It’s amazing how I can pull off a 2+ minute 5k PR at the beginning of July, and struggle through a 5k at the end of July. On the 4th of July, I ran the Wild West 5k, and it was a super hard race, I pushed myself hard, and I was rewarded with a shiny new PR. Last night, I ran the Rock the Crossroads 5k, and it was a tough race for me!
The race was in the evening, which is uncommon for a race. I definitely would not want to run a long race, or try to PR in an evening/night race. I prepared for the race spectacularly… HAH! I spent the hours before the race swimming at the pool in 95+ degree weather. Not the ideal way to prep for a race, but I had an opportunity to go to the pool with Amy and her son, and knew I wasn’t going for a PR on this race, so I had fun Saturday, but definitely felt the effects of the energy sap from the pool.
Amy and I got to the race about an hour before the race started. The race was held in the Crossroads District of downtown KC, and had a “Rock n Roll” theme, and included a Rock concert at Grinders after the race. KC Running Co. hosted the race, and did a wonderful job at pre and post race activities, and everything was run very smoothly, as always.
We met up with several Groupies before the race, and it sprinkled a bit in the hour before the race. I’m not sure if “sprinkled” is the right word. It was more like it was SO humid that the air just turned into water randomly for a while because it couldn’t handle it’s humid-ness any more.
We took our obligatory pre-race photos, and were ready to start so we could finish. Amy and I were pretty tired, and not used to racing in the evening. I don’t know how many times we asked each other if we could just go home and lay on the couch!
I had a chance to talk to Derek Mitchell a bit before the race too. As I said in my interview with him, I’ve seen him at many local races, but hadn’t actually introduced myself. It was great to have some of his energy and enthusiasm rub off on me!
After a beautiful National Anthem, the race started. Wouldn’t you know, the rain/mist/sprinkles stopped when we started running, but the humidity was just as strong. There wasn’t any air moving, it was overcast, but HOT and HUMID. Ugh.
The first mile went well, I was booking it, and clocked a quick mile (fast for me!). The effort I put forth for that first mile was way too hard. I knew it by about a quarter mile in, that between being in the sun all afternoon, the humidity, lack of hydrating during the day, and non-morning race, that the Rock the Crossroads would be more like Try to Survive the Crossroads.
I had to walk and focus on breathing after the first mile, which happened to coincide with the hill up to the Sprint Center. Lately, I’ve been focusing on making myself run the uphills, and rest/walk/slow down on the downhills if need be. I just couldn’t do it this time. I walked on and off through the rest of the 5k Saturday night. The rain held off, but I wish it would have just poured, because the sweat and moisture from the humid night just sat on my skin. It had nowhere to go, couldn’t evaporate, and there was no wind to make it feel cooler. By mile 2, I just wanted to be done!
I finished the race over 4 minutes slower than my PR, which was a bummer. The more I thought about it though, with walking as much as I did (which almost never happens any more during a 5k), my pace has definitely increased, because my overall time was in-line with a year ago when I would run the whole thing, at a slower pace.
I’ve been working on having a more positive mindset. Though I didn’t PR, and didn’t have a great race, in terms of running it all, PRing, feeling strong and fast, etc, my body did what it could do on that night. I am learning to accept my runs for what they are, and not focus on what they could have been. I’m learning to appreciate my body, my strong legs, my strong lungs, my strong heart, for pushing me through each of these runs and races, and appreciating that my body has taken me further than I ever thought. When I started running, I said it’s impossible for me to run a half marathon, and now I’ve done 5. I only dreamed of breaking 30 minutes in the 5k, and now I have accomplished it. I need to stop limiting my body and mind, and encourage myself to push further, farther, faster, and be happy and thankful that my body is doing what it can on any particular day.
After our post-raced photos, waters, and high-fives, we changed our shirts (they were soaked) and headed home. We weren’t really in the mood to stand around at the concert after the race, especially all sweaty and tired. It was a fun race, a fun venue, and another learning experience.
My next race isn’t until late August, so I have about 5 weeks until the Heartland 30k (3 10k’s in 4 weeks) series kicks off.