Now its time for part 2 of my post on Atlanta’s Hot Chocolate 15k.. I found out the results today and I ended up getting 4th in my age group out of 319! It makes me believe I really do better racing in longer distances.
But now I want to analyze the rest of my race, because as I talked about in the nutrition section, I feel like I could’ve raced better, not just for my stomach’s sake.
On race morning, my friend Abby was going to pick me up at 7am. Usually I would plan on being at race site that early, but since this was a more casual race I decided not to stress. However by 7:15 she still hadn’t arrived. Turns out her alarm didn’t go off… we arrived on-site and were dropped off at 7:45, 30 minutes before the race. The warm up to run from the drop-off point to start line was a good warm-up.
As I lined into Corral 1 I had the nervous pee syndrome, where you feel like you have to pee every 5 minutes. I had already gone about four times waiting for Abby, so I hoped it would go away after the gun went off. I felt the urge to go through mile 4, when after some cramping it finally went away.
I turned on my Garmin GPS to get the signal ready to pace me, only to find that despite charging it the night before, it would not turn on! Guess I was going to have to run blind, in a distance that I didn’t even know how to pace myself in.
I spent the entire first half of the race looking for someone to pace off, but found people were too fast or too slow. I found a few targets, but they ended up pulling ahead after a few minutes. Around mile 6 I ran through a water stop, and as I slowed my pace to grab some water, I felt a hand push on my back. A girl about my age in all red ran by, looking annoyed.
That was it. From that moment on, I had my target, eh, I mean pace partner. I tend to get competitive if I see people around my age beating me, and it sets me off when they touch me, rudely go around me or just look like they think they rock. I stuck right behind her, close enough so she would know I was there, but not breathing down her neck. Enough to annoy her. (I know, its REALLY annoying to me when people do this, but I’m guilty of doing it all the time.)
At mile 8, like in most races I do, I just went for it. I passed by her feeling strong and getting an extra kick of adrenaline from the pass, I bumped up my pace and strided towards the finish line. I passed by all the initial targets that I had tried to keep up with, while they were fading, I was gaining strength.
I finished exactly on my estimated goal time: 1:10, which made me feel confident about running watchless and clueless on pace. The reward was sweet- the hot chocolate finisher mug, and I found that once the sweat cooled down I actually enjoyed the hot chocolate even in the unseasonably warm weather.