Miles in the heat

Today was my first mile since indoor conferences!  I had planned on running the mile at indoor regionals, but obviously I was injured and that didn’t happen.  Sad, really, because I had been in shape to PR.  Oh, well.

The past few weeks have been decent; my paces in workouts aren’t really where I’d like them to be (especially the 800 meter repeats I’ve done multiple times), but I’ve already seen improvements since mid-March, which is when I started running again.  I decided to run the mile today, and I ended up being the only distance runner from my school at the meet today because everyone else either ran yesterday or was visiting colleges!

We got to the meet at 9:30 am, and I warmed up at 10:35.  It was much hotter than I was accustomed to; 75 degrees and blazing sun had me sweating profusely after my 10 minute warm-up (pathetic, I know).  I’ve run a couple workouts in 75+ degree weather, but I haven’t yet raced when it’s been this hot out.

Honestly, I was more nervous than usual for this race.  I was afraid that it would hurt a lot, and I was apprehensive to find out what kind of shape I’m really in after my injury, illness, and a few weeks of solid-but-not-too-fast workouts (the mile tends to give me a jolt of reality more than the 800, so last week didn’t really tell me anything).

The seed times of the fast section ranged between 4:50 and 5:25, so I knew I would have girls to run with.  Luckily, most of my weird nerves went away right before the race as I made small talk with some of the other girls in the heat.  We did a stride and got on the line.  No coach, no teammates, very little pep talk, nothing like my usual pre-race routine.  And you know what?  It didn’t stress me out!

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my traditional “I’m confused as to what I’m doing here” starting line face

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The gun went off, and I settled in towards the back of the pack.  Because of the two really fast seeds, the race went out fast, and I came through the 400 in 75 high.  Back at indoor conferences, this same first lap split freaked me out and pretty much ruined my race, but today it had little to no impact on my mentality! Woooo!

I latched onto a girl immediately in front of me and let her pull me through the second and third laps (81 and 83) which were slow, yes, but they didn’t hurt as badly as I thought they would!

being photogenic isn't my thing

being photogenic isn’t my strong suit

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We came through 1200 in 4:00 or 4:01, and I held on for 200 more meters.  The girl in front of me really started to kick with 200 to go, and she actually ended up running the last 200 3 seconds faster than me.  Oops.  I ended up finishing 5th in 5:21, which was about where I was hoping to be today, so that was good!  Obviously, I would’ve been closer to my PR with a faster third lap and/or a stronger kick, but that 5:18 is going down.  I haven’t PRed in anything in eleven months, so a few more weeks (I hope) won’t damage my pride any more. 😉

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At the end of the race, it took awhile for me to be able to stand and walk around; I never feel well running in the heat (like, above 65 degrees…), and for some reason, it’s become quite common for me to take an abnormally long time to recover!! Grr.  I need to work on that.  Collapsing is obnoxious.

Thanks to the girl that helped me back to the bench!

Thanks to the girl that helped me back to the bench!

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