While I wouldn't say I didn't train for this race, I will say that I wasn't nearly as invested as I have been in the past. Hot weather came on suddenly this month, and for some reason I just couldn't get myself to run more than twice a week leading up to race day. I did a few track workouts but my regular easy runs felt tough all month. I've been happy with my running, but my heart wasn't in the race.
|May's training log. Spoiler alert for this race's outcome.
I knew from the start this was going to be a not-good (I don't want to say bad) race. This year, the race doubled in size, but the route (which is narrow and bottlenecked) didn't change. The race organizers actually set up starting zones based on paces, but most of the runners clearly had no idea what the giant numbered signs were for, because although I lined up between the 8 and 9, I was stuck behind people barely keeping an 11-minute pace.
|The crowd at the start.
Besides that, the route was (as always) completely shadeless and in full sun. This race starts at 8am, which is too damn late for a Florida 5k in the summer, but last year we got lucky with a cloudy sky. This year, not so much. In fact, after finishing, I checked the temperatures and saw it was nearing 100F. (It hit 100 while awards were being announced.) I am simply not built to run in that kind of heat and full sun exposure. My heart rate was way too high and I just couldn't catch my breath.
|Around mile 2, when I resigned myself to walk, I considered just not finishing. That's how bleak my mood was; I've NEVER DNF'd before.
Here's an incredibly blurry screenshot from the finishing video:
|It's frustrating to see that if I had managed to hold off walking, I may have managed to scrape a sub-30.
I know we all have days like this, and I know one mediocre 5k doesn't define me as a runner or really mean anything for my future races. It was an off day mentally and physically, and I have to take it in stride.
|Not a cloud in the freaking sky!