Ok, let me cut to the chase — final time: 44:14 (1st age group, 6th woman, 20th overall).
First thought: Where the heck did that come from?!
Second thought: I guess I can’t complain anymore about the Hansons’ “cumulative fatigue” concept.
But let me rewind and start at the beginning…
Since we aren’t up in Portland just yet, Hubby and I had about a 90-minute drive to get to the race, which was slated to start at 8 a.m.
Factor in us not liking to hang around too much before the gun goes off with it being a more relaxed event (see start line shot above), and we arrived with 30 minutes to spare for packet pickup and a quick port-o-pottie pit stop.
At one point Hubby mentioned he’d like to try for a PR in an upcoming race, but that he was content to stick together for this particular one (he’s clearly the hare to my tortoise).
My response? I don’t think today is that day. Especially since I had been feeling pretty wiped out all week from the jump in mileage and accumulated fatigue in my legs.
So we agreed to keep the pace around 8:30-8:45 and play it by ear.
Famous last words.
For the first mile, I had to talk Hubby down from going out too fast: We’ve got six miles to catch everyone who’s rushing out, I said. Let them go.
But after we settled into our own space and found a pseudo-comfortable rhythm, I looked down at my watch and saw that our pace was fluctuating in the 7:XX range. Huh.
Despite my PF flare-up this week, my heel was feeling ok. And as we ticked off the miles, we kept checking in with each other. You good? Yep. Me, too. Cool.
So we held where we were at, and I saw 22:XX on the clock for the first 5K lap.
There’s no way I can maintain that for another three miles, I thought. We came out way too fast; we’re going to crash and burn this next lap.
But we stayed steady and passed the time by thanking volunteers, shouting some brief words of encouragement to fellow runners and trying to figure out where we were in the pack as we focused on running the tangents.
I think all the San Francisco hills helped, too, because the course was super flat, fast and PR-friendly.
And before we knew it, we had the finish line in sight. Hubby started to pull away, but I had to save my last kick for the final 100 yards or so because I was battling a side cramp.
The best part? Seeing 44:XX on the clock and knowing we ran even splits, which means our pacing was on-point.
There’s nothing like an PR early on in training to give you an extra boost of confidence, especially when I could feel myself slipping into a negative mindframe this week while fighting fatigue and injury.
As my Twitter friend Mike put it so well, “#CumulativeFatigue= sweet&sour.”
Yep, I know that this training cycle won’t be easy, but the Hansons definitely know what they’re doing, so I’m putting my complete trust in their program from here on out.
I’m also looking to add an August race into my schedule! Anyone have suggestions in and around Portland for late in the month?