Setting the scene
This was an afternoon race (2:30pm) which had me all out of sorts in the morning. What do I eat? When do I eat it? How close to the race can I snack? How much water do I drink? Blah blah blah. Ended up eating my usual pre-race meal (bagel and nut butter –currently obsessed with sunflower seed butter) as an early lunch and hoped for the best.
The pre-race mental game
While I warmed up I felt pretty terrible: sluggish legs, tight muscles, laced my left shoe too tight, etc…so I had low expectations for the race despite the fact I’ve been visiting the oval weekly. I also knew the race had an uphill start which I wasn’t too thrilled about…but it was an out an back course, so there was a downhill finish to look forward to. In the back of mind, I knew this was a good opportunity to PR. With consistent speed work and a few xc races to strengthen my legs, I figured I had a shot…but I tried not to think about it!
|mmm, the oval|
When the gun went off, everyone surged up the first hill. Phew! Nothin’ like getting real out of breath immediately! About a half mile in, I passed the lady in first place, and that’s where the real ‘magic’ of this race began.
Volunteers were hollering ‘first place woman!’ as I ran by, and when I passed the turn-around and was running toward the rest of the field, I felt so much support from all my sisters in sport out there. They hooted encouragement like ‘you go girl!’, and ‘you got it girl!’ and ‘go first place woman!’ and ‘beat those boys!’. I felt so much gratitude for those ladies and a lovely sense of camaraderie. I have never had that kind of mid-race encouragement before, and it was downright amazing. Got some warm and fuzzy feelings.
|The warm and fuzzies not shown|
|Super official tape|