I have a secret. I like to race and not tell anyone about it. Half marathons and full marathons, yes. I love to talk about those. I blog about my training, I post flat runner pictures on Instagram before the big day. I’m very open and honest about my distance racing. 5-milers and shorter distances, however, and I like to race in secret. That’s what happened with the B’nai B’rith Health Run 5K on Sunday.
I didn’t even tell my coach about my 4-miler in May until after the fact. I probably wouldn’t have told him about the 5K either except that talk of a time trial came up earlier in the week. Thankfully it was easy to shift my training plan to accommodate the race. I did get a lot of “wow, long run on a Thursday?” type of comments throughout the week, but I was obviously harboring a secret and didn’t want to spill it on social media.
Midweek Long Run + B’nai B’rith Health Run 5K
A quick breakdown of my week:
Tuesday — 5.61 miles
I had hill repeats on tap for Tuesday. I took my dog out for my warm-up since it was nice and cool in the morning for her, then did my repeats. It was a great start to the week.
Wednesday — 6.01 miles
6 at 6 for me on Wednesday! I had my long run planned for Thursday so I had to keep my pace down which was pretty easy given the 91% humidity at 6:00 am. It was a good, but challenging, “easy” run. (Aka I was thankful when it was over.)
Thursday — 16 miles
Going into this run, I was a little concerned about the weather. The humidity had been out of control the days prior, and I wasn’t quite sure I’d mentally be able to make it 16 miles in the middle of the week. My husband and I also had to get creative with my route and how I would get all my miles in with driving kids to camp, picking up my car, and him getting to work on time. I was essentially running a point-to-point route which could have turned into a large loop if needed, but I was hopeful I wouldn’t have to do that. I kept an open mind about what the morning could bring.
The first leg, I ran with friends. When their six miles were up and it was time for me to put on my hydration vest, pack up my food, and turn on a podcast, I was determined to run my way back home. I said goodbye to my friends, snapped some pics, and then headed out.
Midweek Long Run
To say my long run wasn’t pretty would be an understatement. There was a lot of positive (and negative) self talk, a lot of angry belly rumbling, and it was just plain hot and humid. By the time I heard from my husband and knew I would be picked up soon, I had made it past all the self doubt and I was on to straight determination. He picked me up at mile 14 and although I was glad to get a break and be in the air conditioning for a brief moment, I was a little disappointed I couldn’t finish my run in one fell swoop.
By the time I got back to my car, my GI tract was making it clear that it needed to be emptied — and soon. I drove home, took care of business, and headed back out. I only had two miles left and I was planning on staying in the neighborhood so I figured I could go sans water. Worst idea ever.
Such a bad idea, in fact, that you would have thought I learned my lesson from the last time I pulled a stunt like this. But nope, I sure didn’t. Hopefully there won’t be a third time for it to be the charm.
Anyways — my last two miles were awful. I definitely hit the wall. My energy stores were completely depleted, I was hot and bordering on dehydration, and as I was standing at the bottom of a hill in my neighborhood trying to decide if I could actually make it up the hill, I got a few texts from my friends with encouraging words. It’s like they could sense I was stuck and needed help. And with that, I ran home.
I made it. 16 miles in the heat and swampy humidity. On a Thursday. Amen!
I came home, stuffed as much food and beverage into my mouth as I could in 5 minutes, and promptly took a nap so I could attempt to function through the rest of the day.
Friday — 1.53 cycling miles
On Friday I hopped on the bike to work with one of my runners. She did great and it was nice for me to get my legs moving without impact.
Saturday — 3.14 miles
Saturday was soggy. Trixie and I went out for a quick 3.5-4 miler in the light rain. We weren’t even a mile from home when it turned into a torrential downpour. We were both soaked so I figured we might as well keep going. By the time we got home, Trixie looked like a drowned rat and my feet were sloshing around in at least a quarter inch of water inside my shoes. But we had fun and got some miles in and that’s what matters!
B’nai B’rith Health Run 5K Recap
Sunday — Race day!! — 3.1 miles
I had zero nerves leading up to race day. I attribute my lack of nervousness to a few things. One, it’s a small, low key race — very low stress. Two, keeping my racing a secret helps. I rarely think about racing if no one around me knows about it. And three, I’m not as nervous before a race simply due to the sheer volume of racing I’ve been doing over the last several years. Experience helps.
Julie and I jogged over to the race together and no sooner did we head to the starting line did we see our friend Cindy. I also saw my daughter’s teacher and her daughter, which was so nice. They were walking the 5K since it was her daughter’s first race ever. I was super excited for them. After we said hello to everyone, I briefly considered moving up to the front of the race but before I could even get my thought together, I heard “go!” and we were off.
The first mile was hard. I went out too fast for the conditions. I’m usually really good about holding back at the beginning but the adrenaline got the better of me. At mile .83 we hit our first water stop which was fantastic because I was so darn hot. I grabbed a cup and dumped it on my head. I was a little worried there wouldn’t be another water station before the end but what could I do now? Keep running and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Keep running and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Longest mile of my life. I wanted to die. It was so hot. I kept praying for another water stop. At one point I felt myself getting overtaken by someone and it totally messed with my head. We ran side by side together for a while in silence — simultaneously encouraging and racing each other.
Somewhere in the last mile there was a second water stop. This time I stopped and actually drank water. I was enjoying my little break but the next thing I know my shadow says, “time to go!” I sure as hell wasn’t going to let that happen so I chased after her. We stayed together for a while until the last, longest hill of my life nearly took me down. She obviously didn’t go out too fast because she trucked along. I had a mental battle of whether to stop and walk or to push harder and get across the finish line faster. I’m sure you know which option I chose.
B’nai B’rith Health Run 5K
I *thought* maybe I snagged a PR, though I wasn’t entirely sure. I *hoped* I won an age group award if nothing else.
Julie, of course, had a brilliant race. As it turns out, Julie won second overall female and I took second in my age group! And we both snagged new 5K PRs. I’m ecstatic as this is my second age group placement this year. I don’t foresee any more in 2017 but you never know. It’s been a really fun year of racing for me, and I’m super proud of myself!
Finish time: 25:20
Now that we’ve got a baseline for my training after this 5K, things may get a lot more interesting ’round here. My coach hasn’t told me as much so maybe I won’t notice the change if there is one but I won’t be surprised if there are some changes.
This week I’ve got hills, easy miles, and a “shorter” long run. And no, I’m not secretly racing any 5Ks any time soon. But if I am, you guys will be the first to know… 😉
TALK TO ME!
Do you like to race in secret or share it with the world?
Do you like racing or prefer running for fun?