I didn't have a chance to post about my goals for this race, so I didn't really go in with my usual plethora of goals. I had run 38:20 or so during my PR 10K earlier this month, so I figured I would be happy with something close to that. Mainly I wanted to break 38 for the first time. I haven't been listing my 5-mile PR because I can't remember what it is; this is the only 5-mile race I've run and they don't have online records past a year or two ago. I think I ran it back in high school in 38 something one time.
Anyway, I felt kinda crappy in the morning, but I think it was just because I didn't get as much sleep as I would have liked (we picked my brother up at the airport pretty late). I agonized over what to wear; it was cloudy and looked like rain as we left the house, but the sun started to come out after that. It was in the low to mid 40's, but windy, making it feel 6-8 degrees colder. I wore shorts underneath my warm-up pants but brought tights, just in case. I put on a short sleeve shirt and three long sleeve shirts, figuring I would peel off as many as I could after warming up. I ended up racing in shorts and one long sleeve shirt. Put on an ear-warmer but ditched the gloves, figuring my hands would warm up. Turned out to work perfectly. Hands were cold for the first mile, but fine after that, and ear-warmer never became bothersome.
This race is a long-standing southern Indiana tradition; I think this was its 19th year or so. This year over 500 people turned up. I warmed up, sorted out my clothes, and lined up. Gun went off and so did I. I wasn't specifically trying to go out slower than usual, but I hit the first mile in 7:24. Awesome! Still fast, but not by much at all. In fact, I was a little worried that I would slow down by as much as I usually do, making the second mile more like 8. But no! Second mile was 7:29 and I was feeling good. But I knew that coming up soon was a pretty tough hill. That slowed the third mile down to 7:46, but I stayed with the people in front of me. In fact, I passed a few. :) Passed a lot of people in mile four, run in 7:27. Awesome! My 4-mile split was 30:08, another new PR. I knew I could slow down a little bit and still beat my goal, but I couldn't figure out the math to know how much, so I kept trying as hard as I could (not as if I wouldn't have anyway). I was starting to struggle a little, but I knew my main goal of under 38 was within reach so tried as hard as I could, even though my legs felt sooo slow and rubbery going up the hills. I turned the last bend into the driveway where the chute is located and saw the clock said about 37:4-something. I knew my watch was a little off because I started it a few seconds after the gun. I had it! I gave whatever was left and managed some semblance of a sprint to the finish. Finish time, 37:47. Whoooooo! New 4-mile and 5-mile PRs! I was absolutely elated.
On the cooldown, I ran into my old high school coach, the man who is responsible for getting me into running. We talked for a little while. He seemed kind of down because he's been having trouble recently getting more than two or three people out for cross country. He said in general people are more apathetic. He's had to lower the standards in his classes just to get people through. My high school is on academic probation. It's so sad! On a happier note that, he mentioned he was looking forward to moving up to the 55-59 age group next year so he could start being competitive again, but I noticed later he was still 3rd in the 50-54 group. :)
On to the awards. Waiting with bated breath, coveting a new mug to add to my collection, I listened to them read out the top 3 in each age group. I got second! This was highly exciting too, since I've never placed at this race. Later I figured out I was 2nd of 30 in my division and 18th female overall. This is a popular race among high schoolers coming off XC so that makes it relatively competitive. In fact, a whole group of them finished 10-15 seconds ahead of me; I would have been 12th or so if I'd run just a little faster...see, already I'm dreaming of going faster.
The string of PRs I've had lately has been immensely gratifying. The hard work I've put in all year has really started to pay dividends. I hope I can keep it up!! I hope everything else who did a turkey trot had a wonderful time. And I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family love and great food.