I've been reading "Finding Ultra" by Rich Roll, in it, he notes that there is always only one "first time". Regarding 5Ks, today was mine.
Did the prep work last night, laid out all my clothes, Lanacane Anti-chafe gel, band-aids, and all the gear I'd be bringing. Pre-loaded the stovetop espresso maker and tied the chip onto my running shoes.
Prior to the race
The plan was to ride to the start and I'd use the ride as my warm up. Approximately 4.5 mile ride early in the morning, try to keep the heart rate below 140 bpm, and get there early to mentally prep.
I went for a ride last night and both last night and this morning, I got a bit carried away and let the heart rate get above 140.
The apprehension was palpable, I locked up after a refreshing ride, swapped my cycling shoes for my running shoes, and took the advice of many a Spark Friend to heart. SPEEDYDOG's advice re: port-a-pottys, spot on. Nerves shrink your bladder, for sure. BOILHAM noted pacing and the noob tendency to start too fast. Honestly, I tried, tried REALLY hard, but one word was my downfall, "cowbell". I'll explain.
AEROBISAURUS told me about breathing. Worked hard to keep that aspect of it together, but man was I vibing off the crowd. I think the race was capped at 1500 on a compact course. I thought I was claustrophobic when it came to mass starts for a XC mountain bike race. The mountain bike races I've done have nothing on this.
The national anthem was sung, the starting pistol was fired, and, no lie, a full fire fighter squad in full gear started the race. Chasing down fully encumbered fire fighters is an experience. The race organizers sure do know how to put on a spectacle.
Residents of the neighborhood we ran through were playing stereos, playing cellos, and a pair of dudes were playing a cover of the White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
I was trying to keep my heart rate in the 140s. Don't know if it was the excitement, or what, but I was averaging mid-150s and saw as high as 161. I heard that cowbell, and I don't know if I'm part bull, or what, but I wanted to light my afterburners knowing full well I'd burn out in 50 yards. I tried to pull back, but it was hard seeing people pass me. I made sure I started mid pack, but it was crowded out there, for sure.
I just focused on one foot ahead of the other (I know, hackneyed phrase) and tried to keep it together. Passed the "One Mile" marker, had someone yelling about a10+ minute pace, and had the thought run through my head, "That's IT?!?" then I saw it. The sign. "Beer and Champagne stop". I thought it was runners humor until I came up on it, and said, "What the hey?"
It's surreal to have people playing music in the forest to motivate you. I heard Tubas, some dude with a sax, and a violin. Oh, and people gasping for breath. A lot of that, but no griping.
Running through the park on trails you typically mountain bike on is an odd feeling. I heard the bass of the festival at the finish line and it drove me forward. Crossing the finish line was a great feeling.
Sometimes we forget about those first times, the anticipation, the apprehension, the excitement to be trying something new and not knowing how it will turn out.
Pursue those first times in your fitness, I remember now how training for an event adds a certain immediacy to one's training. Don't plateau, keep fighting! Hope your weekend is going well and that you went for it, today!
As an aside, I thought that running the same routes/trails I ride would be painful. It does seem slow, but since the skill set is different, the routes almost feel new because it's a new kind of pain. Cycling is like intervals, you have hard segments, and then segments that you can spin. Running, you have to be moving and I can see how pacing means so much more, because you don't really rest, but perhaps "actively rest" by slowing down. Plus fueling seems more problematic. With riding, I can have a heavy meal relatively close to departure time and go for long periods because literally, if I want to fuel, I can eat a hoagie and drink coffee all in the saddle while rolling. With running, I tried that the first time I ran a couple of weeks ago and wow, that was not good.
Today I got a taste, and I liked it. Definitely will do that again. Not too bad for 2 weeks of training. Yeah, I know I'm patting myself on the back. Hmmmmm duathlon... new ideas percolating.
-run the whole course
-don't come in DFL
Kudos too, to JANETRIS who just finished her 9th tri and MRS.PRINCIPAL, both encouraged me to take a chance to ride my metric century after a pretty serious injury!
Place:823 Class place: 71 Clock time:32:55.35 Chip time: 32:07.4 Pace:10:22