I was not going to post a race report on this 5K because I’m not proud of how I ran but I’ve already done that once this year with another 5K (see a pattern forming here?) so I figured since I’m always touting honesty that I should at least write this one down and really figure out what the hell is going on with me. I ran this race last Friday night.
Well, the race itself is for a great cause and the post race food is awesome. It was last Friday night so it’s sort of like when I used to go to Happy Hour after work only this time I’m wasn’t slurping down dollar drinks and dealing with smoky bars. It’s way better than that! It was also great because I got to run with bestie Keara while she pushed her little girl in the jogging stroller. With one arm. (She’s stupid fast and I was dying while she was holding on a normal conversation and everyone around us hated her. Ahhahaha.) She was able to grab me water and I got to play with her daughter pre and post race. She’s adorable.
Prior to the race I had feelings of dread. I kept thinking about the heat and doubting myself. I mentally wasn’t into it and as much as I tried to shake the negative thoughts they were there. Loud and clear. “Don’t race. Just run this for fun.” “It’s going to be hot, you suck in heat.” “So and so is going to beat you.” “You’re slow right now. You should just not go.”
I feel sheepish in admitting those thoughts because I know it makes me look like a whack job to some, but I am who I am and I freely admit to having to work through these things. Yes I am completely aware that running is my hobby so I should just have fun, but at the same time, we all want to do our best right?
I also need to mention it was record high temps last week, hitting 91, and I forgot to eat anything after lunch which is probably the first time that has happened to me in the history of ever. I love snacks but I was so preoccupied with getting to the race on time I just completely forgot.
Keara and I lined up a little farther back than I am used to because of the jogging stroller. This seemed like a good idea because it would help me hold back the first mile. It was a good and bad idea all at the same time because while we were forced to start a tad slower, we were dodging people all over the place. Keara ran over a few folks. Oops, sorry! However, the majority of people we passed were just suuuuuuper impressed with her jogging stroller prowess and speed.
Mile one was a 7:53. It was just a tad faster than I wanted to go but not crazy fast. So that was good. Mile two was an 8:01 and that’s where I, for lack of a better term, shit the bed. I kept telling Keara I was dying and I was tired and I had a side stitch and blah blah blah quit quit quit. Bless her heart, she tried to keep me going but I think she knew it was a losing battle.
I told her I had to slow down. And I did.
Mile three was an 8:57. Womp womp.
Total race time was 26:06.
After talking it out with Keara, who got to see my race break down first hand, she and I talked about what was happening and how it’s definitely more mental lately than physical. Yes it was hot and yes I didn’t eat but I am kicking myself now for giving up. I know I could have at least tried to keep an 8:15 or 8:30 pace.
In speaking with Coach Jon he gave me a great tip about not trying to avoid the pain and I know I’ve also been doing that. I really need to remember to “embrace the suck.” He said, “If you want to compete in something that feels good all the time go play tickle fight or something.” Now this may seem harsh but, it was said in partial jest and actually made me cackle. And of course, he’s right.
As with everything in life, this hobby takes work and constant reevaluation. None of us is perfect and while we may have more experience than others, sometimes you have to be reminded of the basics. And that’s what I’m going to do. Not work on, but DO.
On to the next one.
You showed up and you ran a race for a good cause. Good job!
Not your best personal performance, no problem because you learned something. Success is a crappy teacher, so embrace the suck and apply what you learn to get better…in running and in life.
Kudos to you for sharing both the good and bad. You're not alone in that. We all have terrible runs and races and moments where we want to give up/give in and sometimes do. I think the advice from Keara and your coach are both so good. You are so much stronger than you think and realize, and when you let go of the fear and get comfortable with being uncomfortable, some pretty big things are going to happen. Until then, we can slog along in this heat together sister. xoxo