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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Out of Race Shape

Last Saturday before heading to Savannah and the conference we did the Decatur Dekalb 4 Miler with Atlanta Track Club.  This was our first race since April and I definitely felt it.  Usually ATC has an extensive race schedule with at least one race a month, bat as discussed previously they are making changes.  We also have some additional races we like or that are for really good causes so we usually race pretty regularly.  Don't get me wrong.  We aren't competitive or anything but we are definitely front of the mid pack runners.  I typically place somewhere in the top 6 of my AG in most of the ATC races.  You probably have experienced this phenomenon, even if you aren't "really racing" you are pushing yourself more than if you were out for a regular run around your neighborhood.  I mean people are there.

Typically regular racing also substituted for speed training.  Since during a race I would be pushing the pace shooting for negative splits, etc.  Well I definitely felt the 3 month racing hiatus.  This is not even a very hilly course but I definitely found myself dragging around mile 2.  Of course it was also pouring down rain and the course was slick and my shoes were soaked as well as the rest of me.  After mile 2 I found my rhythm and a second wind and was able to finish strong and feel pretty good afterwards.

I ended up with an average 9 min/mile pace a little slower than my race pace.  I finished 6 in my AG.  Although after April I moved up into the next age group and those ladies are really fast so I suspect I will be finishing further back in the AG pack.  That is fine.  I am really only racing against myself.  It is just that last Saturday I was definitely kicking my own ass.  Oh well guess that means I should do more actual speed training or just let it go.  We have a couple of races coming up, not the least of which is the Diva Half, 5 weeks from today!  I better start doing more long runs, especially in the heat!

Today I am grateful to be back home after spending most of July on the road.  Also happy to be back to the gym, regular running, and healthy eating.

How do you stay in race shape?  Is it a contest against the clock, other runners, or your inner self?


  1. I'm mostly trying to compete against myself and continue improving. I'm pretty solidly in the back of the pack but I'm happy if I feel like I pushed myself and am progressing.

    1. I run against myself too. I am too old to run against anything else :). You are doing great. Consistency is the key to improvement!