November 24, 2014
I did another race this past weekend. Our club had its usual Turkey Run, but this year they added a 10K to the 5K and 10 Mile options. I wanted to try my hand at "racing"; so coach suggested the 10K. I picked 7 minute pace as a reasonable goal, based on my 5 mile tempo run that averaged right at 7 minutes per mile.
First off, the breastfeeding/running balance is hard. Most BFing moms prefer to feed right before running for two obvious reasons- baby will be full and happy for whoever is keeping her while I run and who wants to run with huge rock-hard boobs that will spurt milk at any given moment. This race was about 45 minutes away; so I chose to nurse in the car at the race. Fun times. And then of course, there is always some sort of slow-down and bathroom line; so my warm up was minimized to less than a mile. I think I did about 6 minutes of running before heading to the start.
I started about 4 rows back, which was odd for me. I didn't feel like I deserved to be up front, and I sure didn't want to be "that girl" that thinks she's fast, when she's not. (We've all been to races with these morons.) Hindsight, I shouldn't started maybe in the 2nd row, as I was really stuck in the pack and did a lot of weaving the first mile.
All 3 of the race options were out-and-back. This was good b/c I would have people to run with at least going out, and then I could see who was running each distance. However, I was smart enough to only choose myself to compete with. I wanted to "feel" the race again, push myself, but also meet my 7 minute goal in a smart way.
The half mile was spent running in the grass, dodging and weaving, merely trying to get into a groove and out from under the slower pack.
Mile 1: 7:15
I caught up to my friend Melanie's husband and two of his friends. I ran with them until the 10K turn around. (They were doing the 10 miler.) Her husband is a college XC coach, and he recently offered one of my runners a scholarship to run there. (More on that in another post, but EXCITING!)
Mile 2 & 3: 6:52
I felt really good. I was working hard, but not in over my head. However, I kept seeing Sam and all my buddies I used to be able to run with up ahead. A sense of sadness and self-pity came over me. WILL I EVER BE FAST AGAIN?
After the turn around, I had to rally mentally. No one was around me. There was one male way up ahead, but there was no way I could catch him. The 2nd half of the race was just me and my watch and my thoughts. I looked at my Garmin one hundred million times. It wasn't because I was struggling, really, it was more out of boredom. Racing is pretty stupid when you are alone, especially when you aren't in shape, and your 10K "race" pace is slower than your marathon PR pace. I passed the water stop and I heard my friend Joy's husband tell the other worker that I just had a baby.
Mile 4: 6:51
Mile 5: 6:52
By the time I got to the last mile, I started running into some 5K walkers. I will never understand why people walk straight in the middle of the road, especially if they know another race is happening. I am always mindful to stay on the edge of the road or at least in a specific lane. These people were 5 abreast . "On your left!" I yelled.
Mile 6: 6:50
The sweetest thing when I rounded the corner for the last 0.2, I saw Keith with baby Savannah right by the finish line. I used what I had left to kick it in.
0.2: 6:36 pace
Total time: 43:17, just a mere 4 minutes at 26 seconds off PR. UGH, shoot me now.
We had a nice time after the race. Sam absolutely KILLED it; so it was neat to watch her finish. We got to catch up with friends we hadn't seen in a long time, and they got to meet Savannah. It wasn't until later than evening I started feeling a little bit down.
I couldn't really pinpoint why I felt badly. I had set a goal for myself and met the goal. I had won the 10K. A feeling of disappointment just lingered. The next morning was gawdawful hot and humid for November. I met Sam & Robyn for our 12 miler. They could tell something was bothering me, and a few miles in we started talking and investigating our issues. (This is something we do together, investigate our issues, LOL.) I then pinpointed a few reasons for my disappointment.
*Even thought I am 2.5 months postpartum, I feel like I should be faster. Granted I have absolutely NOTHING to base this on. It's just the way I feel. I want more than my body can do.
*I could never be jealous of Sam. She's far too gracious, too sweet, and has been through her share of battles, but something about her fast race hit me. It's SO obvious that she is waiting on me in runs. I'm definitely slowing her down. And it's been this way for MONTHS.
*Ugh, race photos. I am trying so hard to banish negative thoughts about my body; therefore I'm not going to type how I'm feeling. Just know that the struggle is there.
And for now, I battle on… Boston bound!