OTR 5K: Race recap

Do you ever DREAD writing a race recap? I am feeling that way about the OTR 5k. By now, most people probably know how that turned out for me (not great), but I still feel like it may be therapeutic to write it out, even though I don't really want to.
So, quick recap of my goals for the race... I wanted to break 20. That was the simple one. And the other goal was to run 6:30, hold it, race. And basically, that simply was not that day that I had. So let's take a look.
I executed all of my prerace things flawlessly. I have done one heck of a job refining what this routine should look like for me. So I headed downtown after my usual 5K race day breakfast, and I am lucky enough to currently work very near this particular race, so I was happy about the fact that I was going to be in and out of my building to use a real bathroom, and when it start pouring down rain, I was even more thrilled.

So went out and ran the 5K warm up that I have established for myself. I ran 2 total miles, but at 1.5 miles, I did 4 strides with equal recovery to two miles. It was basically 4x100m strides. I felt pretty good. I felt excited. I knew this was a hilly course, but I had talked it out, and I felt prepared to work hard on the hill and FLY on the down and then just try and maintain that flight.
Can you see me in the second row, power posing, getting ready to race? I have found that when I am smiling, it is much easier to remember that I am EXCITED instead of nervous.

And off we went.
You can see me and my yellow hat in the background of that one. Love it. This was really early in the race. Shortly after this moment, we started to CLIMB.
Yeah... I knew going in how that SECOND hill felt. I have run that in MANY MANY races. But that first one? With its pointy top? Nope. There were not mile markers on the course, so I just have to go with watch splits, which are definitely off, but they at least give you an idea (for the idea of how they are off, I ran 3.22 miles according to that.) So... watch split for mile 1 (which basically was JUST beyond that peak) was 6:55. I pushed AS HARD AS I COULD on that downhill and the next little up and then down past the casino, but my legs were feeling DEAD. Mile 2 was 6:56.

But, here is where things have a positive. 3 months ago-ish I would have said "screw it" and just phoned in mile three. But not this time. Coach Dean (my mental game coach) has been a GAME CHANGER in my corner. And I just kept PUSHING. And mile three was 6:39. And the last 0.22 was at a 6:25 pace. So for 3.22 miles, I averaged 6:48. Now because I was recorded as a 5K, I was tracked as 7:06 avg... so... I am a little bummed. BUT I am still proud. I have to look at the positives of this experience. I have to look and determine the fact that I made GREAT strides this spring. I have that sub-20 in me. And I will get it. I WILL.

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