Ever since my second marathon of the season I've felt pretty darn fantastic. I signed up for the Capitol 10K awhile ago, figuring I would see how I felt come race day and decide if I wanted to attempt a personal best. I ran my very best 10k at the Cap 10K two years ago....a 53:45...but that was with some serious speed training the few weeks prior. This year I was merely relying on the relay and whatever I could pull off in the 5 weeks between the Austin Marathon and Capitol 10K. In other words, I figured a 57 minute 10K was about what I would pull off.
However...to my huge surprise...I was feeling AWESOME. I felt really good at the relay and posted respectable times in each of my legs. I was barely sore after my second marathon and after the relay. I joined the gym and started running on a treadmill to force some faster speed out of these legs. Things were looking surprisingly good for a shot at a personal best.
On Thursday of this past week, while still sore was a pretty tough Pilates session the day before, I headed out for a 4 miler, figuring it would be a bit slower since I was sore. I felt sluggish through the first mile and figured it was probably about 10 minute pace (if I was lucky), which was my typical pace for the first mile. To my surprise I looked down at my Garmin when it beeped after my first mile....8:44. WTH? I never do that for my first mile of a run without realizing I'm running that fast. So I decided that I would just maintain that pace and do a 5K. My time ended up being 26:50. Not a 5K PR by a long shot but still a pretty good pace without intentionally meaning to do a fast run....and exactly half of what I needed to hit a 10K PR. Hmmm....yeah, I could do it.
Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way. For the past 4 years I have always parked in a particular parking structure before this race, getting there about an hour early. I didn't alter my plan this morning....but it had a vastly different outcome. I GOT STUCK IN TRAFFIC.
And because I hadn't come up with an alternative plan, I had no idea what to do. I was alone, so I couldn't just ditch the car and then the driver figure it out. There were going to be over 20,000 running this race, so if I didn't get to the start I was going to be stuck behind a lot of walkers. Not that there's anything wrong with walkers, but having to navigate through them for the first couple miles would have absolutely killed any chance I had at a good time. At five minutes until start time I was still stuck in traffic, and hadn't even moved for at least 5 minutes. It led me to believe the parking structure was full....and unfortunately there really was nowhere else for me to park...I pretty much picked the worst street to be on. I had to make the painful decision to bag the race, turn around, and head back home. Devastated much???
This has never happened to me.
I always get to races early.
I really wanted to cry.
I decided that if I wasn't running the race, I could at least make a good shot at a fast time on a treadmill. I would have run outside, but I knew the treadmill would force a certain pace out of me much better. So off to the gym I went. I wanted to get a full 10K in, but I figured that I could relieve my babysitter (my fabulous friend Heather) so she could head to church without having to drag my kids with her. If I ran a full 10K it was cutting it close, so I ended up running 5 miles in 44 minutes. Had I ran the last 1.2 miles in just under 8 min/mile pace, I would have had my PR. I absolutely would have done it. Although I may have puked trying. When I got off the treadmill, I had to literally hold my hand to my mouth to keep myself from puking. That gym is really REALLY warm sometimes and my adrenaline was sky high.
But dammit, I got those aggressions out.
Now, many hours later, after reading about all my friends running a fabulous race today, and it seeming like I was the ONLY one who missed the race, I'm still sad. I would have liked to have seen my friends, I would have liked to take picture of my Garmin to show off my new 10K personal best time of 53:30...or better....I'm just sad.
Greg told me he'd pace me to get a PR out of me in the next couple weeks. I'm going to take him up on that.