Friday night, Matt and I drove to Sarasota; Saturday's SUP & Run 5k was only fifteen minutes from my parents' house, so they let us and James crash there for the night.
|I tore off my daily calendar before we left and felt like my weekend motivation was cryptically on-point.|
|I was only going to eat half the cupcake but when I saw it had strawberry filling I couldn't help myself!|
Still, I felt really good Saturday morning. I rolled my calves and hamstrings and got dressed. Earlier in the week I'd decided that I wasn't going to wear a shirt to the race, which was a big deal for me and a personal milestone of a different sort. So Friday I had tried on five different sports bras to see which I felt most confident in.
|After I took this, I threw an extra bra in my bag...just in case.|
|I never wear headphones during training anymore, but I like music on race day. My pick for this 5k? Les Mis! As I told Mom, sometimes you just need songs of revolution and rebellion in your ears!|
There had been a breeze before the turn-around, but it disappeared in the latter half of the race. Around mile 2.4 I started to flag. When I passed the water stop a second time, I tossed more water on myself. I saw 9s on my watch and tried to pick it up but the numbers just kept climbing. I got into my head: If you miss your goal, fine, but you cannot finish this race with regret. You cannot regret your performance or your finish.
|Just after I started to slow down, the finish came into sight across the lake, and that really helped me kick it back into gear.|
There was a tiny bridge near the end of the race (crossing back over to the finishing area), and I bartered with myself. I could conserve some energy on the uphill there, but then I'd sprint the last quarter mile to the end. So that's what I did. I pulled back just a touch, and then just let loose.
I turned the last corner and saw 26:40 on the clock. My eyes laser-focused into tunnel vision. F THIS! I'M GETTING A SUB-27! I told myself, and pushed pushed pushed to the end.
I crossed the line at 26:57.
My A goal was 27:00; my secret A+ goal was sub-27, and I freaking EARNED IT.
|Exhausted and proud!|
I had passed the medals when I came in, so I went back and got mine, then got a water. A quick note here: this race benefits Operation Second Chance, an organization that seeks to offer support to wounded and ill veterans. The man handing out the medals was a vet, and I thanked him for his service.
|Click here to find out more about OSC.|
James finished the full 10k (foot race and paddle combo) in 57:12 and Matt finished in 1:01:30. Their 5k run was 22:55! I thought it was great that they stuck together for the 5k rather than trying to push each other/beat each other because running isn't their primary sport and burning out on the run may have hurt their SUP portion. It seemed like a great strategy to hang together for the foot race.
Anyway, we hung around for awards and took some pictures in the meantime. I had a pretty good feeling I had a chance to place because there were so many divisions broken down into age groups: just the run, just the paddle, and the combination.
|Power couple right here.|
I know I left it all out there, and I'm proud of that. I don't think I could have asked for a better day.
*Only as in "just three miles to review, and yet this post is 1000 pages long", not only in the sense that 5ks don't matter. Clearly they matter, because I put a lot of heart into this race :)