Gallery: Firecracker 5000 5K 2013

  • My official time: 25:10 (7:59 pace), overall 108/514 (top 20%), 4/47 in division (F/35-39)
  • Steve’s official time: 21:48 (6:55 pace), overall 42/514 (top 8%) 7/27 in division (M/35-39)

Race thoughts:

  • I knew this was a competitive race, but this stat shows how much: our last race in June had the same number of participants, but whereas Steve came in 14/514 overall and 1/26 in his division in that one, yesterday, he ran 7 seconds per mile faster and was only 42/514 and 7/27 in his division. Crazy.
  • After running 7:40 pace consistently in my neighborhood a few times this last three weeks, I was pretty devastated to see that I had run 7:59. I started out way too fast, with the rush of the hardcore competitors, and was startled to see my pace around 7:10 for the first third of a mile or so. I tried to slow down, keep my focus on my breathing splits, but eventually only the fact that I was “dying” is what slowed me down. I ended that first mile at 7:58 and never could pick up the pace after that. It was not my day.
  • I have been struggling for a few days with general anxiety, with being ridiculously demanding of myself, pressuring myself and self-parenting to a punishing degree. It really came to a head yesterday morning, right before the race. I was in the port-a-john and I caught sight of myself in the little mirror on the door. I had to actually say out loud to my own face “you’re okay, you’re fine” which of course meant I was TOTALLY NOT FINE. I ran this race with near full-on anxiety and it froze me in every way. My brain was going in some horrible directions. But, it’s okay. I will not wallow. I will learn from it and I won’t let it happen again.
  • When I went to check the results (last photo), I was surprised and pleased that I had placed. I was so disappointed with my pace that I thought “hey, that’s something to make me feel better!” BUT NO. These sheets were not anywhere near finalized. There were 47 in my age group, not 40, and the person who came in FIRST in my age group was not on this list (ummm, how?). So, we all waited around through the first half of the awards only to find out I got bumped. I came in 4th. I was frustrated and rather embarrassed and apologetic to our friends who waited only because we all thought I placed. 😦

Other thoughts:

  • I haven’t been deeply happy running in a good 10 days or more. Part of it is the heat sucking the joy away, but most of it is me feeling burned out. I’m not physically tired that I can feel; it’s all mental. I try to strike a balance between running for pure love and running for stats and times, but lately I am all about the latter. I need to find the balance again. The last time this happened (mid-April), I took a week of “rest” which, in my case, meant 11 miles in 5 days. After that I was running in bliss again. It was like hitting the reset button. I need another reset.
  • After I got home yesterday, I had a major perspective check that helped me immensely. A few times very recently I have sent people to my old sobriety posts (2010-2011 in my archive) and after receiving a bit of positive feedback from someone about it, I thought… I have no idea what those would even look like or sound like to a new reader, as I have not gone back and read it in over a year. So that’s what I did yesterday afternoon; I read it from beginning to end (not that many posts – only took me an hour). Wow. I forgot. Three short years and I forgot how filled with pain and anxiety and sadness and desperation my life used to be and how poor, disgustingly poor my health was. I needed that perspective. Nothing could have driven home the point more that I need to stop being so hard on myself. Better runs will come. I had a bad one and it’s nothing to beat myself up over. I am enough. This life I live now is enough. I mean, by comparison? Damn. I don’t know when I stopped remembering to be so grateful, but… damn.

Order of the weekend: more good food, lots of husband time, low mileage and sleep. Clarity and calm will return. Next week I’ll probably be insanely happy runner girl again. I know this. So it goes…

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