September 19, 2004
sort of a benchmark
Today I ran a 20K - my first race longer than 15K since March, and my first race of any distance since mid-July, back in those long-lost sub20-5K days. I've been coming back slowly slowly from injuries, and I went into the race feeling I lacked strength, speed, and (above all) confidence to push the way a race demands.
Back when I was 100% healthy, I'd hoped to run this at around 7:00 pace. Last year I ran this race in 1:40:something. This morning I had no idea what I should try for or what range of paces should freak me out (too fast or too slow). I ended up deciding that something between 7:00 and 8:05 pace would be ok.
I lined up decidedly mid-pack, started off with the usual amount of first-mile discomfort and wound up with 7:25 after a bit of weaving through people. I wondered what I should feel about that (push, you're going to slow? slow down, you're gonna re-injure yourself and anyways you're not ready for 12 miles of this?), then decided to stop wondering and just go on. I won't bore anyone with splits, but I did run a positive split (boo), did finish in 1:31:33 (ok), did walk through one water stop (boo), did feel - even in the final miles - enough control to push when I wanted to, even if it was only 50m or so (yay). I ended up 7th female.
Two of the top 3 women (including the winner) were masters. I took 1st for my 40-44 age group. My husband, who swore he was just using the race for his long run, came in about a minute behind me.
Now, 8 hours later, I'm a little more sore than I'd usually be at this time of day. But I plan to take it easy tomorrow, and I have a sports-doc appt plus some massage scheduled for this week (what a primadonna I am). Chicago is three weeks away, and I guess I'm still going. Back when I was healthy, I dreamed of a 3:15 race there, but now I guess a 7:45 pace would be ok.
Posted by joe positive at September 19, 2004 5:19 PM
Glad to hear that you are up and running again! Meghan
Posted by: Meghan at September 19, 2004 10:58 PM
I was getting worried about you there for a while, but I guess that you're still going at it. Good job in your race. I know what you mean about being nervous when you haven't raced in a long time.
Posted by: Blondie at September 22, 2004 6:17 PM