If you raced in high school or college you may remember your coach telling you not to look back to see where the competition is. It’s considered a sign of weakness; looking back shows you’re worried that those behind you may catch you. This in turn gives them a psychological edge because they see that you’re concerned, and you never want to show your cards to your competition. In addition, looking back will affect your form and inevitably slow you down.
This mantra is so ingrained in me that I never look back. Ever. So at this morning’s Ringing in Hope 10K, where I struggled to maintain my desired pace as well as a positive mindset, I never looked back. I set my sights on those in front of me and just kept plugging away. I knew going into this race that I wasn’t really PR-ready. I haven’t done a tempo run in I don’t know how long and track workouts have been sporadic. I’ve been skiing (downhill, not cross-country), which is hardly the best cross-training and caused a flare-up of my knee tendonosis (although that didn’t bother me in the race at all), and enjoying long slow trail runs, which may have helped my stamina but certainly did nothing for my speed.
I ran fast enough for 2nd in my age group and 7th overall female but was disappointed that my time was over a minute slower than last year. Granted, the course was much more challenging, with a double loop containing a killer mile of hills, but I shouldn’t have been that far off. Still, having gone into the race expecting little, I was pleased I managed to pull out something respectable.
What was most exciting was the fact that my team, Tri Performance Racing, won the Team Award! Thankfully I was still hanging around when they announced the team awards and so got to lug 6 heavy plaques to my car, along with $100 in McCormick and Schmick’s gift cards! Team Happy Hour!
So now it’s time to look forward (never back!) to the schedule for 2012. I still don’t have things set in stone but if I had one goal I guess it would be more trail, less road. I am already planning to run The North Face 50K and JFK 50 miler, but I’d like to get in some shorter trail races, too. For triathlon I am signed up for TriRock Annapolis but am up in the air on other races. I’d like to go back to Charlottesville and do the sprint tri there, which included a hilly 18 mile bike and a fabulous 5K single track trail run. There’s a question mark over another Half Ironman. The bike training is pretty intense and if I’m training for JFK I’m not sure if I can do all that. I’m excited to be heading to Boulder, CO in May to run Bolder Boulder 10K with Lisa McClellan. I’ve always wanted to visit Boulder, athlete mecca. 😉
What are your race plans for 2012? Any suggestions for me?