Being late and feeling rushed cause me a great deal of anxiety. This is why, when I am running an evening race, I get to work earlier in the morning. Leaving earlier in the afternoon helps to dissipate that I’m not going to have enough time panic.
Unless, of course, you factor in that the MTA’s level of suckage of late is impressive even by their standards. Suffice it to say that despite leaving work by 4:30, for a commute that shouldn’t take longer than 45 minutes, I did not arrive home until after 6:00. I ended up leaving for the race just a few minutes later than I normally would have, but because I was rushing, I felt all stressed out and aggravated and ended up running my warm-up to the start faster than usual. I knew that if I ran a shitty race, I could place the blame right at the feet of the MTA.
Though I guess that since I was so busy being stressed over the delays, I didn’t have much time to freak out over the race itself. Namely: I would be running this one solo, and I wanted to race it. It was nearly twenty degrees warmer than the first and second races of the series (both of which I considered nearly perfect, weather-wise), so that would undoubtedly have an effect; I decided to be happy with another sub-21, but to try and pace it similarly to my PR and hopefully cut a few seconds off in the second downhill mile (without giving them back in the third).
Of note: for the past couple of weeks, the patellar tendon in my left (AKA, “bad”) knee has been doing this weird snapping thing. It doesn’t hurt per se, it’s just incredibly annoying; I’m not super worried about it because this has happened before, and it eventually goes away on its own. What hasn’t happened before is the knee going numb. That doesn’t hurt, either, but it definitely isn’t normal. Knees should not feel like they’ve been shot up with Novocaine. It’s possible that this can be attributed to a climb in which I somehow bashed my knee into both a volume and a foothold at the same time, but regardless of origin, it needs to go away.
Same old, same old. And a lovely, balmy 81°. I actually ran in short sleeves for this one, which I don’t usually do, solely because I was already so hot from dashing around like a lunatic trying to get home, and upon reaching home I had no time to cool off before going back out again. So. Short sleeves it was.
During my run to the park, I was running into a headwind. As I approach from the east, this ought to have meant that I wouldn’t be spending much time running into the wind on the course. Turns out that was not the case. I suppose I should be grateful that I was running into it on the downhill, instead of on the uphill, but that kind of messed with my “cut off a few seconds during the second mile” plan.
The splits are nearly identical to those from my PR. I went out conservatively, having learned the hard way that it’s stupid to power up the hill, but I think I was a little too overly cautious in the next two miles. It definitely felt like I was racing a 5K, but not quite at the “I’m going to drop dead” level, so I probably could have — and should have — pushed a little harder.
There is that nice little finishing kick because I heard someone coming up behind me, and I didn’t know whether it was a man or a woman, so I couldn’t let that person pass me! (It was a man. We crossed the finish line simultaneously.)
Garmin says I ran 3.1 miles in 20:36, 6:38/mi. Officially…
20:33, 6:38/mi. 89/525 OA, 9/214 F, and 5/56 F30-34.
Yes, that’s right… I missed a PR by four seconds. Once upon a time, I would have beaten myself up endlessly about this, and while I am a wee bit annoyed, I’m also a little proud. Because it was much worse weather than we had for my PR race, and I did this on my own, without a pacer.
Plus, it heat-adjusts to a sub-20! So there may be hope yet.
Excuse me while I go laugh myself silly.