Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Race Recap: Getting Over a Not So Good One

I have a confession to make: after my half marathon this past summer, my running got sloppy.

I was so happy. I had done it!  Now I had no race to train for and was more than willing to take a little break.  It was supposed to be one, maybe two, weeks off from running.

And I had no shortage of things to take up my time.  It was summer and I had a new boyfriend, Sam.  Life was good.  I spent time at Flathead Lake and hiking in the woods.  I went to Arizona for a trip to Lake Mead with my family.  I watched my boyfriend's band play and planned a trip to Oregon.  I did everything except run.

Oh, I didn't give up entirely.  There was a sporadic couple of days in a row here and there.  But without a race to train for and a budding social life, running went on the back-burner.

Time passed, and then a little more time passed.

The days (and free time to run) got shorter.  I was spending more time at work and less time outside.  The lack of daylight depressed me and made me less likely to run.  I didn't want to do anything.  The less I saw daylight, the less I wanted to do anything.

It wasn't until early February that things started to get back on track.  That's when I started this blog to help keep myself motivated and to share my love of running.  Because I really do love it, slump or not.

Anyway, on to my first race of the year.  Run for the Luck of It was the first of several races I have planned this year.  It's fun, people dress up and there's free food and beer.  The Celtic Dragon pipe band plays and everyone has a good time.

Celtic Dragon pipe band

 But I was nervous.  I was psyching myself out, I could feel it.  But this was just a 5K!  It's supposed to be fun!  My friends were talking about how I was going to smoke it, get a PR, leave people in the dust. 

The days leading up to the race, I kept thinking PR, PR, PR.  And more realistically, I thought - if I finish under 30 minutes, I'll be happy.  I didn't want to say that to anyone because I knew they'd be thinking what I was thinking, you can go way faster than that.

I got ready on race day in my shamrock shorts and socks.  Sam and I watched the seven milers take off.  We watched the pipe band play and chatted with friends until I had to line up.

They ran the whole race with that giant rainbow.

The gun went off before I was ready and it set the tone for the race.  My head wasn't in it; I couldn't focus and it showed.  My form and pace were sloppy.  I was too focused on my fall/winter running slump.  After two miles, people started passing me.  I finished in 31:59, my slowest 5K since the one I walked two years ago.

The morning after the race, I went for a run on my favorite route, a 3.2 mile loop along the Clark Fork river.  My pace and cadence were smooth, my thoughts uncluttered.  I paid no attention to how long it took to complete it.  I remembered that I loved running.  I understood that I couldn't expect a PR on my first race back from such a long hiatus and that it wasn't my body that failed me, but my mind.

Stayin' positive!
 My ego is still a little wounded, but I'm getting there. 

And one other thing, a bad run is still better than a day stuck inside.

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