Not every run will be a good one.
When you race as much as I do, inevitably some bad runs will occur on race days.
After the May Day half marathon, I took 2 full days off all exercise and went a bit easier on Sunday and Monday.
The Tuesday before the race, I met Kindal at the track for speedwork- our tradition. I woke up feeling a bit under the weather, but I didn’t want to let Kindal down and I *never* go back to sleep once I’m up, so I hit the track for some 800s and 200s. Maybe running would make me feel better?
I felt pretty shoddy Tuesday night and instead of loading weights on the bar at BodyPump, I loaded up on cold medicine, Nasonex, and sleep.
Thursday was race day, and once again, I didn’t feel so hot. The headaches and pressure got to me, and I took a nap after work (hooray for working from home- no commute means time to nap).
Clay and I signed up for the entire Race the Landing series, and since running and racing is my social time, I was going to do whatever I could to be there. I even ate a pre-race pop tart and drank some coffee at around 4 PM hoping to perk up (or rather, stay awake).
We arrived at Charles Towne Landing at around 6:15, checked in, and warmed up. I saw more ladies warming up this time. I guess other ladies saw the previous week’s race results and small field- or maybe they were just excited about fish and waffle fries as the post-race meal?
It was definitely the former, as times were much faster this week. The first mile wasn’t horrible. It’s downhill and mostly shade, until you hit the sun at the turnaround point by the gates. Yikes. I headed back and started feeling the heat and my head and quickly realized that this race wasn’t going to end well, and with two miles to go, it wouldn’t end anytime soon.
I slugged through the second mile, but mile 3 was the worst. The course had lots of curves and turns, and my headache progressed to dizziness- a combination of heat and side effects from medicine. I also ran slightly off the course and into the grass (oops). Coming out of the woods, I saw the parking lot of Charles Towne Landing. Too bad you circle the parking lot and it’s another .25 to the finish.
Even though this was my fourth time running this course, circling the parking lot before the finish felt like an evil trick.
I thought the race would never end, and I squeeked in with my worst 5K time in 2014- 23:59. The Thursday before, I ran a half marathon prior to the 5K and still finished 50 seconds faster- guess that’s how being sick affects running.
I got water and headed back on the course to cool down and to find Clay and some other runners to cheer them on to the finish. Clay was struggling, but his finish time was only off his last 5K time by 20 seconds.
After the race, we headed inside Founder’s Hall for food and entertainment from the band Second Honeymoon, along with the awards ceremony.
Race the Landing does the award ceremonies a bit different and starts with the overall awards, then announces older age groups, like the 70+ crowd. I was ready to head home but didn’t want to leave without the award and I wanted to see my friends get their awards too- Virginia even hit a post-baby PR.
Despite my personal worst 5K of the year, I won my age group and was one of the last runners called for awards- the volunteers were actually folding up the tables. Clay and I headed home to watch NFL Draft coverage (hooray for Clowney being the #1 pick), then showered and passed out in bed.
Not every run is pretty. PRs are always hard earned; sometimes just finishing is hard earned. Running is like life, and you have to take the disappointing runs with the good ones. After a few nightmare runs, you learn how to overcome them.
I’ve always heard not to fear failing, because failure is how we learn. Regardless of finish times, paces, awards, and personal records, every run or race is a learning opportunity. Despite my time, I had fun hanging out with everyone and finished injury free, ready to start training again and redeem myself. That’s the beauty of running and second chances.
It’s done, and I’m onto the next one.