Race Recap: The Halfway to Christmas Beast Challenge

Yeah, this past weekend, I raced. I needed a race under my belt to make me feel better about training and where I am in my training. That is an important part of the process now, with Mat as my coach, but I guess I need to just spend some time working on it - just working on racing and the mental side of it.
I officially ran and finished the Beast Challenge (which was the 1 mile, the 5k, and the 10k) but I only raced one of these, the 5K. And I knocked out 12 total miles.
So the race (the one mile) was scheduled to start at 7 am. It was about an hour away from my house, but luckily I was going to meet up with Karen and two of her cross country boys, and having someone else there always helps me. (Not to mention allows me to post pictures to my blog!)

I stopped and got my stuff from the packet pick up which included three bibs (!!! I would have just done one bib and made it a special color for the beast challenge. Because we definitely had to go back and read through some papers to figure out which color was for which race!), a pint glass, and a tech tee that looked like an ugly sweater. Love that. I walked back to my car to drop off a few things so I wouldn't have to worry about them. And I met up with Simon and Aiden, Karen's two XC boys to do a little bit of a warm up.

Once we finished our warm up and I was doing a few drills (the boys were standing around, it sucks to be old) the race director announced that they were delaying the start of the race a half hour because of some lightning. Ugh. After already doing our warm ups we had to sit for a half hour. That just sucked SO MUCH. But eventually, it was time for the mile.

I took it nice and easy at first. I did not want to blow out on the mile when my goal was the 5K, so I just ran easy, right around 8:20 pace. When I finished we had about 10 minutes until the next run. The 5k was obviously my goal race, and I was a little nervous. But definitely not as nervous as I was on July 4 when I blew up mentally. So maybe that is a step in the right direction.

We took off and the first little section has a small hill. Up onto the levy to the bike path. I was not running with music (I maybe should have), but I cruised through the first mile in 6:56. I knew my goal was to just hold on and make it work, but the second mile... 7:06. BOO. This was just an out and back race with a turn around at a cone. That is a tight turn. And that definitely slowed me down a bit.

On the third mile I worked hard. I pushed myself really hard. I tried to pick everything up and get rolling. I knew that if I kept it at 7:06 I was not going to run a PR. I knew I needed sub-7 to get that PR. And it was hurting. And I was running as hard as I possibly could in the weather and all of that. I put everything out there, and ran the third mile in 6:57. I gave the last tenth absolutely EVERYTHING I could, and finished the run at 21:40. A 5s PR, but a PR none-the-less, which I have to be thrilled with.
I was tight, tired, and had to get back out there for 6.5-ish more miles. So I walked back to the brewery which packet pick up was to use the restroom. And then I jogged a little to get things moving again before lining up for the 10K.

When that started, I was TIRED. My first few miles in the 10K where in the high 8s, when my plan was to do them more like 830s. Oh well. By the second half, everything started to feel better. My legs started moving again, and I definitely was feeling good. Thank goodness. Because I was not sure how I was going to be at this point. Because I definitely feel good about knocking out the long run and running a new PR in the 5K. I needed a PR and a solid RACE to really help my confidence.


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