Thursday, November 23, 2006

I Trot, therefore I Am.

The alternate title of this blog was "23 Minutes and 32 Seconds of Torture" but I decided to keep it positive.

Today's verdict is that apparently I trot faster than I run. And even though I complain about cold, wet weather, it does wonders for my speed. More motivation for the race to be over, I guess.

I ran the Virginia Run Turkey Trot 5K this morning. There were approximately 2,100 runners, although over 3,000 had registered. The weather, at a brisk 40 degrees, was damp, drizzling and breezy. I wore three layers of clothing on top, a hat, two pairs of gloves, pants and my thickest running socks. Two years ago, you couldn't have paid me enough money to run in this sort of weather.

Before the race began, I told myself that my goal would be to come in under 24:00. I've only run one other 5K and my time was 24:14. At the start line, someone asked me if I was "home from college" for Thanksgiving. That made me smile. "Actually, I'm 28," I replied.

The race started and my internal dialogue went something like this: "This sucks. It's so cold. Ouch, the cold hurts! You can just stop right now. Just walk back to your car and you don't have to finish. Or you can just walk the rest of the way. This hurts. You're running so slow anyway."

After about a mile and a half, I experienced this weird mix of hot and cold. I was really hot on the inside, and yet my skin felt cold. I unzipped my jacket because I was feeling warm in the chest area, and yet I still felt extremely chilly at the same time. It was such an odd sensation to be running in the cold, wind, and rain and have that hot/cold feeling-- all the while trying to be athletic and reach a goal.

There were no mile markers so I had no idea how I was doing. I kept looking at my watch telling myself that I only had to run for about 24 minutes, and the faster I ran, the sooner it would be over. It was just torture, but in a good way. I was exerting myself to the limit and yet it seemed as if I was running extremely slow. I would have estimated a pace of 8:30, when in actuality my pace was 7:35.

I definitely didn't think I would even come close to beating my previous time. But the finish line came about two minutes earlier than expected and I couldn't be happier.
  • I blew my previous time of 24:14 out of the water with a 23:32.
  • I placed 19 out of 299 runners in my division.
  • I placed 68 out of 1021 total women.
  • My pace was 7:35.
  • I shaved 42 seconds off of my personal record from September of this year.
After the race, I went to the gym (which was only a mile away) and had the adrenaline rush to keep running. I ran 7.5 extra miles at an average pace of 8:25. I knew that I would be massively sore tomorrow, like I was from my previous 5K, so I figured I'd better run as much as possible before I would be hindered by my sore muscles.

At the gym, one of the trainers was talking about the race and I joined in the conversation. It turns out that she is running the Miami Half marathon along with some other people from the gym. So that was exciting.

And it won't be a complete race blog without the short but strategic playlist

Nickelback- Rockstar
Incubus- Anna Molly
Jason Mraz- Common Pleasure
Anberlin- Readyfuels
Disturbed- Land of Confusion
Anberlin- Undeveloped Story

I've done my trotting for the day. I'm gonna go have a turkey.