July 6, 2009

The Fireworks Inside Me

I'm backkkkkkkkkk!!!!!! No, I did NOT PR (not even close, nor did I place), but the feeling is there again. Finally! It's like finding your lost puppy. By being back, I mean that feeling of desire inside you when you race. To me, this feeling is what distinguishes a 'race' from a 'run'. I didn't even realize how much of my racing self I had lost until I found it this past weekend. It was sort of like finding money in the bottom of your washing machine. So, on to the RR.

I decided to run the Crescent Hill 4th of July 5K in Louisville, KY. This is where I was born and raised, and we returned this past week for a little visit. I convinced K to run the race, too, and my mom wanted a reason to use her new camera phone, so...

I had an 85 mile week planned, and had already done 65 of those miles prior to Saturday. I had also done 40 miles on the bicycle. I knew this wasn't good racing prep, but I wasn't really out for a PR, just a good workout. I'm not sure if I said this or not, but I've ditched all speedwork for the time being and I'm focusing on mileage. Alright, back to the race.

We gathered for the start and there was a fairly small crowd, but FAST crowd. I noticed many young high school and college runners, all in their team jerseys. K and I discussed who was fast looking, and then it was time to start!

For the first mile, the Top 5 females (including me) stayed in a pack. The end of the first mile was a loop in Kennedy Park, including a slope w/ gravel. I had noticed this on the warm-up, thinking how I HAD to be careful here, as I am The Most Accident Prone Person In the World. I slowed on the loop, as did a few other runners. The first gal increased her lead, and #s 2-5 (including me) stayed together. First mile 6:12.

Then the 2nd gal picked it up. I tried to stay w/ her for about a half mile, but that was clearly not happening, so I let her go. I was w/ #s 3-5.

Mile 2 6:28

I could tell they really knew how to race b/c they were obviously using me as their pacer, wearing me down, little by little. It was a tactic I learned in college, get on the person's shoulder and stay there until they wear down. So... on gal on my left shoulder and another on my right.

One gal made her move and picked it up a bit. I tried to hang for about a quarter mile, but she was too strong. I could hear #5 behind me laboring to keep up, so I pressed on. I had that throw-up feeling. I was thinking about leg turn over. I thought about Deena. I pictured Deena, legs going, going, that girl's breathing practically down my neck. I made ground on #3, but not close enough.

Mile 3 6:21

#3 really kicked it in, as did I, removing myself from #5's hot breath on my neck. The last 0.1 was sort a cluster, a REALLY sharp turn, my mom standing ON THE RACE COURSE w/ the stupid camera phone. Me yelling at her to get out of the way.

Final time 19:41

I really hope one of the those top gals reads this post. I don't know any of them. My mom informed me that the top 2 were college runners and #s 3 & 5 were recently graduated. Anyhow, they all ran GREAT races. It was fun to be in such close competition w/ the gals. In most of my races, I am alone, either in the front of the ladies, or far behind the group. I guess I am used to girl talk w/ Speedy Anna after races, but these gals were NOT very friendly. I tried to talk to them after the race, hoping they would ask me to run a cool-down, but they didn't. They didn't even want to make small talk. I would've loved to ask them about their training, blah, blah, blah. I was telling my mom this after the race and she said, "Well you're just a lot older than them. Why would they want to talk to you?" Okay, mom, thanks.

Even though my time smelled like rotten eggs, I am so thrilled to have the 'feeling' back. I guess I didn't realize how down on myself I had become. It's quite sad really that something I love so much turned so sour. My time does not show it, but that was by far my best race of 2009. So, that's why I say, I'm baaaackkkkkk! Yeah me!

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. ~Souza


  1. I'm glad to hear that the excitement of the race is back for you. Sorry you weren't happy with your time, but I'm glad you really enjoyed it and found it very motivating.

    I ran my first race since before Thanksgiving and came away from this race feeling just like you did. I ran my 5K in 19:41 also, strange coincidence.

    Nice race report Rebecca, I hope you have a great summer of running!

  2. Congrats on getting that feeling back and I'm glad I'm not crazy to make that one of the goals of my summer training and that someone other than me recognizes that feeling and that it has little to do with the time you run.

    But I was cracking up at the title of your post, I was worried for a moment the ants had come for you again!

  3. Yaaaay! I'm thrilled you have that feeling back too. The fire in the belly. :) Great job racing, R. Way to use the pack. And shame on those gals for not being more friendly. What a bunch of snobs. I hope you find a good group of gals who race well AND don't mind socializing a little bit after races. Makes a great race even better. Keep at it and I'm looking forward to following your road 'back.'

  4. Anonymous7/06/2009

    with your preface of not placing or pr-ing i wasnt expecting such a great and exciting race report! i can feel your excitement about the race and i'm getting pumped off it! i still think your super-de-duper fast and i totally would have run a cool down with you.

  5. LA, I got some chills from this report, no kidding! How absolutely thrilling that you felt the racing mojo again. Had to laugh that the annoying lady with the phone on the course turns out to be your mom. Here's to a great training season for you and may that old excitement grow as the months progress.

  6. Great job! Glad you got your groove back!
    And what's with these youngsters! Loren's run into the same thing, racing hard at the end with youngsters who then have zero sportsmanship. WTF?

  7. Ok, I'm back to enjoying reading your blog again!! LOL, j/k. Great race, when I used to be fast I used the same "shoulder" technique, so now u know what you need to do on your next race. U know u got more in you... just dont injure urself in the process. Come fall, u will be running sub-18 5k's (hope that's not a stretch). Hope you decided on your official marathon plan... Take care!!

  8. Great race. Your attitude sounds so much better to!

  9. Glad to see a smile back in your posts. I'm sure your times will start smelling better, too.

  10. Yay! Glad you've got that fire in your belly again.

    Interesting thing you brought up about the age-related stuff. At a 5K two weeks ago, the ladies who finished first and second ahead of me were 29 and 33 respectively, and they were totally cordial post-race whereas the high school and college aged girls never seem as friendly for the most part.

    FWIW, I've also used Deena for motivation, specifically the finish of the race in Spirit of the Marathon when she's just toast but swinging the arms with everything she's got left.

  11. I have a question about nutrition. What do you eat to fuel for so much running? Do you find yourself having to eat constantly to keep weight on and maintain energy?

  12. Anonymous7/13/2009

    Hey LA,

    First off, I'm always impressed even if your time did not 'reflect' what you wanted, how well you still race and keep focused--I'm so happy that you enjoyed this race, now only if you could give me some secrets on how to race a 5k or even the 10k!... :)