I’ve never been a sprinter, never had much speed, never liked the pressure. And as I toed the line of the Fifth Avenue Mile start today (okay, well quite a ways back from the line really), these thoughts circled through my head and I asked myself again why I decided to sign up for this race.
Specifically, I really hate the pre-fast-race-feeling. You know it. It screams that you need to bolt out of the gate and push your hardest because this race is too short not to. Oh the pressure. And I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling this as I eavesdropped on other conversations where girls talked about nerves and tightness in their legs. It leaves me asking the same question I did in high school: Who the heck wants to be a sprinter?! Not this girl!
But I tried to push those thoughts aside as I readied myself for the race ahead of me. And then it was go time. There was a slight pause at the start and it took a few seconds to get “out of the gate” but then the crowds pretty much dispersed. This was probably because I’m so OCD that I showed up to the start super early and was pretty close to the front. So all the speedy ladies around me took off.
To be fair, I wasn’t holding anyone back. I got going at a pretty good clip right from the start. I propelled myself forward by some unknown force and told myself it wouldn’t be so bad. And the first few hundred feet weren’t!
And then I think just before the half mile point my body realized how fast I was asking it to go and abruptly went into revolt. I glanced at my watch to see a 6:20 pace!! Holy crap.
Just keep going I told myself. Thankfully, there was a slight decline that helped a little. But then it was back to pain. I actually think I started to get dizzy at one point. And then I felt like I was going to pee my pants. This people, is why I’m not a sprinter.
But I didn’t pee or faint. I pressed on and finally saw the end ahead of me. I’d like to tell you that my pain faded away and I was able to really kick it in at the end.
Not so. I finished and it wasn’t pretty. My watch tells me I ran that one atrocious mile in 6:28. Fine by me. I was shooting for 7 minutes and I didn’t pee myself. All in all, I’ll call it a good race.
What about you – are you a sprinter or more of a long-run, endurance runner?
Now it’s decision time. I signed up a LONG time ago for the 18 mile tune-up tomorrow. Dare I do it? My last long run was 15 miles…3 weeks ago. It would be nice to run a long run tomorrow with water stops along the way. I could always drop out at any time – it’s not really a race…
Mmm – did I just talk myself into it?