I'm not easily intimidated by most things, but for some reason running competitively makes me gag. As I've mentioned before, I've never been the athletic type, so when I was urged to run the CityBlast 5k on 4th of July, I was a little more than reluctant to do so after my Newport 10k (and horrible pace). But, I knew that if I have any real chance of completing the Chicago Marathon in October, more races and more mental preparation were definitely in the future.
With more than 600 people registered, the race was fairly small and had the everyone-knows-everyone feel. The course was flat, except one massive hill. I can't explain the nausea I felt once I hit the turn and saw the the climb before me. Luckily, my marathon training and recent relocation to Seattle, had me somewhat prepared for the challenge. Plus, seeing the mom beside me pushing a double stroller up the hill made me realize, it wasn't so bad after all.
I completed the race, and I was surprised to see my pace increase. The verdict? 34:12, 11:09 pace. I increased my pace by 23 seconds as compared to the Newport 10k. But keep in mind this isn't an apple to apple comparison).
Next time? 1.) I complained every day leading up to the race. Next time I will have a better attitude and will try not to get intimated or worry about my time. 2.) I should have eaten breakfast earlier. I ended up running with two boiled eggs on my stomach. Needless to say, the only thing I wanted to do was find the nearest restroom after I crossed the finish line. 3.) Find a buddy to run with. A good friend also ran the race. Although he ran at an 8 min pace, it felt good hearing his experience and our common challenges.