Last Sunday I raced the 5k in the Women’s Fitness Festival in Sacramento. After coming off my high from the previous weekend running with Nike at the Zoom Project, I was expecting more out of myself than I had trained for. I really wanted to run a fast 5k and push the pace, but I hadn’t been training fast, so I was expecting more than I should have.
The days leading up to the race brought a heatwave of 100+ degree days and Sunday morning was no different. It was high 70’s when I left the house at 6am and climbing to the 80’s by the time the race started. Later that day the temperature hit 108! I grew up in Oregon and pretty much melt in any temperature above 75, so I was not happy from the beginning. I admit it, I probably should have started with a better attitude, but based on my history, running in the heat results in a decrease in performance.
I didn’t have time to perform a proper warm-up due to arriving a bit late at the start and settled into the front of the pack. The race started promptly at 7:45am. I started out at a pace that I should have reserved for later in the race, I was running in the low 7’s. I quickly began feeling the heat and was forced to slow down. My body just wouldn’t listen to my mind. My legs felt heavy and I had trouble pushing the pace. It’s a flat and fast course, technically, I should have been able to run much fast than I did.
I struggled through the 3.1 miles and kicked hard at the end. I finished in 26:17, far from my PR, but still good enough for 8th in my age group (top 5%) and 84th overall (out of 2,324). Top 100 isn’t bad, but I know I could have run the race 2-3 minutes faster if the weather conditions were different and if I had properly trained. At least there is always another race. Thanks to the Zoom Project, I now have the tools to train to be faster and support to get there.
One exciting part of the race was getting to meet, Deena Kastor, one of my running hero’s and motivation to keep pushing. She is the American record holder in the Marathon and a bronze medalist in the Olympics. She was incredibly positive and down to earth. She is a great ambassador for the sport!
I may not have had my best race but I did have a great experience and run through Sacramento. I have a lot to learn and achieve in running to reach my potential. I can’t wait to see what the last half of 2014 has in store!