On Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, Jeff and I decided we would spend Father’s Day morning racing a 5k. Even though Jeff has been on the west coast much of the last 2 weeks and hasn’t been running much in terms of quality, and I’ve been having a hard time adjusting back to east coast time since our Seattle trip, we decided an 8:30am start time would be fine. We both wanted to get some Rochester racing in before our summer move and we had our in-laws in town so we wanted to take advantage of both being able to race.
We did our pre-race run to the local running store and signed up to save $5 off race-day registration. Then, since our daughter didn’t nap and went to bed by 8:45pm, I was able to go to bed at a reasonable hour and was excited to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
Right as I was drifting off, I heard fire truck sirens. Lots of them! Getting louder! Then I saw the lights go by our house. Next, I started smelling smoke through our open windows. I stayed in bed for awhile, but Jeff went downstairs a few minutes later and I had to follow. The trucks were parked in front of our house! The were firefighters all over our street, searching for a fire with flashlights! This is a common theme in my racing life-something strange always happens the night before a race and I end up getting little sleep.
After all the commotion, I didn’t get to sleep until around midnight. At 3:45am our daughter woke up to use the potty and didn’t go back to sleep until it was time for me to get up for the race. For some reason, I didn’t feel too tired at the time. I went through my usual pre-race breakfast of a peanut butter sandwich, about 40 oz water and a cup of coffee and we left for the race about 70 minutes before the start.
It was a warm morning and about 65% humidity and we were joking about something just not being right in the air. Jeff and I both felt nauseous and sluggish on the warmup. I lined up about 6 rows back. Usually I line up in the first or second row in Rochester races because I’m usually top 20 overall. Today I sort of got pushed back. Jeff offered me a spot on the line but I didn’t take it.
The gun went off and I spent the first 400 meters dodging all the people who started ahead of me, plus a few random people who started behind, sprinted in front of me, then cut me off and slowed down. It was the strangest race start I’ve had in Rochester! I finally got out of the mess and joined the lead ladies after the first quarter mile. By the half mile point, I was already feeling out-of-my-groove and tired and was wondering where the mile marker was. Uh-oh! Usually I feel strong through the first 2 miles and the last mile is where I start to struggle, but can always keep it pretty consistent through the last mile because it’s just one more mile. Today, was a whole different story. Things just weren’t right from the beginning. I hit the one mile surprisingly fast, maybe 5:23, just like the Fremont 5k, but felt much worse. I knew I’d be slowing down. The next mile was 5:47. HELLO JEN… WHERE ARE YOU?!
I found myself mostly daydreaming, and trying to maintain 3rd place to win some money. I ended up 3rd woman, at 17:49. I was hoping to go around 17:05 so it was a little disappointing, but not too much. I really didn’t feel like I had it in me today for some reason so it was easier to handle mentally I guess. Jeff also got 3rd place so we both won $75. Nice little Father’s Day cash.