On Saturday, October 17th, I raced my first 6k! While our top seven took on the Wisconsin Invitational, the rest of us stayed local and raced in a lower-key meet. I ran unattached again, so I continued to rock the orange and blue tank top.
The training in the week leading up to the race was not ideal because I did not finish the workout on Monday and had some food sickness issues for a few days. I started to feel better as the race got closer, though. Carb-loaded with a huge bowl of pasta from a local deli.
Because I was racing unattached, I couldn’t ride in the team van to the meet, so my wonderful teammate drove me (and the other unattached freshmen) there. The venue was gorgeous, with the beautiful course, a picturesque mansion, and trees galore. It was a beautiful day as well: Low 60s and sunny with little wind.
Our coach told us that the first mile would be fast and that we shouldn’t freak out. She also told me to be right up on the shoulders of two teammates that have always been faster than me. One of them is a 4:53 miler!
Anyway, she was right. The first mile was a 5:47. We came through the two mile around 11:50, and that’s where I realized that this 6k was going to hurt a lot.
The fourth and fifth kilometers were very painful, and I struggled to stay up with the two teammates I was running with. They gapped me a tiny bit, but I managed to not drop out of the race 😉
I passed the 5k mark and had no idea what my time was, but I just knew that I had to have come through faster than my 5k PR, so that helped me push through the last kilometer. The finishing straight was a flat/downhill stretch of about 400 meters, which was perfect even though the last 20 seconds seemed interminable. My freshman teammates and I went 4-5-6 all within three seconds of each other, although we had no idea what our times were.
After recovering and cooling down for 20 minutes, I found out that my time was 22:52! That converts to 18:50 for 5k!!!!
(PS please ignore the fact that Allie Ostrander ran a 19:19 6k the other day.)
After I got back from the race, I made two little loaves of pumpkin bread, and my roommate and I ate one and a half by ourselves…oops.
All in all, my first 6k and full race effort was a success. Two days later, I’m ridiculously sore even after rolling and icing and stretching and wearing calf sleeves, but the race was worth it. I don’t know if I’ll run at conferences or redshirt this season, but I’m good with anything.