Pace yourself.....pace yourself....and what if for a 8k I did not pace myself. What if I forget about wearing my Polar and listen only to my body, how I feel? What about not even looking at my watch during the race? What if I told you that my last 3 races I did much better than expected because I ran only by feel....
Well, yes, I looked at my watch but only for a second...and only once...or twice!
The Esquimalt 8K is a small local 8km race and according to last year's times and my current fitness level, I knew I could do very well there.
I start to warm up...but it's already warm outside, there are no clouds and no wind. I run to wake my legs up and prepare them for that little surprise I have for them...
"Hey legs...we're gonna run under 4min/k today! How about that?"This warm up is not going too well, I am hot and tired. My legs do not respond very well but this happened to me before at the TC 10K. I had a PR!
8:59:30 seconds AM
I am on the very front line, just behind Marilyn Arsenault, AKA the Running Diva,I am determined not to let her go....for at least 2km.....
Here I go....I remember this commercial from Versus.com...it says: "...it's not because they're strong it doesn't mean they can't get their asses kicked"...I am going to kick ass, including mine! I start very fast (for me) and I decide I am going to keep it fast, for as long as I possibly can. If I slow donw, then I slow down. You see, since I read that quote for Shakespeare, I see racing in a totally different way. I see racing as taking risks and trusting my feelings. I now refuse to view racing as just a fast training run...I now see racing as a game of mind over body, a game I CAN WIN!
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we might win, by fearing to attempt.9 and something AM (km 4)
-- William Shakespeare
It's damn hot and my mouth is totally dry. I am not wearing my heart rate monitor but I know I am way above lactate threshold. My HR is probably 90-95% Max HR. I decide to keep it like that, I still feel good but I need a drink. I get a cup of Gatorade from the aid station but I am not slowing down...cherry (yuck!) Gatorade all over my face and sunglasses...not a pretty sight! Oh well, only 4km to go!
9 and something AM (km 6)
I do not feel so good anymore, I had omega-3 gel capsules this morning (as I always do) and I am burping fish oil, that's because of that stupid cherry Gatorade.... Negative signals start to kick in. Doubt is THE ENNEMY!!!! My legs are starting to feel like cement as lactic acid starts to accumulate.
9 and something (somewhere between km 7 and 8)
I think of Simon Whitfield, I think of Lance Armstrong, I think of the Tour de France and I think about these heroes. I remember some blog posts from my coaches Clint Lien and Mike Neill and I decide to keep going strong. I hear a runner coming close to me, breathing as hard as I....I accelerate. He comes just next to me and I accelerate more, this guy IS NOT GOING TO PASS ME!
I see the finish line....even though I did not win the race, this race is mine! I achieved a personal record (31 minutes and... results pending) and finished 3rd in the masters' category....a very nice race indeed!