Sunday, January 24, 2010

Freeze for Food-race recap

Yesterday's race was my first race of the season.  I've already talked about how wonderful it was to stay at my aunt's house.  That is a great tradition that I will revisit as often as I can find good races in Madison.

The race itself was a little brutal, if I'm being honest.  The weather was awful....foggy, cold, a little windy and it misted all day.  There were spots on the course where I had to really pay attention to my footing because of the ice.  Most of the rest of the course was very wet and slushy.  My feet were soaked before I completed the first mile.

I had been hoping to have a decent time; I knew there wasn't going to be a PR in that weather.  I started out strong (as I always do), focusing on keeping my shoulders back and my head up and trying to keep a decent stride.  I succeeded in the first two, but keeping a consistent stride was nearly impossible when I was constantly dodging puddles and ice patches.

It was an out-and-back course-NOT my favorite, but I was familiar with part of it because I ran it last year at the Zoo Run Run.  The people in Madison know how to organize a nice race.  They had a lot of friendly volunteers who shouted words of encouragement at me as I got to every intersection.  They had people holding back traffic and they were always smiling.  That reminded me to smile.  I don't think I ever smile while I'm running.  I have looked back at some of my race photos, and I'm never smiling.  I know that it is exhausting and I'm working hard, but I do LOVE to run.  I should at least express that.  So, every time I saw a volunteer or another runner or a spectator, I would smile at them.  I think it helped.  Especially when I thought of those poor volunteers standing in the cold misty weather.  They were probably freezing.

As is often the case in my runs, I start out too hard and lose my momentum the last 3/4 mile.  This happened again.  :-(  I just didn't have enough left to really push it to the end.  Most of the people that I passed the first half of the race, ran past me at the end.  But they were all so encouraging that it motivated me to keep going, as hard as I could.  I gave it everything I had at the end and finished in 31:21.  Not the sub-30:00 time that I want, but it was the first race of the season, and I learned from it.

I will be incorporating some speed work into my runs.  I don't want to, but I know it is important.  I am going to keep adding distance to build my endurance for the half marathon in May, but I would love to run a couple good 5Ks this year, too.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry about smiling to spectators, chances are the other runners are feeling as tired as you are! Also, I used to get in trouble with my coach in Cross Country b/c I'd wave to people and I should have been "concentrating and focused". LOL.