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