I have to take a moment here before I discuss my race goals to just lose my cool. I joined the Upper Midwest Trail Runners this year, and as part of the benefits of membership, I’m entitled to a discount at BOTH Austin Jarrow and Duluth Running Co., the local running stores I patronize. But I totally forgot. And I’ve bought shoes, accessories, and gels this year AND HAVEN’T USED THE STUPID DISCOUNT. I’m so mad at myself. GAHHHHHHHHHHH!
It popped into my mind since I’m stopping by DRC this afternoon to pick up my race packet for tonight, and I also need to buy some more anti-chafing balm since I left the one I just bought in my car and it melted into the cap. It’s… semi-usable. Sigh.
So, tonight, Midnight Sun Midnight Run. I’m excited. I know the course, the weather should be decent, and I’m well-rested. I did a speed session on my treadmill on Wednesday (6 x 0.5 mi @ 9:41 pace), didn’t run yesterday, and took a half day today so that I could sleep in a bit. I’m going to run a few errands and then lounge around until dinner time. (And do laundry, oops, I was supposed to do that yesterday, I have no clean running socks.) As long as I can pick up my packet with no issues this afternoon, I won’t have the logistical nightmare I did last year, and plan on parking in a ramp (for free) on the other side of the freeway. That will ensure that I get a warm-up completed.
My goals are as follows:
A Standard: 29:59
B Standard: 30:30
Last year I ran this race in 34:21. My most recent 5K time is 30:51. It might be a little absurd to try to shave nearly a minute off my race from a little over a month ago, but I don’t really care. I have a litany of excuses regarding that race which I can trot out to justify my goals for this race: upset stomach, super cold weather, lack of sleep, no warm-up, overall malaise. I’m well-rested today, had an encouraging speed session, and I’m fairly certain I’m physically ready to hit that sub-30 milestone. I just need to be mentally tough. I need to run a 9:39 overall pace in order to get under 30, and I know I can.
Strategically, I don’t know what to say. I’m not going to line up at the back like I did last year. The race is really congested, but lining up at the back didn’t help avoid any of it. I think I should find a good position in the first mile, tackle the hill on the second, and just hammer it on the way to the finish. The most important thing is to keep digging in and not let up on the pace or get lazy mentally. If that means I need to keep checking my watch to see where I’m at, that’s fine. Right now it appears I need that accountability.
The other mental mistake I need to avoid is assuming I’ve got my goals in the bank. I did this in the Gobble Gallop and I probably left something out on the course. My biggest weakness as a racer is fear. I don’t push harder enough because I fear I’ll blow up or throw up or both. I’ve conservatively raced enough 5Ks; it’s time to throw down.