Racing back to back weekends + traveling has set me back on getting my race recaps up, but better late than never, right? The Wrigley River Run is such a great local Long Beach race. It's one of my personal favorites because I won 1st overall female when I ran it for the first time in 2015. I also love seeing so many people from the local running community, including all of my GRVL runners.
After the Rock N' Roll San Diego Half, I had a tough time recovering. I probably should've taken a few days off, but instead, I jumped into my normal training the next day and didn't have a day off scheduled before Wrigley. I wasn't too concerned considering it was just a 10K (yes, after running marathons I think it's okay to say that), plus I wasn't going into the race assuming I would win again.
When I woke up in the morning, I didn't want to race because I knew my legs weren't ready for another all out run. I gave my all in SD, and I knew my body hadn't recovered enough to put my all into this race. When Ricky and I got to the start line, it was overcast, which made for nice racing weather. I found the GRVL runners near the start/finish line and spent some time chatting with everyone before the 10K start. Everyone kept asking me if I was going to win again and that really got my nerves going and my expectations high, as if what my body was telling me might be overridden by how amped my mind was on the possibility of taking home a win again.
When we lined up at the start, I was in the second row of people. I have a tendency to start fast in shorter races and today was no different. As soon as the blow horn went off, I got way too aggressive and struggled to get around the guys in front of me. I was in the front with one other guy when we rounded the first corner at the quarter mile mark. I looked at my watch and I was doing a 4:07 pace! So ridiculous. Finally I pulled back a bit and quite a few people passed me, including the girl who would finish not just in first female, but as first overall with a 36:00 finish. She's competed in the Olympic Trials and has run with Kara Goucher and Des Linden, so clearly there is no shame in giving up first place to her!
Around the first mile, another girl caught up to me and tons of men had already passed. I kept pushing through the first 2 miles, but by mile 3, I was spent and my legs were yelling at me. My goal at this point was just to not let another female pass me so I could take home 3rd place. I pushed through the next 3 miles feeling defeated as my pace slowed to 7:09 at mile 4, somehow pulled off a 6:53 at mile 5, and an even 7:00 at mile 6. I came into the finish shoot looking disappointed and beat. I knew I didn't PR and my time was much worse than last year.
I met up with Ricky and he told me that the woman came in first overall. That made me super happy (girl power!). We waited and cheered on all of the GRVL runners as they came into the finish. After Peter came in, we went to check our official times. Mine was 43:11 with a 6:56 pace, but it said that I came in 4th overall female. When Peter looked up his bib, it said he was a 60 year old female who finished in 1:36:10 (he finished in 59:56). I figured something was wrong with the timing chips. I couldn't remember another woman passing me, and assumed I was third female. At this point, it didn't matter because I was still feeling disappointed in my body and my mind for dropping out on me. I keep thinking my body will jump back quickly, but based on the recent developments with my hurt ankle and the excessive racing I've done over the last year, it's clear that's not how it works anymore. That's had a affect on my attitude and ability to keep my mind focused sometimes.
Ricky and I went home shortly after checking the finish times. Cong let me know later that day that I came in 3rd female and he had my award (a nice pint glass) which was a nice surprise. While a bit of an uneventful race, I'm coming to realize again that not every race can be a PR and to accept that not every day is going to be my day.