, I'm coaching track & xc or playing softball or just running with the XC guys or being an equipment manager for Beth.
Okay, so on to the goals for Sunday's race. You can read about my race last year in my guest entry on Beth's blog, and be sure to note the downhill nature of the course. That certainly helps! Last year, I came through the 5k in 18:27 and finished in 37:16 for 78th overall out of many (1000 or 2000??) and 10th of 410 in my age group.
This year, I have the experience of doing the race before, a stronger base of running underneath me (including some swimming--but not much in the last month), my ruby-red slippers (aka racing flats), having a "seeded" number (and access to the shorter lines of the "seeded area" port-a-potties....very key), and a more refined goal now that I have a perspective of the 10k distance level of competition from last year.
So, I'd like to come through the 5k around 18:00 and come back with an 18:40 or 50 to end up breaking into the 36's. That'll involve pushing through the tiredness when I'm around mile 5, but we'll see what we can do. Who knows with place. I'll let that take care of itself and just try to run my time.
So there it is and we'll see how it goes. I'll just go out and do like my Dad always told me before anything sports or academic or life-related, "Do your best." That's all that you can ever expect.