Happy Labor Day to you all! I hope you did not labor. Also, did you see the blue moon the other day? I learned what a blue moon was during my critical care rotation on rounds as the attending likes to ask trivia questions at the end of rounds (blue moon = two full moons in one month). Now, the question is: are more babies born in months of blue moons?
I ran a 20K today and I’ll tell you about it in bits and pieces because I doubt I will be able to string everything together in one coherent post. So, you’re going to get bits and pieces.
THE TANGENT GAME:
Jocelyn and I (her parents house is near race) drove the cutest little runner couple in town around the course where they proceeded to attempt to teach us how to run tangents. I’m not sure we totally “got it,” (ie “so, what would you look at as your guide to run to?” -RC “umm, that dude on the bike” -me + Jocelyn “no, other side of road”- Ben “right, yes, that”- me + Jocelyn) but I like to think we did because I spent most of the race trying to run the tangents. Its a fun game as long as you aren’t cutting people off.
Driving the course wasn’t such a bad idea. Those pros know a thing or two. It allowed me to get my “oh, sad” reaction out of the way when seeing the hill at mile 9/10 rather than thinking “oh, sad” during the race.
Fell off a curb prior to warming up (you know, where you roll your ankle). It has been a few years since I’ve had a major trip or fall, so it was high time for one to happen (I am clumsy). Once this happened to me before a doubles match and my doubles partner looked at me and said, “You’re not going to let your ankle affect our doubles are you?” That’s sort of what I said to my ankle today – “you’re not going to ruin my ice cream earning opportunities are you?!”
While waiting for said ankle to stop spazzing (it was one of those ankle rolls where you have to give it 5 minutes and then its ok, but a little sore for a while), I did snag one of Believe I Am’s autographed posters. I’ve wanted that poster since I first saw it last April and there is nothing like “limited edition” to really get my heart rate up and fingers firing.
THE RACE: (internal monologue in italics)
Miles 1, 2, 3: 8:14, 8:15, 7:56 [in my defense, a downhill in mile 3]:
Hmm, maybe this is a bit fast – should I slow down? But, I feel fine, I feel relaxed….just gonna go with it.”
Miles 4, 5, 6: 8:20, 8:11, 8:22
It appears you’re slowing down a bit, but maybe this is intentional [note to self: intentional means you actually made a decision prior rather than determining you made a decision based on what you’re seeing…genius] because I knew I was going too fast, so actually this ok, just go with it…
Mile 7, 8, 9: 8:17, 8:31, 8:35
So, it appears you’re slowing down. You went out too fast! You idiot! Will you never learn?!?!?! Well, ok maybe you’re still ok…can you do the math to predict finish time? Ok, no, too complicated. Well, maybe this is ok, don’t freak out…
Mile 9, 10, 11: 8:44, 8:29, 8:29
Brain to legs, “Move faster! It’s only a 5k left!” … Legs and stomach to brain, “No way, Jose.”
Last 0.4: no idea
Why does the last 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, etc always feel very long?
Technically a PR by a minute or so, but the only other time I’ve run a 20K is this race last year where I blew up big time.
In the wake of right IT band Braxton-Hicks “contractions”, I’ve still had some right hip/hamstring/piriformis or glute pain when I’ve run hard. And, considering this was my longest race since last year’s marathon, my right hip smorgasboard of issues did act up after mile 7. No excuses, it didn’t slow me down, it was just “there” and more worried me more for the future than for that race.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it, yet.
EXPECTATION VS GOALS:
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – William Shakespeare
While I can be somewhat dramatic (“I am terrible at running! I would quit right now and become a hobby jogger if not for those cute Oiselle clothes that keep me going!”), to say that a bad race gives me heartache is way over doing it. It doesn’t. I get mad or 2nd guess myself for a few hours and then I do this:
…and pretty much all is right in the world. I ran 12 miles, I tried my best, it was the best I had today, and that is all I can do.
An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the near future. As such, making an expectation in racing begets disappointment. There are a lot of variables in racing and predicting a time/making an expectation, isn’t the healthiest way to approach your race, which is what I’ve been doing lately (“I thought I should run around 22 min,” for that 5K last week, for example).
My expectation was that I would run 1:41-1:42 (and probably 1:42) based on past races (5ks, 10ks) and current training. Maybe I could’ve have run that if I played my cards better or maybe I just didn’t have the strength for the later miles which is a highly probable possibility considering I am a card carrying member of long run haterz anonymous (or not so anonymous).
In contrast, I see a goal as what motivates you in your training and racing or as Webster puts its, “a purpose toward which an endeavor is directed.”
I have big goals and I think that’s ok. It is the regimented expectations that are making me frustrated. And those should stop.
BEFORE YOU SPEAK TO YOURSELF…:
I saw this on pinterest today and thought it was a healthful algorithm in not only how to talk to others, but how to talk to yourself:
So, instead of telling myself in my somewhat emotional and irrational post race state that “running just isn’t my thing,” I should think first if what I am about to say myself fulfills this criteria. We’ll see how that works out…
“STOP THE GLORIFICATION OF THE BUSY”:
[another quote from pinterest today]
You know, sometimes it is nice to just sit in a chair and watch episodes of Homeland one after another. You know that song from the seventies “a time for ____, a time for ____?” There’s a time for busy and there’s a time for relaxation. And lots of time for Homeland…
And, now I have officially bored you all with all of these words…
TELL ME: LABOR DAY NON-LABORIOUS ACTIVITIES?
Until next time…