Getting the Pacing Monkey off my back: Laurier Loop 5 KM Race Report
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that made a number of you a bit upset. I wrote about a race that was a personal best and I followed up that I was ashamed of my performance. This was not a humble brag – I really was not proud of how I raced that day.
I went out of the gate hot and I paid for it later in the race. I was happy with my time, but my execution was poor and that was what was bothering me. I could have been better.
I have a pretty specific progression planned for my training this year so I decided to do one more 5 KM this season before turning my attention to my next goal. I didn’t care about my time, I just needed to prove to myself that I could have the self control to not burst out of the gates.
With that goal in mind, I signed up for the Laurier Loop which is a difficult course to PB in – it has a serious of loops, pylons to dodge and inclines to deal with. I managed my expectations because the race director told me this was not a fast course. My only goal was to run a 3:45 in my first KM, keep it nice and steady and maybe speed up if I found the power in my legs.
I had a fantastic race morning. I slept well, had a bagel with peanut butter and a banana with a cup of coffee and ran over to the race which was only 2 KM from my house. I did a few extra KM and some warm up drills and strides and took my place at the start line at 10 AM.
I read recently the best races are the ones you don’t think through. I tried to turn off my mind, not focus on the fact that I had a bit of a pacing complex hanging over me and focused on holding back the first km. At the 1 KM mark, I felt my wrist buzz and I looked down at my Polar V800 and saw the most beautiful 3:45/km reading. I gave a huge smile knowing that no matter what else happened, I achieved my main goal for this race. I settled into the lead female position and focused on keeping a quick turn over and a steady pace. On the second loop, I was grateful for the down hill stretch on University street and pushed as hard as I could on the incline.
I hit the out and backs with one km to go feeling strong. I knew it was time to empty the tank. Since that first KM, I didn’t look at my watch and had no idea what time I ran. I pushed hard in the last number of metres and finished as 6th runner and first female overall in a time of 19:26, almost a minute slower than my pb a couple weeks ago. Everyone added this type of time onto their race because this was not a fast course but I was so delighted with this.
It just shows that performance is measured in so many ways other than time. I regained my confidence that I can race a smart, even split race. This was a fun 5 KM to close out my spring road race season and now I am turning my attention seriously to half ironman training with Dave Galloway of the Performance Project. My next race will be the Sporting Life 10 KM but I will be participating in the RunWaterloo Pancake mile on April 2 for some fun.
How do you measure success in races?