We arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Friday evening. Matt, Oden, and I met my sister and Gordon at the expo and did all the usual expo-y things. It felt strange. On the one hand, I felt like an imposter because the expo is really set up for the half and full marathons and we were running "just" the 5k. On the other hand, I felt happy to be at an expo again, and collecting my bib felt great. On the third hand (if I had one to borrow from someone), I felt disappointed that I wasn't gearing up to run the half. I felt both excited and underwhelmed. It was bizarre.
|Gordon and Steph didn't run once before the race. His note made me laugh.|
|Wonder Girl tank and Lioness skirt both from Skirt Sports.|
In the morning, I had half a cup of oatmeal for breakfast and some water; I had forgotten to buy coffee (Oden doesn't have any in the house because he doesn't drink it) but I felt awake and ready to go. I didn't feel nervous at all; I was surprised, in fact, to find I wasn't really feeling anything.
We got to the start without an issue and had plenty of time to use the porto-potties and get pre-race pictures.
Sidenote: Oden runs two miles every morning but has never run a race. I was excited that he agreed to run with us this year!
The race was much smaller than I expected. Most runners in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend were running the bigger races on Sunday, so this race was made up of lots of walkers and first-timers, who I could pick out by the fact that they were running in the race shirt. The first mile was rough. We had to weave around a lot of people and it was very congested. I worried about losing Steph and Gordon and also didn't want to mess up my intervals so early on.
Around mile 1.6, I took stock. My legs were sore from the effort but they were sore in my hamstrings! "My calves feel GREAT!" I laughed. This was when I finally got kind of emotional; we were really working hard during the run intervals and it felt like homecoming.
Oden had already left us and Gordon had fallen behind a little bit, so it was just us sisters from that point on. We took our final walk break and I told Steph we'd run the rest of the way to the finish. And boy, did we! We sprinted into the 7s.
|Sprinting felt SO. GOOD.|
Matt and Oden had already finished and met us at the end. I felt amazing. I actually felt I could've easily run more. My calves were completely pain-free.
|Even though my legs felt great, I still iced, elevated, and stimulated after brunch.|
|At 10th Level Tavern playing video games and enjoying a drink.|
One thing that I am trying to come to terms with is that the woman who won 1st in my AG would have been easily beatable if I were in my usual 5k shape. I have to let that go. It's hard and weird to be both so pleased that I even ran a race again and hit some of those crazy paces, and also to play "what if" and "what could have been". I have to remember this is my journey and try to avoid the comparison trap...And that means not comparing myself to myself-from-2016, too.
I'm left wondering what to do next to help myself progress. This race showed me that I'm ready to pick up some harder workouts, but I also shortened my run intervals because 3:1 was too challenging just last week. So maybe I need to shorten my walk intervals and increase my total distance and go from there.
Overall, this was a great weekend and a good race to come back with. I was tempted to abandon my intervals but played it smart and safe, and now I'm champing at the bit to do more and be fully back. I'm looking forward to what's to come.