It’s a Monday kind of Tuesday today. It’s all good though, cause that means we’re having a short week. 🙂
Yesterday, I ran the Memorial Day 10k and I can tell you…SUMMER IS HERE. I know summer doesn’t OFFICIALLY start until June 21, but that is a lie.
I have to admit that I didn’t prep for this race like I would generally prepare for a race that I’m serious about. I’d run for 26 days in a row prior to race day. I had “a couple of beers” the night before, as well as a 1/3 pound burger, a 1/4 pound hot dog and two types of salad that were not actually salad (potato and pasta). Throw in some lemon cake and I pretty much did everything wrong to be race ready.
The morning of the race, I woke up feeling about as you’d expect. I felt slow and bloated. I caffeinated those feelings away a little and tried to tell myself that it was all in my head. After all, you can’t eat and drink yourself out of shape in one day, right???
Robbie and I went for a little warm up and I immediately warmed up. It’s never good when you’re sweating pre-race, so I drank a little water to try and salvage whatever was left of my hydration.
Away we went! I made the decision to run without music to stay focused. The downside is that then I can hear the sound of my own suffering, and it is quite unpleasant. Unfortunately, I started suffering at about a quarter mile. I felt exactly like a guy that ate what I ate and drank what I drank the day before. This was my fault. I tried not to panic. I slowed my pace down a little to try and catch my breath and calm down. It wasn’t working.
I honestly thought about quitting. It would have been my first DNF. You have to get one eventually. I had no real reason to quit, other than in that moment I hated running. I couldn’t see myself pressing on for another 5 miles. I decided to press on and hope that I’d snap out of it.
By the second mile I knew I’d finish, but wondered how much longer I could keep up anything resembling a race pace. My lungs felt well below normal capacity. My legs felt heavy. Even the smallest of hills felt like a climb. Bleh. My pace slowed up by over 30 seconds a mile. It felt the same. Awful. Mile 3 was more of the same.
Once I made it to the turnaround, I caught a second wind. I was heading back! It was great to see so many runners that I know as we ran past each other. It was also great that there was a slight downhill grade going back. It helped that I had a competitor to chase. I kept Marshall about 50 feet ahead of me, thinking that I might take a shot at him later. His wife Alicia was spectating and told me to get after him (I laughed as much as I was capable of). Unfortunately, I didn’t quite have it in me to chase him down, but it certainly helped keep me going for another 3 miles.
I got back to nearly my starting pace and ended up having enough in the tank to push hard at the finish. PEOPLE WERE WATCHING.
I finished up this race in 43:30, good enough for 11th overall and 2nd in my AG. I predicted I’d run in 42:30, but I’m not even remotely disappointed. Not every battle is a battle with the clock. This was a victory against myself.