Hello, everyone! I’m trying to get back to posting something more frequently. I’m not training for anything, so there’s no journaling to be done. I’ll probably just bust something out when inspiration hits. Yesterday, it hit.
Yesterday morning, I went out for a lake loop. Lake loops are the place I feel most comfortable. If I could only run one course forever and ever, it would be there. I’m the Strava Local Legend there and that’s kind of a big deal from what I hear (I’ll be signing autographs at the local Koffee Kup diner).
I had a bad race on Saturday. We were fortunate enough to have a small, in-person race to run. That race was the Bedford Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic. It is my favorite local race, outside of the Virginia 10 miler. It’s festive and jolly. There are cinnamon rolls. It’s great. The best part would be the amazing coffee mugs for award winners. I always get one. Not this year. I was 4th AG. That stung.
It stung more than you’d think because I couldn’t hold on. You get to a certain pace and you have to want it pretty badly to hold that pace late in the race, especially when there’s a beast of a hill involved. Evidently, I didn’t want it that badly on Saturday. I quit on myself. I had a tight hamstring that had been bothering me earlier in the week and I wish I could blame that, but I can’t. My splits were 6:13, 6:42 and 6:52.
Did I go out too fast? Maybe. 6:13 isn’t crazy for me, but it certainly had me all up in my own head that morning. I finished the race at around 20:30 something, which isn’t awful. It’s not what I ran, it’s HOW I ran. I’ve had slower races where I feel like I left it all out there and did all I could, and there’s satisfaction in that. When you quit, you can’t get no satisfaction.
Back to this lake loop thing one day later. I decided to run what I felt like running. I felt like running fast! I pushed the pace as well as my post-race legs would allow and finished the segment in 24:21 for a 7:18 pace. I was pretty happy with that, for a moment. Strava let me know that it was my 2nd best effort on the segment. What was my best? I had to look. It was 22:53 (a 6:52 pace) waaaaaaay back in July of 2017, just a handful of months before my torn achilles!
Some people would look at this and say, “Great job! That’s the fastest you’ve run the segment in over 3 years!” Not me. I’m a hater. I said, “Geez. You’re a minute and a half slower than you used to be. That’s not good enough.” I DO have a hater. It’s me.
There’s a fine line between pushing yourself and being too hard on yourself. Part of chasing PRs and winning races is not being satisfied with where you are and wanting better, wanting more. Being hungry is good. It can get unhealthy though.
If you’ve read to this point, kudos to you. Thanks for being here. I’m going to be easier on myself for the rest of the year. I hear people like to make bold resolutions on January 1st, so maybe I’ll try that out.