What do you mean, “How was the race?” I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.
Sigh. I guess you can guess what that means.
It wasn’t the best race. It felt like I was hitting a wall almost as soon as I started running. My left hamstring was tight. Right calf was, too. As much as I wanted to be excited and tried to positive self-talk my way to a good race, I couldn’t get there.
Looking back, it was probably a few things. The week leading up to the race was busy as hell and I didn’t do any of my final training runs. I don’t think that had a tremendous effect, but my body hadn’t gone for a run in a week — it wasn’t ready for a raceday PR. On Friday night, while out with Dysfunction Inc., I think I might have overdone it on the beer; I typically don’t do this before a race, but was so excited to see my friends that all logic went out the window. I’ve also been seriously sleep-deprived thanks to work travel, work drama (not mine, for once! the husband’s), and a so-so night’s sleep last night. I was overdressed for the conditions; even though it was near freezing when we started, the strong sun harmed more than helped. My Garmin didn’t start when I told it to, so I lost a mile’s worth of info before I noticed it wasn’t tracking.* And let’s not talk about my mental state. I was down on myself from the word go. All in all, when I started to move, I didn’t feel any kind of strength coursing through me. I just wondered when it would be over.
Not the attitude to take when you’re trying to PR.
This is my second-worst time at Cherry Blossom (still five minutes better than my worst) and my first bad race at the event. I know I can come back stronger next year, but I’m still in the throes of my woes.
My training was, in theory, better and more disciplined this time around. However, I also feel that running at a slower pace with my training group left me at a serious disadvantage. The pace I ran today is usually my training pace; during training, I ran at least a minute slower (I know I could’ve done more; on the days I ran alone, I ran at my usual training pace). Sure, I did speed work, but it might make more sense to find a group that forms pace groups to help challenge me on long runs.
BUT. Major BUT.
I have the Broad Street 10 in less than a month. I have three weeks of long runs that’ll probably go like this: six miles, 10 miles, six miles. I plan to run those at my usual training pace and do speed work during the week. To help with the tightness, I’m putting together a stretch-n-roll routine tonight. I’m going to go in with two goals instead of just one to help mitigate any outside factors that affect my run.
I am not going to let this mental funk and disappointment get the best of me. I’m letting myself be bummed out today, but have to get back on track tomorrow. I still finished. I’m still in the orange corral. I did the training and I’ll be that much better for the next race.
And finally, I still love the Cherry Blossom 10; I was lacking this time around and I have control over that. I can regroup and kick ass once more.
And now, warning: major TTC/race vent ahead. Turn away if you want to be left with my determination do better at Broad Street.
I typically love the signs I see at a race. Because I was in such a funk, I didn’t notice most of them; I couldn’t keep my eyes up. But one that I saw at mile five absolutely made me want to run over to the woman and punch her in the face:
“Think running 10 miles is hard? Try GIVING BIRTH!!”
Really, lady? Here I am, struggling through my toughest race in years. It’s all I can do to keep going; at mile three, mile friggin’ three, I was thinking I needed to walk (note: I didn’t). But here you are with your insulting sign and your kids in a stroller. That was the last thing I needed to see because it just pissed me the hell off. It took away energy I didn’t have to expend. You insensitive ass.
I would love to, lady. I would love, love, love to give birth so I can compare my toughest Cherry Blossom with giving birth. Because any other year, I might agree with you — 10 miles is a breeze when you hit your stride and are charging through the blossoms without a care in the world. I would still think you’re an insensitive ass, but I would probably use the anger to run faster. But when you’re physically and mentally fatigued and you can’t get yourself out of the funk, the race and a reaction to your shenanigans are goddamn hard to process in anything but a negative light.
You with your sign, your smug Mommy Martyr attitude about how those of us on course just need to shut up and run because you’ve pushed out kids? Bite me. Don’t you think that maybe some of us are wishing, hoping for what you have? Yet you decide to take the day we’ve trained so hard for and throw it in our faces? Go to hell, lady. I do the runs because I love them and because they provide me solace. So butt the hell out of my safe space with your smug attitude about having a kid. I know you weren’t thinking of this when you put together your sign, no doubt giggling at your cleverness, but I’ve got news for you: things like that can and do hurt people. So again: bite me.
*The sign that said, “The NSA thanks you for your Garmin GPS data”? That one was funny. Take a lesson from that dude, insensitive ass.
Okay, vent over. Broad Street is next.