|I should have taken an after picture, we were a mess.|
This is my third year in a row of doing the Ovarian Cancer Run in Sacramento. And I think this is the third name change of the event. I noticed a couple of months ago that the race was now being backed by a new non-profit that also focuses on education and early detection of Ovarian Cancer. It looked the format was all going to be the same so I convinced Scott to run it with us this year.
This event is always fun but it's kind of a love/hate relationship, because it starts at 5:30pm in Sacramento in September. It's difficult to eat for an evening race and I mostly focus on just trying to get enough fluids the day of. I felt like I had hydrated really well since I couldn't make the drive to Sac without having to stop to use the bathroom.
I've told myself over and over that this is not a race that I can earn a 5k PR on. the course is awesome and flat but the late day and heat always play a factor in my performance. I calculated out what I would need to do for a 5k PR and made a mental note of last years time.
As soon as we got out of the car at the race site I had the doom and gloom feeling. It was really hot. I don't know the exact temperature, but I think it was somewhere around 95-97 degrees. I already felt that suffocating feeling in the air. As we made our way over to the start we lined up about 3 seconds back from the start line. There are a lot of walkers at this event so it's important to get in front of all of them. After a last kiss goodbye we were off. I was keeping an eye on my watch and I was running an 8:30 pace which I knew was too fast, but I had also set my watch to 5 minutes of running and 1 minute walk intervals to factor in the heat. I thought maybe I could hold that pace during my run intervals with the 1 minute of walking to recover. Yeah, that lasted for basically the first interval. My running pace slowed down and I as I approached the 1 mile marker I knew there would be no 5k PR (a silly thing to even let come into my head) but I could still earn a course PR. I walked through the first aid station took a couple of sips to try and cure the ridiculous dry mouth that always accompanies this course and dumped the rest on my head. Back at it. It was just so freaking hot and the course meanders through sun/shade the entire time. By this point my interval plan was not working at all, I was getting a side cramp and I still had cotton mouth. I started having to walk more and as I approached the last aid station I managed to drink about 1/2 of it and dump the other 1/2 on my head. It's at this part of the course with probably .65 miles to go that you begin to just not give a shit. It doesn't matter what goals I set or what I would like to do my body just says please stop torturing me. My heart rate was really high even when I was walking and I started to get a tingly feeling in my arms. Hmm, that can't be good. I started doing shorter intervals to make sure that I was really physically okay, I didn't want to collapse at the finish line. I knew how much further I had to go and I was sad because I thought, crap, I'm not even going to beat last years time. As I made the final turn to head in with .10 miles to go I started to run again. There are very few races where I have nothing left to give at the end, but I had nothing. Nothing left for a sprint and barely enough to just get there. I spotted Scott on the side lines and he was cheering for me and trying to motivate me to run faster and I just shook my head "no" at him. If I tried to go any faster someone would be picking me up off the asphalt. I tried to just focus on being steady and consistent as I came in. I managed a 6 second course PR, far from what I had hoped to do but there is always next year.
This run is like childbirth, I must block all of those painful memories out because I always forget just how difficult this race is.
The one positive to this race is that there are a lot of walkers which always help your stats! I pulled off a top 10 in my age group with finish time that is 4.5 minute off my 5k PR.
Scott had a great day