I showed up early to the store where we were gathering and just...kinda stood around awkwardly in the middle of the crowd. It seemed like most people kinda knew a few other people. There weren't a lot of other people like me that I could see, just kinda standing around waiting to get started. This did not do anything to calm my nerves.
|The entire group Pre-Time Trial.|
As soon as we got outside I started to worry more. It was hot. It was sunny. It was humid.
I started out trying to keep a slow pace. I tucked in behind someone and just kinda cruised. A little ways into the "warm up" run, someone passing me wondered out loud if we had "started yet". It did seem like we had been going for a while. The girl I had tucked in behind laughed and said she'd done this before, they have us run one mile to warm up before the start of the loops.
We finally got to where we were running the loops and self sorted into how fast we thought we would run it. I stuck myself in the 12 min/mile category. And we were off.
The first part of the loop was really hot and sunny. We had been told to run all out, so I was letting my legs fly. I wanted to leave it all on the course. By the end of the first loop I could tell I was in trouble. I was starting to feel the heat, so I let myself slow up a bit, even though my legs still felt fresh.
Again the start of the loop was hot and sunny, and I started really struggling, and then I'd feel a little better on the back half of the loop, where it was shadier.
The third loop I started panicking, wondering what would happen if I couldn't finish. I was really feeling the heat. It felt hard to breathe, like I just couldn't get enough heat out of me. I let my pace slack again on the "hot" part of the loop, and then started pushing it on the back side. The fourth loop all I could think was "just finish it out. Just keep going."
I finished and they called out a time of 23:21, which puts me in the 12 min/mile pace group.
I walked around a bit trying to cool off, and joined the group cheering people in as they finished the loops.
I walked most of the "cool down" mile back to the store. I was feeling not so awesome about my running right about then. I really felt like I couldn't go as fast as my legs can go, because I was suffocating in the heat.
After we got back to the store there was about an hour of "orientation" and a talk from the Garmin guy about their watches. While I'm a fan, and wish I could spring for one, a $400 watch is just not in my budget for a while. Especially since my shoes are due for replacement soon.
Our first Paced long run is this Saturday. Five miles with our pace group at 7am. The training plan calls for five runs a week. Luckily for me and my weird schedule it looks like the rest days are monday and wednesday right now. That's good since wednesday is always a hard day for me to get a run in. Group runs are tuesday morning (at 6am! yikes!), thursday evening and saturday morning. I'm on my own for fridays and sundays.
I'm really nervous about my ability to stick to this schedule, and more than a little disappointed in my time trial. I'm trying to look at it as a base line. This is where I am now. This is what I need to beat.
The other part of my fear came true last night, almost no one talked to me. Like I said, it seemed like most people had come with friends. I'm hoping that'll change once we split off into our pace groups. It'll really suck if I'm still "running by myself" in a group.