Happy Saturday, everyone! I spent my afternoon at a birthday party getting baked in the sun and now it’s time to relax and get some thoughts out. First, let me thank my good friend and runemy #1 Robbie for “donating” a fairly new pair of Hoka Bondi 6s to me. They are hefty, but are going to make a GREAT long run/recovery shoe. 🙂
I took it fairly easy all week, with the Virginia State Games 5k coming up. I subbed out a track workout for a semi-tempo on Monday, hit the treadmill (cause it was TOO WET) for 4 easy on Tuesday and a short tempo on Thursday. I think that I was fairly smart about what I did to prepare for race day. I even took one day off from cross-training!
The only thing that I didn’t do right was out of my hands. My church had a softball tournament the night before the race, so I played a couple of softball games and then went right to bed. Softball isn’t the toughest of sports, but I definitely did my share of sweating and had a few sprints around the bases. My biggest problem is that I don’t sleep that well after night time activities.
Race day morning was pretty decent weather for the middle of July. There was a TON of competition for this one. Everybody showed up. That at least took my mind off of Master’s and placed my focus on age group. I was feeling pretty good and I liked my chances to take the gold.
Out of the gate, I felt pretty good! The first mile had some downhill to it and I took advantage with a 6:17 mile. Maybe I shouldn’t have looked at my watch. The big climb took a bit out of me and I started to really lose steam shortly after that. Robbie kept right on rolling. I tried to keep him within “striking distance”, but he didn’t let up one bit. I beat him on the last one, so that just seems to be the natural order of things.
I basically just hung on for the 2nd half of the race. I feel comfortable running fast now, but throw in some hills and I’m toast. I have work to do. I even ended up walking for about 10-15 seconds on a hill. How embarrassing.
I can’t complain too much though. I came in at 20:21, which was good enough for top 20 overall and 2nd in my AG. I’m getting closer to being back at sub 20, which is a big deal to me. 21 seconds isn’t much. It made me ask myself….What if?
- What if I’d have not played softball the night before?
- What if I’d have skipped out on beers for a couple of weeks before race day?
- What if I’d have gotten a good 8 hours of sleep all week long?
- What if I’d have skipped the sweets and goodies?
I’m not bringing all this up to make excuses. My point is that there’s a trade-off with how much I choose to be committed to running and training. I’ve always believed in balance and trying to be the best runner that I can while also making life decisions that bring me joy. It’s not always easy. I always wonder what I “could” do if I were to give more of myself to racing, but I seem unwilling to find out. Maybe it’s time I give a full(er) commitment a try for a while and see what happens. I’m a little tired of the “what if” stuff.