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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.