Who Run the World? Girls.

Before I talk about my race, which I know you all are dying to hear about, let me brag about the RC for a bit.

The RC (real name: Stephanie Rothstein) was top American and 6th overall! She ran a new road 10K PR of 33:04, too, if my sources serve my correctly.

I have no shame and pretty much stalked the RC after race, appointing myself her personal paparazza (feminine, singular form – had to look that up).

Here are some pictures and an interview I caught.

Post-race interview:


“Excuse me while I address my crazy stalker-fan.”

My hero and running inspiration. And a co-inventor of Picky Bars.

Ready to run. Photo credit: Kevin Lu, BeyondDistance.com

Look at the RC go! Pic taken from NYRR website.

It appears I may become one of “those moms” who documents their child’s entire existence. Well, at least for the first kid…

Anyways, in addition to the RC racing, her RP was out there, too. RP is me, her “running protege.”

To back things up a little, I met with the RC Thursday to discuss goals and potential nail polish choices.

“Dreamer” by Revlon with a swipe of OPI Gold sparkles on each ring finger. The blue looks more neon here than it actually is.

The RC suggested that I change my mindset a little bit from the weekend warrior obsession with the PR to trying making some sort of non-time related goal, to get better at competing, to develop new racing skills, per se. To think like a pro does. In 10Ks in the past, I’ve struggled with a monkey mind in the middle miles (like that alliteration?), particularly having thoughts of “I’m not sure I’m going to make it all 6 miles.”

Christine, Jocelyn, and I before the race. It appears the caffeine hasn’t hit me, yet. Photo credit: Kevin Lu, BeyondDistance.com

So, the goals were as follows: 1) to try and surge to 7:20ish pace on the flat part by the reservoir for about a half a mile; 2) to not have thoughts of “I’m not going to make it,” particularly in the 4th mile; 3) to give my best with what I have on that day and to not be upset if I don’t PR, seeing as the weather may preclude that.

I thought the RC’s 1st goal was pretty genius, as I’ve never tried to do something like that before in a race. It sort of sounded fun to me. I wanted to stand up and scream, “YOU’RE A GENIUS” in Starbucks, but I didn’t because my caffeine needs mean I can’t afford to be banned from Starbucks for disturbing the peace.

Anyways, here’s how it went down, Believe I Am Training Journal style:

RACE: Mini 10K, 2012

TIME: 48:17 (7:47/mile) (7:44, 7:31, 7:40, 8:02, 7:43, 7:50, 1:37)

Success! Finished! Photo Credit: Kevin Lu, BeyondDistance.com

WHAT I LEARNED: Success does not = PR.

WHAT I WOULD HAVE CHANGED: 1) Not being scared to surge in the 4th mile; 2) not second guessing my success the today “since it wasn’t a PR and worse than last month’s 10k

HOW I WAS BRILLIANT: 1) Much more focused during race, able to focus only on next obstacle/current mile; 2) No thoughts of “I can’t make it”; 3) Gave my best effort on that day, didn’t ever back down; 4) Stellar nail polish choice

Also, got this Sparkly Soul headband after the race – I’m ready for #totallytrials, Oiselle!

48:17 was all I had in me yesterday. I thought I did a good job of racing even though the time doesn’t reflect it, I guess. Mentally, it was much better than Healthy Kidney a month ago and I am proud of that.

Where I do need to improve is on tempo runs. I always stop/take breaks/have meltdowns and, in turn, never complete one continuously. Thus, I don’t really have confidence in my ability to run for > 2-3 miles continuously with “discomfort” seeing as I always stop in the middle, often several times. I’m not physically or mentally calloused to that.

Picky Poster Child? Photo credit: Kevin Lu, BeyondDistance.com

I also chickened out on that whole “surging” thing. Sure it sounded fun in theory, but when the time rolled around, I wasn’t so confident in my ability to do it without compromising my pace thereafter.

So, I’ve gotten a bit better at racing, but there are things to work on! Tempos and surging! Not that I’m surging away from anyone, it could just be a fun little mid-race challenge.

I wear this necklace every day.

Finally, for the record, I love having my Erica Sarathe mind is the athlete” on, a good reminder all around. The mind really is the athlete – determines how you approach your training, racing, and what you define as success.


Until next time…


36 thoughts on “Who Run the World? Girls.

  1. I can’t believe you didn’t blog about T’s bday party! It needed to be blogged about. Also, I want that USA headband. Where can I purchase?

  2. I also agree that success doesn’t equal PR. Great racing! I like your goals and think you accomplished a lot out there! Hmmm though… I think you look way too happy in the post-race pic. I want to see some pain! haha! Must have been the popsicles.
    You already know I raced on friday. It was fun!

    • ha, well is it ok that this was a few feet after finish? I’ll work on the pain – let’s put on a 5k in Eugene? Then you’ll see some pain. Better yet, a mile! I’ve never raced a mile. Wonder if I could run <7 min for a mile….

  3. i love the race recap, journal style. i too struggle with holding “uncomfortable” paces for longer than 2 miles, so i look forward to training that this summer. we both can do it! also both you and RC are baller. it’s totally the nail polish.

  4. did a sprint try this weekend. i have never been this cold. ever.
    cold before the swim, cold during, which made me short of breath and made the swim s-u-c-k. bike had winds both ways but faster than last race. run was great.
    maybe other nail polish and i nail the swim next time?

  5. You are positively glowing after that 10K!!! That RC is going to turn this RP into one special runner – even if you never break any records. (Tangent: Did you see that muscle definition of the RC in that startline pic?!?!) That is totally awesome the RC gave you three new goals to try.

    I have not had any good (I mean, memorable) races (lately), but I have had a couple semi-recent races that keep me coming back for more. Back in February I ran the Sequoia Park 5.3 mile Race. A local, small race that primarily only attracts the local running club members. I started out semi-conservatively, but since it was a small, club race by mile three I was running pretty much on my own. At this point the race begins a long, decent up-hill grade. I can hear one or two runners (slowly) coming up behind me (but I don’t look back to see who they are, or how close they are).

    At the top of the hill John is on my shoulder (he is a 60-69 year young runner who has one of the ten fastest times in the world for 10 mile races – in his age group). I’m thinking to myself, “Danny, you just ran up a long hill with John behind you. You are younger, stronger and you have been doing fast recovery 200m intervals. Your heart is stronger than John’s. Don’t give in, keep pushing, anything can happen.”

    John is a competitor. For the next 1-1.5 miles he is either running just off my shoulder, at my shoulder or drafting directly behind me. Every now and then I can feel small gaps opening up between him and me. And then they close. As I am racing I am halfway conscious of periodically increasing the pace, and then relaxing, but honestly if you asked me during the race I would have said that it was John changing pace that was creating/shrinking those gaps. (After the race he clarified: John was THIS close to breaking on one of my mini-surges.)

    About at the 5 mile mark, John finally makes a move on me and pulls ahead by about 10m. When he realizes I dropped back he turns his head and his face says, “Come on, let’s go!” I take a deep breath and think about all those running drills I do twice a week (carioca, high knees, butt kicks, b-skips, russian dance, quick feet) and begin coming back to John.

    I catch up, stay a bit longer, but he ends up finishing 20-30 seconds ahead. But I loved that race just for what the RC said – I actually felt like I was racing and not just in another “fun run”. And we were just competing for, like, I dunno 5th place (?) in the race.

    Surging/tempos (aka the mental toughness needed to continue when the going gets tough) is a bit easier (for me anyway) when I think of those running drills and the movements they require – snapping my leg quickly down, quickly bringing me knees up, keeping my heels under my butt so my leg can swing through quicker. When I just think of those little drills rather than telling myself I need to go faster, I find that it is a game that I can win (And just like Clip, I like winning!). When I only think “go faster”, I start turning the race into a sprint and soon die. But when I think, “shorten my stride length, quicken my stride rate” I chop off 10, 15, 25 seconds. Anyway, I say all that because somewhere along the line I know you have said you do those drills. Maybe the RC has already shared these thoughts with you – so this is just good repetition. In any regard I also just like to share one of my “racing” experiences. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Congrats on the race!! Totally agree that there’s more to running a good race than a PR. Loving the nail polish choice too… bet that helped you run faster ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. way to go!!! okay, lots to say: success = accomplishing the goal u established, watever it is, BUT even if u do all within ur power and fall short of ur goal there are still ways to make it a success. like if u were able to learn from a mistake u might of made and carry it over to next time. but u don’t have to worry about that second part cuz u rocked ur race!! ๐Ÿ™‚ next thing, steph is a total baller…enough said. ๐Ÿ™‚ then i have to say i’m in love with ur RC for working on ur mental perspective and getting u to think like a RACER out there…keep up the great work, you guys make an awesome pair. AAAAND finally, u looked super cute out there with the polish and headband, my mom always used to have a saying when i got to the starting line too, “look good, feel good.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ have a great night!!

  8. I love this post. I just raced a half this weekend, without a watch. I didn’t PR though I felt like I was going to, so I had to swallow my disappointment and think about how I felt during the race. Lately it’s been too burned into my mind that the entire value of my race, or myself as a runner is based on the time at the end… I definitely needed a break from that.

    also, i LOVE the “the mind is the athlete”… can I steal/copy that ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good job!! Sometimes it’s hard when everybody talks numbers to say “well I didn’t PR, buuuuut I learned a lot about myself as a racer for the future”.

    • “the mind is the athlete” comes from a quote from the power of one by bryce courtenay – GREAT read!

      don’t fall into the numbers trap. racing isn’t all about numbers. sure, that is part of it, but it is not the whole part.

      check out the believe i am training journal – I think you’d like it!

      • I have the Power of One but I have never gotten past the beginning. I should put that at the top of my summer reading list!

        And I’m going to the Believe I am site ASAP. THANK YOU ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE reading your blog, because so often the things you are thinking or working on with running are so similar to where I am… ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love that nailpolish color. You always have the prettiest colors! also love the necklace..I think i forgot to mention how much i liked it when you originally posted it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I raced. It was eh. I had been sick for the previous week and it was during my highest mileage week in months. I am still a brat and wanted more. the end.

    you definitely seem to have a better attitude than me…

    • why thank you!

      have you read “run: the mind-body method of running” by matt fitzgerald? it is a very helpful book. check that out.

      have you ever made a race goal that was not time related? try that. it made all the difference for me.

  10. The RC is so smart! She’s also adorable – congrats to her on such a great race! I didn’t really focus on PRing in this race, but mainly because I was sick and just wanted to get it overwith. I guess that was my main goal, which kind of made the race suck and didn’t give me the best mindset. I really like the idea of focusing on other things to get better at and learn from.

    Loved seeing you and hope to see you again soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Umm, you did pretty darn well considering you had gastritis and what not. No fun. Definitely recommend making a non-time race goal. Try it and let me know how it goes!

      Hope to see you again soon, too!

  11. Awesome nail varnish!!!! if you like cute blues, you should totally check out Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos.

    I ran this race too. I was looking for you in your Oiselle top!! I lamely blew this whole race. Recap to come. Boo hoooooo.

    Dude, the RC has serious muscle.

  12. hey, just found your blog – I ran the Mini too! gotta work on that whole surging thing, I like the idea of working on racing skills rather than just focusing on time.

    I’d also like to keep reading if you don’t mind adding me to your password list!

  13. Love this post…La La LOVE!
    You are an amazing competitor and you run for all of the right reasons. Way to push yourself and measure your success by how it should be…. I am inspired by you ๐Ÿ™‚

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