I hadn't been training for a 5K. Haven't run a competitive 5K in 2 years actually. I had just come off of an easy summer running schedule, physically and mentally preparing myself for the training I knew would come during the fall and winter for the BQ attempt in March. So for me to think that I could just get on the podium without seriously training, might have been a stretch, but hey, that is how I think. I have a goal, and as always, want to achieve it.
The morning started off cool but sunny. A great day for the run! Met up with the Yum Yum Ya Ya's team – They had asked me months earlier if I would join and I said I would love to! Love me some Yum Yums hot dogs! :D
We took a few pictures and proceeded to the start. I had 6 songs on my iPhone that I had picked to try to keep my cadence at or around 180. I haven't worked much with my cadence like this in a race, but I knew my normal cadence was about 165, well below the optimum 180. I was hoping this might give me a little something to focus on while running.
Before I knew it, the gun went off and we started. Slight down hill, right into an uphill grade. I tried to keep a steady pace as I knew I would have to hold it for the entire 3 miles. I kept my eye out around me for “people who looked like they were in my age group”. It really did not matter too much though as the field spread out quite quickly.
I can't say there was one person I tried to keep an eye on. I was racing myself and trying to run to the beat of my music without getting my heart-rate too much over 180. About halfway through we looped back and the walkers were cheering the runners at the front on. That was awesome. The cheering kept getting louder, and I wondered why, until a 9 year old passed me. WHAT! Well, she was my “new goal” stick with her. Holy smokes she was fast. I did the best I could to stick with her, but she stayed well ahead of me. It was about this time another woman was trying to go around me and I was not about to let her do that. (sorry!) She looked older than my division, but still, it gave me that push I needed to power up that last hill to the finish. There was one other person who finished just ahead of me that passed me about 2 miles in that I was trying to catch, but didn't. I finished up that hill with the screaming crowd and nearly passed out at the finish. I had given it my all. 23:33. I hoped it would be enough to make that podium.
I heard the announcer saying the names and places of the top 20 finishers. I kept listening for my name and sure enough “in 18th place, Amy Surrette with a time of 23:33” woo!! I posted the result on facebook and went in search of the results to see the places.
When I got to the board, they had just posted the first sheet. The first thing I noticed when I saw my name was 4 in the division slot. I looked again and saw the person who finished 1 second ahead of me was in my division and came in 3rd. I was so disappointed. Missed it by one second! I had a bit of a pity party for about 15 minutes, then pulled myself together and realized that even though I didn't train for this run, I was nearly contending for a podium finish.
Next year. Yep, next year will be another opportunity. I will be in the Masters division, I will train for this one, and Lord willing I will finally know what it feels like to be on the podium and not one or 2 places away as I am so used to.
Not many races have “gotten under my skin” like this one. I have come so close so many times here, I just have to one day finish this “unfinished business” with this race and be able to walk away from it. Until then, I will continue to return in my quest to make it to that podium :)