This was my fifth consecutive Spring Forward Distance Run (15k). My thought process leading up to the race was roughly this:
“Hmm, 35F and sunny…applying my race-weather rule that means dress as though it’s 45 or 50…”
“So I should wear light weight tights…but I hate wearing tights and I don’t want them when I race…but I was so cold at the last race…”
“OK, no tights. I’ll wear all black to stay warm. I’ll wear my base layer and more shirts if necessary”
I had a LOT of clothing on before the race and even brought my tights in case I changed my mind. I’ve been naked in my car before at a race, why not again? As race time neared I shed my pants and jackets and headed out for a couple miles of warmup. I ran nice and easy and found that it was actually quite nice out especially in the sun. I made the decision to wear a short sleeved shirt, shorts, and throw-away gloves. I even decided not to wear a winter hat!
The race itself went very well, for the most part. I chose not to look at my watch during the entire race. As I ran past mile markers I recorded splits but did not look. I just ran at what felt comfortable for the distance. I really, really, enjoyed racing this way. This is how I used to race.
About half way through the race I was warm enough to lose my shirt so I ditched it at mile 5. Shortly after that my race started to go downhill. I felt good but my abs started cramping. I’ve been having trouble with my right abdominal muscles since December. It’s intermittent but seems to crop up primarily during races. I was very sad when I cramped but reminded myself that it’s only a race. So I stopped at mile 6 and was surprised at how much the muscle hurt when standing still. After a while the pain started to subside and I walked for a little bit allowing many runners to pass me.
For the last 5k I battled the pain in my abs. I tried breathing slowly by pursing my lips. This seemed to help but I still was forced to stop a few times.
Overall it was a great race. I did better than I expected. I was only 55 seconds slower than my 15k PR but this course is far more difficult than where I earned my PR. I was almost a full 2 minutes faster this year than last. I was also very pleased that I was able to run! I’ve been having trouble with my left leg and considered skipping the race. I felt some pain during my warmup but (stupidly) ran the race anyhow. I experienced no pain during the race.
I ran a 1:03:15 and placed third in my age group.
Best of all I know I’m ready for Boston no matter how little training I do between then and now.