I ran another timed 5k yesterday. I was very disappointed in my time. I felt like I was struggling. I had done everything I was suppose to do; I drank plenty of water starting 2 days before, I stretched, I ate something light, but healthy about 2 hours before the race, but I finished worse than I ever have in all my runs since starting! That made me want to cry. How can I have done so poorly? I have been faithfully running since starting. I run almost ALWAYS at a least a 5k distance whenever I go out for a run. I do cross training. I can’t understand it. After beating myself up for the rest of the day I realized there are a few things I learned from this.
1. I learned all races/runs are NOT created equal. I figured, because the race was timed it was an opportunity for me to gauge my improvement. What I didn’t realize, because I am very new to all of this, a race that encourages walkers is going to be a lot of that. It was such a great cause, and I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would have streets closed down allowing us to run. I am so naive. It was through foot paths that really aren’t set up for that kind of traffic. I spent a lot of time dodging walkers and small children (which this race really WAS all about). I should have just chucked the timing chip and run for the sake of running. I put way to much emphasis on my ability, and the timing thing is awesome for many of these kids as it gives them a real sense of accomplishment. It probably only hindered me by a few minutes, but a few minutes would’ve put me at the time I actually expected to finish. So, my mind messed with my confidence. Lesson learned. Choose my race and what I want out of it. Also, I am just throwing this in there, wouldn’t it be a great idea if race organizers announced that walkers stay to the right and start in the back? OR start walkers about 5 minutes after the runners? I hear this frustration echoed time and time again from people trying to run and I get it now. I placed myself too far in the back. The next time I do a family 5K I will start myself closer to the front regardless of my time per mile, as I will at least stay in front of many people I would otherwise have to negotiate and dodge to get around.
2. I am looking into the Galloway method of walk/run for my half marathon. I can do it and accomplish the same time pace. It will take so much pressure off me. I have been feeling so inadequate lately, and I don’t want to buy into my own negative talk. Everyone seems to think I can do this. I even thought I can do this. I like the time limit, as it really weeds out the social runners and marathon runners that take over 6 hours to finish. Not, that there is a problem with those races. I just don’t want to have an easy out and go that route. I just don’t.
3. I realize that not every run or race is going to be a milestone. I have invested a lot of work in the last 5 months and I am not improving as much as I thought, but I learned it is going to take TIME. I have to keep working, and it affects me so much (my sense of failing) because, I care. I am trying very hard, dedicated, and it’s important to me.
My husband says I am over thinking everything, and I need to simplify it. I am trying too hard, and I need to just get out there and run. I don’t need a race, or time, etc. Sure, he is right. But, I need a goal. I need something I am working towards to keep me motivated and going. It means more to me than just a simple run. He probably could go out and train for 6 weeks and be ready for a half marathon, no problem. I can’t. It won’t ever be that easy for me.
Also, I feel wiped out after running hard. It’s less than it has been in the past. But, there are those days here and there still when I am done and down for the count afterwards. I get so frustrated! That isn’t how I want to spend my weekend…recovering from running. However, I keep thinking it will get better. It has to!
I know I am just having a bad few days, and we all have them. I am hoping I will look back at this blog a year from now and realize this to, was all part of the process.