This was my second Firecracker 5 mile race. I ran last year to help pace Amber. I failed by letting her go out too fast. This year she was not able to run due to injury. If not for her I would not have done this race. My goal was to make her proud and to run in her place. I wanted to put forth the effort and performance that I knew she was capable of had she not been injured.
It was an early morning…or a late night depending on how you look at it. I was not well rested but there are things in life that are more important than running and I didn’t care that I was not well rested. Yes, it likely impacted my performance but I do not believe it was by a significant amount.
On race morning Amber and the kids (except Cassie — she was missed) and I made our way to the race. We went to the start ot find absolutely no one else there yet! I guess I just like being a bit early to races!
I went out for a warmup and, without a doubt, my legs loosened up. Taking a lesson from my experience at the BAA 10k I knew that I shouldn’t be alarmed that my legs felt heavy. I did a few pick-ups and returned to the start.
Just as the race was about to start I looked off to Amber. The look on her face was what I needed to see before this race started. I won’t describe it here but it meant a lot to me. I took off up the first hill not worrying much about anything at all. I ran by feel and I felt OK. I was pushing the pace — of course I was — I was racing! I kept thinking about how I want to do well in Amber’s place. Shortly after the first mile I hit an even steeper hill. Yes, I’ve run this race, but I didn’t remember much of the course. My first mile was a 6:25 (ahead of my goal of 6:30!). My second mile was also good. Something happened on the third and fourth miles and I can’t explain it. My pace dropped off but I know my effort was just as high. In fact, for the fourth mile, my effort was certainly higher than the third! I can’t claim that seeing the 6:45+ paces for those miles did not discourage me a bit. I felt like I was failing. I focused. Something magical happened and I ran a 6:05 for the last mile which pulled me back into my goal range for this race (magic…or was mile 4 mismarked???).
As I approached the finish I saw my peeps! I got to “high” five the littles as I sprinted to the finish.
I’m satisfied with the results of the race. I enjoyed pushing myself! I managed to secure a 3rd place award for my age group. I didn’t realize this until after we left the race (which is too bad, it would have been nice for the kids to see my get my award).
5 6:04 (whoah)