I’m fairly remiss in recapping last week’s 5K. To be honest, I wasn’t all that excited about my performance, so I’ve been avoiding it.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do a horrible job, or anything, but as I am sure you all know, when you fall short of what you hope to achieve, it is mentally annoying.
Prior to May 8th, I had been doing a decent job of getting in a couple of strength training sessions a week as well as a couple of runs. Despite only having had my routine in place for a few weeks, I already felt stronger and was quickly becoming a believer in how much strength training improves your running skills. With just a little extra attention to my muscles, I was finding running to be a little easier…and even more enjoyable.
The DSE Mother’s Day Marina Green 5K was the perfect chance to PR. I had run the course during my first race last September. It was all flat and I really felt confident that I could do well. I should have known things were going to be a little off for me that morning just based on the fact that I couldn’t even find the start line right away. I had assumed that the “Mother’s Day Marina Green 5K” would have the same start as the “Marina Green 5K” that I had run with DSE in September. When I got there, however, I realized very quickly that I was mistaken. I whipped out the old iPhone and lo and behold….the start line was over where the St. Patrick’s Day 5K had been. Like nearly a mile away.
Good job, Alexa, good job.
Not to worry…I got there in plenty of time to register and listen to all of the pre-race announcements.
After all of the usual pre-race talk, we headed over to the start line. Despite my location mix up, I was still feeling pretty good. I was wearing my new Nike hoodie and had my discounted runner’s water bottle. I was totally ready to kick some 5K ass.
The first mile went very well. I completed it in 10:07, which for me is pretty fast. My pace is usually closer to 11 minutes, so I was definitely on the path to PRdom. Unfortunately, as mile 2 got going, I started to get a bad side stitch. My standard pre-race breakfast of peanut butter and banana toast was fighting back. I took a little walk break and chugged some water (with Strawberry Lemonade Nuun). That of course, didn’t help matters…chugging fluids while running is kind of a bad idea. At the time, however, I was more focussed on the stitch. It pretty much took the second mile to sort out the pain and water sloshy-ness. For the third mile, I rebounded, but I had lost a lot of time. To top it off, I was now running my last mile directly into the wind. I was running strong, but really, my pace is no match for a good strong gust off of the Golden Gate.
I crossed the finish line with the time of 33:54. I was disappointed. Although it wasn’t my slowest 5K time or anything, it was slower than the first time I had run Marina Green (same course, btw…just different start/finish location).
After the race I decided to walk home, which is a nearly 4 mile walk. Since I work down at the waterfront, I am pretty used to it though. I just sort of went on auto pilot and let my feet carry me on home.
Well, until I hit the Civic Center area, that is.
That is when I get hit with a crazy thought.
The thought to run Hayes Street Hill.
“Hayes Street Hell” is pretty much the most difficult part of the Bay To Breakers route, and coincidentally, is on my way home. I knew that in a week I was going to be expected to run up Hayes when I took part in my very first Bay to Breakers race. While I had walked up the hill many times, I had never run it and for some reason, I decided that trying it after running a 5K and walking nearly 4 miles was a good idea.
So I did.
I thought I was going to die when I finally got to the top, but I did in fact get there.
It would probably be rather crude to admit that the entire time I ran it I was chanting, “Make this hill your b*tch, Alexa, make it your B*tch!” in my head.
So I won’t admit that.
As I hobbled back to my apartment, I just reminded myself that on May 15th when I met that hill again, I at least would have the knowledge that I could do it.
And knowing, is half the battle.
Coming Up: Bay to Breakers Expo and the 100th Running of the Bay to Breakers Recap.
Do you beat yourself up over missing out on time goals, or are you more zen about the whole racing experience?