I mentioned details in my previous entry, technical, tactical, and mental, and thought that I would go into some of them here after all (thanks, Laurie).
- This was my first time racing with my Road ID, which freed me up to only use existing pockets instead of carrying a pack, however small. I carried house keys, my bus pass, my iPod and my Garmin, nothing else.
- This was also my first time wearing my Garmin. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, it ended up being a bit distracting, especially after the race when I had not yet gotten the official results.
- Also my first time racing in my calf sleeves - yes! I felt like a dork but pretended I wasn't wearing them. Added bonus: they kept my legs warmer in the nasty weather.
- I made sure to warm up (in part because it was so cold) and I think it made a sizable difference in being able to start off strong and stay there.
- I started off tired (this event started late in the morning and I'd been up for hours already wrangling a toddler). I tried for a feeling of lightness and lift through my torso. Although at times I felt I could go faster it would have been at the expense of that sense of lightness, and I knew I could not afford to push that way until the very end.
- I also held myself back the first mile by keeping my breathing through my nose.
- As usual, I let myself tear down the hills and then muscle my way up them. Crazy but fun, with the added profit of possibly confusing my fellow competitors. I really need to find some trail events.
- While I was able to accelerate a bit in the second half and over the last mile in particular, it was clear to me that I wasn't going to be able to sprint until the very end. Luckily, about 200m from the finish line, two ladies that I'd previously passed put on their own surge. Exactly the push I needed! I couldn't keep up with them in the end but they got me going for those last seconds.
- I have to work more on getting to the inside corner. Running with the Garmin showed me that I ran an extra 0.15 miles - easily an extra minute. And this was over only a 10k.
- I knew (from practice) that I could push myself in the second half and then again in the last mile and again in the last 100m. Because I knew it, I could do it. It makes a difference to know that so much of performance is mental. Practice really does make perfect. I don't think I used any new mental tactics at this race but even six months of practice on my weekly runs has made a difference.
- And pain is not something to be afraid of. Again, the more I practice this, the easier it is to believe.
- The whole first half I had an odd feeling of being pushed... on the turnaround I realized what it was - the wind. Which was now in my face. I am such a contrary bugger though that I like the feeling of pushing against something (I also like hills).
- The next two days I was wiped out. I have never been so affected by a race or run afterwards. So that was also proof to me that I have gotten better at pushing myself past what I think I can do.
Next race is next Sunday!