I can remember when the pre-race regimen of race day was a stressful period. Now that I have been racing for 5 years it has become more "normal." I have a routine that I have tinkered with over the years - waking up 2 hours prior to start time, an ibuprofin, a breakfast that doesn't talk back to me at mile 2, the wardrobe decisions, the warm up, strides and stretches. It all comes more naturally now. When I stand at the start line I am more often amused to look around and see how everyone else is composed or preparing for the race ahead. I know I'm ready and relaxed. Is everyone else? Hardly but that's why it's fun.
Today's race was the one that I've set my two best 5K times in so I was very confident and challenged to see if I could beat the PRs. The sky was overcast with a modest wind. Temperature was 60 and 84% humidity.
If I did anything wrong this morning it was not getting closer to the front at the start line. In my first mile I encountered too much traffic and was annoyed at the 8:13.4 readout on my lap timer at the cone. With clear sailing, the second mile dropped to 7:52.8 and I had hopes to beat the 8 minute/mile pace I strive for. The final mile and a tenth I felt like it would be close. Once across the line in 24:52.0 I knew I had not PRed. At home I calculated the pace (8:01/mile) and am pleased to have managed so well, having lost 13 seconds in the first mile, winding my way through slower runners.
Next up is the 15K in Tampa in 3 weeks. I think I'll go out for a long jog later today.