Because I’m committed to racing bi-monthly in order to rack up more frequent speed workouts, I decided to race a 5K this morning, even though all of my regular road racing buddies were out of town. It’s hard to motivate myself to go to a 5K race alone. Dragging my tired bones out of bed, and into the car, and then actually figuring out how the heck to get where I’m supposed to go is much more difficult when I have zero accountability to anyone but myself. I didn’t want to bail on this race though, since there was a $250 cash prize on the line. I also selected this particular event because the proceeds go towards the local veterans’ foundation. And (I’m not going to lie) there have been historically good post-race refreshments at this 5K (I’d run it twice before).
I have a serious sleeping disorder. I’m started to get really depressed over my inability to fall asleep before 4AM no matter what I do. Last night I didn’t even try to go to bed until 1:30 because I knew it was pointless. Eating ice cream and Facetiming with Mom about Bruce Jenner well past midnight the night before an 8AM 5K is not conducive to A+ racing.
I tried everything to fall asleep: reading, meditating, hopelessly Googling sleeping disorder clinics (I think they only treat apnea and narcolepsy so I’m shit out of luck), listening to music, endlessly rearranging my pillows, experimenting with different pajamas… nothing worked. I was up until four-thirty AM.
My alarm went off at 6:30 and I actually felt pretty decent (though it took me a few solid minutes to remember why I was supposed to be waking up). I brewed some strong coffee and covered up the bags under my eyes before heading out the door. It was 38 degrees this morning (Come back, Spring!) so I decided to race in a pair of GAP split shorts and a Uniqlo Heattech long sleeve t-shirt. I’ve been listening to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel lately so I karaoked to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme on the drive over to the race course.
I didn’t get much of a chance to warm up before the race since there was a bit of an issue finding parking. When I lined up at the start I figured I had a really good shot at winning. The siren went off and one girl sprinted out ahead of me. She was really young (12) and wearing a pair of Nike Frees so I knew it was only a matter of time before she’d start to lose steam. Sure enough, I passed her before the first mile mark. And then, a few seconds after I hit my first split (6:38), another woman passed me. At this point I was running with the chase pack of guys and we were all breathing pretty hard. But this girl was literally not making a sound. So I knew almost immediately that I wasn’t going to win the cash prize. My dreams of a $250 Target shopping spree came crashing down around me.
I was sitting comfortably in second for the rest of the race, so I decided it wasn’t worth killing myself to run a record shattering time a week out from Broad Street. I switched my Garmin’s display from pace to distance and just started counting down the fractions of a mile until the home stretch. My second and third mile splits ended up being 7:03 and 6:59 respectively. I can tell I didn’t give my usual 100% during this race because I didn’t puke at the finish line.
Thoughts During the Mayor’s Wellness 5K:
“How do I get faster? I WILL DO ANYTHING!”
“I was going to buy sunglasses, and bathing suits, and summer scented candles, and so many novelty snacks with this prize money and now it is slipping through my fingertips. Damn!”
“Maybe I should stop racing in heavy trainers. Maybe if I wore flats I could be a speed demon, too.”
“This is the third race I have run without listening to Spotify. I am so hardcore.”
“I’m glad I didn’t wear my spankies. The only thing worse than being second is being second in a pair of spankies.”
“Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme la la la la la la la la la”
“April, come she will, when streams are ripe and swelled with rain and it is still freezing cold.”
When I saw the clock at the finish line I wasn’t thrilled with my time (21:35) at all. But I hardly feel as trashed as I usually do after a 5K.
I finished 8th overall and second woman overall, plus 1st in the female 20-29 age category, so I snagged a super shiny gold medal and, like, 8,000 granola bars, plus nanners, nuts, and highly processed muffin snack packs. Even though this race didn’t go as well as I would have liked, I’m still really grateful for the opportunity to get in a good speed workout before my favorite race ever next weekend. I’m also glad I didn’t unconsciously hit snooze and accidentally sleep through it.
Afterwards, I went to visit my mother and what do you know? She had parsley, sage, [basil], and thyme waiting for me in her organic herb garden! I’m really excited for the rest of her harvest to come in so I can start stuffing my face with free fruits and vegetables. Summer is my favorite season, for this reason alone.
The race timing company uploaded a video of the finish line, which is pretty cool!
Questions for the Internets:
Do you have any secret insomnia cures?
What is your favorite race of all time?
What would you buy with $250 at Target?