There was no freak out.
I repeat, no freak out. I didn’t have a nutty. Didn’t feel that ominous vice grip of fear and loathing. Didn’t end up in tears at the starting line.
This fact in itself, already made the race a success.
Not that I didn’t have concerns about being the last person to cross the finish line at the Spring Forward 15K at Mendon Ponds Park in the Greater Rochester (N.Y.) area. But that was a fleeting thought which came mostly out of habit, rather than a place that felt fearful and true.
This particular 15K (9.3 miles) was, in a word, hilly. I had already put in a pretty solid training week. Throw in those hills and the race atmosphere and I had no idea what kind of time, pace or quality I would run.