On the schedule for the day was a run TT. I already completed my bike and swim TT's--both of which were HARD. 10x100 with 10 sec rest and a 20 min all out on the bike---whew! Last was my run TT. Coach Jen encouraged me to find a race and to "learn my new suffering." Enter Bands on the Run 5k.
When I showed up on race morning, I figured the weather would scare away a few people but not knowing how big of a race it was going to be without the weather, I was imagining maybe 100 people. Imagine my surprise as I'm walking around and I see maybe 30. Eeek small race.
Right away I spotted my competition. Teenage girl and what I think is her teenage brother...the only two really "warming" up...and a woman, likely in my age group wearing capris and a tank top (in cold wet weather, you know you have to run fast to stay warm in that outfit). So we lined up at the start line and I was hoping to keep those 3 in my sights.
The countdown goes and I find myself running alone, in front. What the...um, this has NEVER happened to me before EVER. So I am going along and about 1/4 mile in the teenager passes me, whew, at least I'll have someone to follow now. About mile 1, capris lady passes me. Totally fine. I am running hard and trying to avoid massive puddles. Somewhere teenage boy passes me but this time I'm annoyed that he is passing me so I speed up and try to hang right behind him.
There were a lot of out/backs and turns so I was able to assess where the rest of the field was as I sat in 4th...way behind me so it was going to be a race for 3rd, as there was no way I could catch 1 or 2.
On our way back toward the start, I start to feel everything burn. My lungs, my legs. Up to now I hadn't looked at my watch but I glance down and see that I have roughly 1/3 of a mile left. I speed up. Mr. red sweatshirt teenage boy hears me coming and turns on his boosters, which at probably half my age are faster than mine. He wins 3rd.
However, I come up and around to the finish completely SHOCKED that I have come in 4th OA. I flip my watch screen and I'm greeted with complete surprise when I see a MASSIVE PR. Remember, not too long ago, I PR'd at the NewYearathon in January, a PR that hadn't seen a change since 2002. Now here I am a couple months later and I'm PR'ing my 5k again...and again by over a minute.
New PR: 27:05 (and, the course was spot on accurate, distance-wise so this is a TRUE PR)
If you had told me a few months ago, I'd PR my 5k twice in the first quarter of 2014, I would have said you were crazy. Next time, sub-27! But Coach, if you're reading, can we make next time awhile from now, I need to forget how much 5ks hurt before I do another one.