I know I am a little behind on this race report, along with the two 5ks. Coaching, teaching, running and family time has squeezed a lot out of me. The beginning of the school year always seems a bit hectic, but I definitely feel like I have my feet under me again and have got my groove back.
Leading up to the race, I was absolutely dragging. I know a lot was the high temperatures and humidity. I also think I was running myself into the ground balancing everything life was throwing at me. My runs were becoming slower, I was having a hard time sleeping and I was really anxious. I ended up sick the week of Plaza 10k, up late with headaches and vomiting. I took the follow day off work and running. Luckily, I seemed to bounce back pretty quickly.
The weather on race day was great, in the high 50’s a tad on the humid side. Still much better than the weeks leading up to the race. There was a lot of potential for PRs and I was excited. I got to the race quite a bit earlier than I needed to, which is pretty normal. Wandered around eating some breakfast and visiting the porta-potties more times than I would like to admit. As per usual, I headed off to my warm-up solo. I like to get my warm-up miles done away from the race chaos so I headed down the sidewalk that looked less crowded and got in two easy miles.
As the race started I was feeling really good. This race is super competitive, and I think I got a bit swept up with the lead ladies. I felt really good, but I know that taking out at a faster pace would come back to bit me. I let myself slide closer to a sub 6 pace and a group of ladies from KC Smoke ( a local competitive race team) pulled up and I ran with that pack for the first mile or so. This was a good sized group of about 6-8 ladies. I could here two or three of them really breathing hard, which oddly enough, made me feel relaxed. I knew I wasn’t struggling at this point. The course does a small loop out of the plaza and then back. After the mile I began to pull away from the pack I was in and I could hear Sara and her friend Jessi coming up on me. We ran through the plaza through the 5k mark almost stride for stride. I was really glad to see them both.
After the 5k mark Sarah really began to run strong. She looked good, and begin to put a
little bit of space between herself, Jessi and I. In hind sight, this was a huge moment of weakness for me. I had a lot of self doubt and ultimately chose not to go with her. She is a strong runner that I greatly admire. I really wish I made the choice to hang with her a bit longer. (I may be stalking her training online, and it has been looking good!). Jessi had settled between Sarah and I. At the 4 mile mark, I decided to que off Jessi and real her back in. I am glad I did. I think it really helped both of our race times.
As the last mile went by, I was increasing my speed about every quarter mile. When we turned onto the final stretch Jessi and I were racing through the finish at a pretty solid pace. We both snuck in under 37:00, which was my B goal for the day. I was first in my age group and 7th overall. I finished a bit underwhelmed. Aside from the final sprint, I finished feeling like I didn’t run a very smart race, leaving some time on the table. I let myself stay comfortable too long. I took a moment to sort of, get over it, before chatting with my coach and heading back to my car.
Marathon training doesn’t pause for 10k racing. So Sarah, Jessi and our friend (and KCRC teammate) Michelle headed to the trail for a 7 mile cool down. As the miles went by I felt better and better. It really was a beautiful morning.
I love this race, and I love our racing community here. I had so many friends and teammates cheering me on. I got to visit with many racers who grabbed some awesome new PRs including my dad and Sara!