Sunday, May 31, 2009

Freihofer's Run for Women 5k race report.

No dramatic lead-in: You all know from my last post that I did not achieve my goal of finishing under 23 minutes. I was bummed yesterday but I'm OK with that today.

On with the race report!

On Friday, I went to the expo, picked up my bib and t-shirt and was able to sneak in a chiropractic adjustment (thank you, NY Chiropractic College!). Oh, so good. I got a little massage, the adjustment and some ART and left there feeling terrific!

The race didn't begin until 10:15 on Saturday morning so I had plenty of time to eat breakfast and leisurely get ready for the race. I had a pre-race breakfast of peanut butter & jelly on whole wheat, lots of water and some coffee. Then, Owen, Conal and I headed out on what we thought would be a quick drive to the Empire State Plaza. No such luck. Traffic (huh?) was backed up so we waited and waited and waited and slowly made our way to the parking lot. At one point, Owen suggested that I hop out of the car so I could go ahead and not get stressed by sitting in traffic. I did just that.

So, I warmed up, met up with my friend, Gina, who was running her first race (yay!), and eventually made my way to the starting area. There were 4000 women running in this race so the starting area was packed. I watched the elite runners file in from the side and just kinda gawked at their perfect little running bodies. Every one of them looked like they were made for running. I felt like a hulking who-knows-what compared to those lithe women!

And they are fast! The winner, Teyba Erkesso from Ethiopia, finished in 15:26. That's a 4:59 pace! Sheesh! The Ethiopians and Kenyans dominated, by the way, with the first American, Tera Moody, finishing in 13th place in 16:24.

Me? Not so fast.

I had a goal: 22:59. I visualized myself crossing the finish line in that time. I knew I could do it. I had put in the time with the speedwork, the hills, the long(ish) runs, everthing. 7:22 per mile was what I was going for. Didn't happen. Here's what did:

I went through the first kilometer in 4:40, so a little off pace but since I didn't want to start out too fast, that was OK. I told myself to pick it up and I went through the first mile in around 7:30. No problem. Pick it up a little more. I tried. I pushed through the second mile. I don't remember what the 2k split was (9 something) but it doesn't really matter because my undoing came at 3k/2m.

I made a huge mental error.

I was running through the second mile and just waiting to get my split. I saw the clock up ahead and when I was close enough to see the time, I saw 13:22. Wow. That's fast, I thought. When I ran past the clock it was around 13:45 or so. OK, really, I thought. That's too fast. You're going to burn out. Slow down.

I slowed down. I felt happy to be on-pace, but I knew I needed to slow down.

Only, I shouldn't have slowed down because the clock that I saw was not for the 2m mark, it was for the 3 flippin' k mark! UGH! As soon as I saw the clock for the 2-mile split, I wanted to cry. I had already slowed down, thinking I was ahead of pace, and then wham! I ran past the 2-mile clock in just under 15 minutes but I was so, so, so discouraged. It was just a big kick in the shins and my momentum was gone. How had I made such a stupid mistake? I mean, what was I thinking? Did I think that I had run the second mile in 6-ish minutes? Really??? Well, no. See, I wasn't thinking. Or, wasn't thinking clearly. I just completely messed up with the 3k/2m clocks and it set me back.

From there, I had a tough time with the race. I was angry with myself for my mistake and I knew that by slowing down at 3k, I was completely off my pace. To top it off, all of the negative self-talk was not doing me any good at all!

I ran as well as I could over the last mile and tried to finish strong. I crossed the line in 23:46. Not bad, I know, but not what I would have liked.

The interesting thing is that a year ago, I ran this race in 24:16. Had I run 23:46 last year, I would have been ecstatic! What a difference a year makes . . .

What did I learn? Well, the biggest thing I learned is that mistakes happen and it is how you deal with them that matters. I did not deal with my mistake well. I need to work on being mentally sharp so I'll have to figure out how to fit that in to my training. And, I'll just keep doing that speedwork. I know I have 22:59 (or better!) in me. I just have to bring it out.


Finish: 23:46
Overall pace: 7:40
Age-group place: 30/489
Overall place: 299/3685
Age-graded %: 63%

* * *

The day finished off very well. Owen and I went out for a delicious dinner at a place called Marche. It was the best meal either of us have had in ages! Then today, Owen gave me an AWESOME birthday present: A Garmin Forerunner 305! WOO HOO! It is charging now . . . I can't wait to take it out for a run. I catching up, techno-world, so watch out!

~ Felice


J said...

Oh a GARMIN!! You are so lucky! I can't wait to hear how you like it. i was looking at watches, maybe not a garmin though, but one that can tell me my mileage and my heart rate!

You ran a very good race. Sometimes during races I think the mind is deprived of oxygen and we can't think straight. i remember running a timed mile in high school (i was on JV soccer and the varsity team was watching) and I thought my 3rd lap was my last lap and I kicked and then still have another lap to go. Silly mistake but we all make them! keep your head up...I am sure you will get it in your next 5k!

kara said...

Sometimes I stop looking at the time and just race. Those are the races I generally do better in.
Congrats on your time. Nothing to c/o
And hey a New Garmin!!!
I couldn't live without mine : )

Middle-of-the-Pack Girl said...

you can bet with the new garmin you won't have that problem again, believe me!

23:46 is awesome, i know you're not happy, but really that is a very fast time, especially for a race like that, where i am sure there were tons of people walking and you probably had to do some weaving at the start,right? and yesterday was not the coolest temp at 10:15, at least it was not around here.

congratulations! i still think you did really well.

Marlene said...

Oh man, so frustrating!!! There is so much going on in your head during a race, I don't blame you for making the mistake. Same thing could have happened to any of us. It's not a mistake you'll make again. :)

You still improved over last year and like you said, you have it in you!

So - when's your next shot??

Congratulations, and enjoy your new toy!

ShutUpandRun said...

Still a great/strong pace even if it's not exactly as you wanted!!

The Laminator said...

Oh No! That sucks! Well, at least you ran a great time and know you could do so so much better. Keep at the speedwork and you'll blow that 23 min mark out of the water! You're so much better than that and we all know it!

RunnerMom said...

Look at your age group and overall place---still a very STRONG race! I'm sorry you didn't meet your goal, but you won't make that clock mistake next time! You DO have a sub-23 in you!

Abby said...

I know this sounds stupid, but I had no idea so much strategy went into a 5k race. I'm more of a 'slow and steady' kind of runner, just don't have the speed for the shorter ones so I've never done a race fewer than 10 miles.

It seems like physically, you totally had that 22:59 - it was just the mental snafu that did you in. Onward and upward, right? Here's to Take Two!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Again, you ran a good hard race, and I'm sorry it wasn't what you wanted. I know how it feels to miss a goal like that. There's something about running that messes up my head when I am trying to figure out pace. Can't do math and run.

It sounds like you learned alot from it though. You'll only get faster from here.

A 305? Egads! When does my wife get me a 305? :D

I Run for Fun said...

Oh, sorry about that, Felice! I know it's disappointing, but you know you can kick butt the next time, and that you are capable of beating 23:00. You did really well, congrats.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

SWEET gift, you will love it and become addicted instantly.

FYI I would have been totally discouraged as well, reading this I felt like it was me talking. It is sooo hard to focus and be strong when all you can think about is that one misstep.. UGH!!

What a difference a year makes, imagine next year.

Seems like a great time to me..

Sebastien Barre said...

I thought I would share 70 photos of the Freihofer's run I took Saturday.

joyRuN said...

Still a great race! Overall pace of 7:40 is fantastic.

It IS amazing how perspective can change in a year. I ran a 26:40 at my 5K last week and was bummed that I didn't do better. What I've forgotten is that last year, I would've been happy with anything under 28 minutes.

Heather C said...

Welcome to the Garmin world - you're going to LOOOVE it! :) there's no going back, really.

You have manyyyy 5Ks ahead of you, and that 22:59 will definitely come out. in the meantime, gloat with that 23:46 - that's Speedy!!!!

Miz said...

ok from what Ive heard you should be pumpedthrilledexcited about the garmin (she types knowing so very little save what she's been told :))

the sentence I DID NOT DEAL WITH MY MISTAKE WELL has stuck in my mind.

In that had I written it.
did I think it.
*I* would not want people to try and talk me OUT of what Im feeling.
out of what I know in my heart.

So I shall just say that there is always next time.
That for me the lessons learned through athletic endeavors which are MENTAL have all been lifealtering ones.

ones which help me to, say, deal with mistakes better in nonathletic realms as well.

hope this makes sense.

IMO? pretty damn inpressive 23:46

raulgonemobile said...

Well, with a Garmin, you won't have to worry any more about doing that kind of thing. :)

23:46 isn't shabby at all, though.. congrats!

Marcy said...

I'm sorry that it wasn't the time you wanted BUT considering all the circumstances (I don't know what you think but that course isn't exactly PR friendly. On both the course and number of ladies running the thing) soooo me thinks that if you were given better circumstances to run under, you would've surpassed your goal. You'll DEF get there, it's just a matter of time ;-)

Aileen said...

You still ran super fast and you at your rankings! I, that's fast! Congratulations :)

Lindsay said...

great race! i can NOT do math when i run, i can't even let myself attempt. it's tough when you hit a mental roadblock mid-race, but you did a great job of sticking it out! congrats on your 23:46 and i'm glad you aren't beating yourself up. next time, next time :)

Heather said...

Oh runner's brain. I can't do any sort of math while running either. Must be because all the blood is getting diverted to other muscles! Good job with the race, though - a big improvement from last year!

And yay for the new Garmin!!!

Lauren @ mostly i run said...

I've never seen both km and mile clocks in a 5K before! You just made a simple mistake :)

But don't worry, that will never happen again, now that you can set your Garmin to alert you every mile!

Quix said...

Oh no, that stinks! Still a fantastic time (my next 5k goal is under 26), but it always sucks falling short of what you want. I think I prefer 10ks because there's much more time to recover from a problem. There will always be another race!

X-Country2 said...

This is TOTALLY me this weekend! Crappy, "can't pace right" race on Saturday and a Garmin purchase yesterday. :o)

Never again!

Lara said...

I have to chuckle because I've made the exact same mistakes with the clocks, thinking I'm at a certain place when I'm really not, and thinking that I'm really flying when I'm really not. So, take heart in that you're not the only intelligent woman to zone out during a race and get confused by the mile/kilometer marks. :-) Good race, by the way; I'm recovering from bronchitis and feel like I'll never race again (that's the juicy lungs talking). So, I'm jealous that you could be out on the streets this weekend, pounding it out and looking for a PR. Keep going, you'll get it.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

woohoo! You'll love the Garmin, and will help prevent the little oopsie. I still think it's an amazing time though, so congrats again :)

Being Robinson said...

WOW, well good race first off, that is still a killer time. But I can totally feel you on the disappointment thing. Understandable to feel that way! But now you know you have it in you, so it's time to find the next 5K right?! CONGRATS AGAIN, that really is a great pace you had.

Alisa said...

That is still an awesome time! Way faster than I'll ever be.

I know mental miscalculations can be hard.

Aron said...

you still had an awesome race!! we learn a little something from each one, and probably learn the most in ones we dont do as well as we hoped. you will get your sub 23 minutes!!!

SO exciting about the garmin too :)

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