While this was NOT a goal race, I definitely went into it hoping for a win. Aside from some fatigue last week (which I was smart about - took things down a notch and only did one workout), I've been feeling very strong and confident. I was ready to rock this 5 miler. After checking the times from last year, I thought a win was totally within reach.
However, basing something on a previous year's results can be sketchy as you have NO way of predicting who will show up this year. And at the end of my warm up (which, by the way, was way shorter than I wanted - and I ALWAYS do that: plan on doing a good 4 mile warm up and then end up doing one mile... lame) I caught sight of something that made my heart sink a bit: a group of girls from BRC. Ouch. Now, if you don't know about BRC let me tell you those girls are FAST. Like whoa. Immediately I thought "Well, there goes my win."But I got over it quickly, knowing this wasn't a goal race and knowing that I needed to just deal with it and knowing that I was going to have a strong race regardless. I told my teammate Bridget that just once I'd like to beat at least one of them. She told me to just go for it.
And so I did. I saw one girl way the hell out in front but settled into a good pace, sharing second place with BRC's Amanda Occhi. My goal was to stay around a 6:05 pace, but my style is to go out way too fast and see how long I can hang. Ha! Mile one went by in 5:54. I felt great, but who doesn't at mile one?? I started pulling away from Amanda and another girl, Shannon Filar, flew up next to me and then passed me. I had to let her go since my pace was making me a bit nervous... about a half mile later (after a little hill action) I was able to catch her and we ended up running the majority of the race together. Checking my Garmin I saw that we were knocking down some sub 6:00 miles. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to hold that but I kept Bridget's "Just go for it" in my mind and honestly I felt amazing. There was only ONE girl ahead of me, one girl next to me, and all of the BRC girls behind me. When miles 3 and 4 whizzed by and I wasn't hurting, I began to pull away from Shannon. I've been ahead of someone and then outkicked at the finish and that's the WORST so I was definitely aware that was a possibility. I wasn't sure how far ahead I got but I told myself she was right on my tail and kept on moving.
The last half mile was hard. Most of the race had longer straight stretches but the last section was all twists and turns around blocks mixed with some good ol' wind. I was ready to be done, but not quite dying.
The first place female was Mile High Track Club's Nicole Aish and she was 47 seconds in front of me. I was second in 30:07 (heard some folks mentioning a bit of a long course, and my Garmin confirmed that but I'm so not concerned!), with Shannon Filar and Amanda Occhi right behind me. I can't believe I was able to keep a lead on BRC. Literally. And I'm not trying to brag - I'm just really excited!! Though I think that maybe they weren't racing it... just using it as a speed workout? They are so strong. But maybe I'm getting there, too. I really feel like My training has been solid and is definitely paying off. I'm a wee bit sad I didn't win, but I am extremely happy with my time and even more excited about how good I felt during the race.
I'm also really excited that my teammate Keith Solverson took the men's win in a hair over 25 minutes. There were a few turn-arounds where I could see him out in front looking strong! So awesome!
14 days out now. The marathon is very quickly approaching and I heard there may be a few other girls from Colorado out there looking for an OTQ as well... watch out Cleveland!