So I did my first and last county novice road race yesterday. Last because we got 2nd team overall (Yay!) so will no longer be eligible as a novice at county level (Boo!)
The race was starting in Clongowes and was over 3km which is a distance I've never raced before. To say I was nervous about pacing was an understatement especially considering that I'm really not speedy over shorter distances and on the track. In fact the other girls on the team consistently kick my ass on the track every single week so my main priority was not to let the team down and come in ages after everyone else. We only had four on the team too so every one of us were going to count for the team total so......no pressure like!!!
I have a really bad habit of getting very worked up before races so luckily I had a few distractions on my way to the race to keep my mind off it. My plan had been to leave about 9:15 to be there about 9:40 with plenty of time to get warmed up etc before the race. Shortly before I was going to leave the house a friend M sent a message to ask if I wanted to get a lift down with her and her adorable kiddos. Why not! Says I....queue ominous music!
Well when baby number 1 projectile vomited half-way there I thought maybe that was why not? The poor thing was promptly cleaned up and popped back in the car with very little ceremony so M could deposit me at the venue just after 10.
This is when we found out the start line was a good mile down the road. Eeek! By the time we arrived at the start line I was thoroughly warmed up and within about 5 minutes we were off with no time to get nervous or psyche myself out.
Off I set trying to keep my breathing under control but stay in the top third of the field with the other girls in sight. I was breathing hard right from the start but tried to relax and not think too far ahead and just concentrate on the person in front of me. Forget the watch....there was no time to be looking at that in this race.
Before I knew it we were at the 2k mark and that's when things really got tough. At that point you could see the gates of Clongowes and it felt like you should be almost there but when you get through those gates it's a long long way to the finish line!
I was definitely kept going only by keeping the other green jerseys right in front of me and knowing there weren't that many others ahead of us. Couldn't let the team down by slowing down although there were definitely a few moments where I thought I might lose my breakfast (TMI?) Kind of knew how the baby felt at that point!
Finally I crossed the line. One of the lovely organisers was talking to me trying to get me to unpin my number but my hands weren't really working. I was a mess! But so proud because I know I couldn't have run a second faster than I did out there and what else can you ask of yourself really? I finished in 12:58 which I was really happy with. I can't see me finishing a 5k at that pace yet but it does give me hope to get down in the 22 somethings sometime this year. Maybe after the half in Limerick I'll run a Parkrun hard?
The club had a fantastic day with the men's team winning 2nd and 3rd men and 1st team overall and the masters men winning bronze in the All-Ireland road relays in Raheny. Not bad for a small club.
Adult beverages may have been consumed in celebration but was still home by midnight like the good girl I am!
Man that was a long post on a short race!