Spoiler One: Yes, I PR’d.
Spoiler Two: No, I did not puke.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let me start by saying that the Brunch Run was everything I wanted it to be. It was so low-key, but well-organized. It felt like a small-town race (450 runners), but in the middle of the big-name greenspace (Piedmont Park) in a major metropolitan area (Atlanta, of course). The start line was scrawled on the pavement and the course volunteers were (among others) the race directors themselves. At the end, most everyone stayed and lounged on the grass, enjoying coffee (in our new race mugs!) and breakfast, and even moving en masse to participate in the awards ceremony and raffle. That doesn’t happen at the races I’m used to in Atlanta. It was really the perfect start to a spring morning. I definitely want to be back for it next year.
So, the recap.
My sister’s registration to the race was my gift to her for her 40th birthday. She and my BIL were running, and Katie agreed to pace me to a PR. That left my husband watching the kids–not a big deal since we were in a park and they were pretty happy just running around. We met up with Melissa from My Peach Life, who warmed up with us and hung out with us afterward.
Katie and I headed to the start line, and an a capella group from Emory sang the National Anthem. It was one of the most beautiful renditions I’ve heard–I don’t normally get emotional at the National Anthem but I actually got a tiny bit verklempt. Didn’t last long, though, because we were off.
Oh, were we off. The plan was 8:22, 8:15, 8:10 for our miles, with a push at the end. But we also talked about being a little more aggressive. Well, I was all excited like a new little runner bunny and I went out waaaay too fast. I will say, I felt great the first mile. Stupid, stupid. Never run faster when you’re feeling great. Never run that much faster than The Plan.
I realized this at 1.5 miles when, as predicted, I wanted to die. Everything in me felt tense. I was pretty sure by this point that my goal (25:xx) had slipped away. My hip flexors were very tight, but I was expending a lot of mental energy telling my shoulders to come down from ear-level, and I even felt tension, more than the usual amount of tension, in my core. My legs just felt slow and sad. Katie named a couple of people to pick off in front of us, and so we did. Finally as we came into the last mile she picked one more woman for us to pick off, but I just couldn’t do it. Katie told me to dig, but I didn’t have the energy to tell her I felt like I already was. By the time the last song on my playlist came on, I was getting the tunnel vision that I get when my blood sugar is low. I could tell we would even be tight to make it for a PR (sub 26:59). The last .25 was uphill but I managed to push it for the last .1.
Official time was 26:32, which is a PR by 27 seconds. As many have said, “It is always good when you can run faster than you have ever run before.” That is true, and I’m trying to remind myself of that.
Here’s the thing: I could blame not making my original A goal (sub 25), and my revised B goal (sub 26) on a lot of things: it was hot, I didn’t stretch out my hip flexors, I needed sugar, blah blah blah.
But the truth is, I got the PR that I trained for. I haven’t been training like I should. I took a lot of time off real training after the marathon. I couldn’t decide if this 5k, the Soldier Field 10-miler, or Ragnar Chicago was my goal race, so I just didn’t really train hard for any of them. My mileage has been low. I haven’t been to the track since March. I did do speed work but it was on the treadmill and was a bit haphazard.
I’m glad for the PR but I’m more thankful for the good kick in the pants for my training. The Summer of Speed is here. If you need me, you can find me at the track.