Monday, October 15, 2012

This Is What We Train For

Yesterday I ran in a 10km race. It was a local race, and there weren't tons of participants. I was looking forward to this race. I'd followed my training schedule. I'd done the long runs. I'd eaten well. I'd crossed trained. I met the group I trained with. I was ready.
And then the race happened.
I have no idea what went wrong really, other than:
  • It was a hot humid day. I was not expecting this and I get some major weather headaches
  • I was running with my iphone and I screwed up my playlist. I wanted my running list and I got some weird shuffle and didn't know how to switch it
  • I'm used to running on roads. Instead we were on a path and it was muddy and slippery
  • I couldn't catch my breath. And then I started to think about this and panicked
  • Every part of my body ached. 
I wanted to go for a good time.
The first half wasn't bad. In fact, I did the first 5k in under half an hour. For me this is great because I wanted to get a PR (Personal Record) of around 58 minutes.
I figured if I kept it up I could absolutely go under an hour.  But I couldn't do it. I started walking. I was disappointed. I'd lost my group. I was running alone. Usually I walk for 1 minute every 10 minutes (or just under every 2km). I was beginning to walk 1 minute every km, and then I would get discouraged. At one point I texted my husband to tell him it was too hard. I've hit the wall before, but never felt it the whole race.
And then I realized, at some point, this was the race I've trained for.
Call me crazy, but if you're having a great day, going out and running isn't hard. But I wasn't having a great day. My week had been terrible. I was tired. I hadn't hydrated. This was a tough race. And I realized the battle here was finishing. It wasn't about hitting my PR. I knew I wouldn't. It was about running as much as I could and not giving up. It was about putting a smile on my face, and being proud of myself.
There will be lots of great races ahead. But, this one I will remember. Because I did it. Because I finished. Because I found something to push forward - when I wanted to sit down and cry.
So I did it. The time was 1:03. Not terrible - especially considering that a year ago a 10k was unimaginable.
But this ... this is what we train for. This is what 4am runs are about - knowing you can do it and believing you can. And believing it gets better.
November 18th is my 10 miler!!!!! YIKES!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

And yet you did it!! Yeah you! Applauding over here for going for it! I am not a runner and so admire all of you women out there kiciking butt:)