How to Deal with a Disappointing Finish?

95 degrees, feels like 101.  Thats what my accuweather app read at the start of the fourth in the Race the Landing 5k series tonight.  Not exactly the recipe for a PR.

After a ridiculously hot past few days I knew this race was gonna be a doosie.  Walking up to the start, my friend and I were literally dreading it.

I started out feeling okay but didn’t make it far before realizing this wasn’t going to be my best.  At about 3/4 of a mile in I started to really feel the heat.  My legs felt fine but I felt my heart rate racing (up over 190 bpm according to the monitor) and knew I was doing the best I could with what I was given.  By mile 2 I settled in (to a much slower pace than I have been running) and was back and forth with one guy the rest of the race.  One thing I love about these small town races is what happen at the end.  With about .35 left, we were running together step for step but I always have a pretty good kick at the end.  He had been beating me the whole time so at about 1/4 left I told him to stay with me, lets finish together.  By the time we got to the finish line, neither one of us wanted to beat the other, we literally both slowed down to let the other one go, both almost walking through the finish line.  We both acknowledged each others good effort, cheersed our water bottle and headed our ways to meet up with friends.  These kinds of things are the reasons why I run and am proud to say I’m a runner; the compassion, camaraderie, motivation, understand of it all.

splits

I finished just less than a minute slower than last week (crazy what the heat can do).  Now I feel silly complaining about the rain, I would have taken that over tonight any day of the week.

Maribeth Finishing!

Maribeth Finishing!

Unfortunately, this was the first in the series that I didn’t place overall.  However, I got first in my age group and the age group awards were these awesome swords, so I am trying to view it as a win.

Age Group Awards

Age Group Awards

Its hard to finish a race and not make it a new PR.  But lets face the music people, every week can’t be a PR.  However, that doesn’t mean I should be a whole minute slower!  Dealing with that is tough, but it is important to realize all the factors that go into racing that are 100% out of your control.  I didn’t have any girls around me pushing me, the heat was insane, I probably didn’t hydrate well enough (however I could have control this).  I also let my head get in the game too much: I was hot, I got off pace fairly early, I knew I wasn’t close to placing as an overall female, I was thinking about the 7 mile pace run I have to do at 5:30 am tomorrow and all these factors made me decide to take it easier than I probably could have.

With one more to go, I will know I need to give it my all for the last one and hopefully I will be better prepared (mentally and physically) to do so.  I guess the best way to deal with disappointment is to take it to fuel you to work harder before the next race.

How do you deal with a “crappy” race?

Charlestowne Landing Race 2: A Lesson In Believing in Yourself

I’m not sure when I will wake up and respect myself as a runner.  You would think after running a marathon at 19, four years ago that that would have convinced me but it didn’t.  Or the 3 marathons and 4 halves that have followed.  Nothing really has been able to convince me I’m a “real runner”.

So with this mindset, I arrived with my friend Maribeth at the second in the 5k series to find many members of the local running group present.  I pretty much decided after seeing them that I would try to beat my time from last week and be completely content with no award this race.  No worries, bettering myself was good enough for me.

The race got started and I went out hard but comfortable.

Start of the Race

Start of the Race

My first mile I clocked in around 6:37 and was still feeling decent.  I kept pushing but started to fade at about 1.4ish, deciding to bump back to a slightly more comfortable pace until mile 2 was over.  Right around the mile 2 marker I saw the two girls from the running group about 30 yards ahead of me and another girl I didn’t know about 15 yards ahead of me.  I went to catch up to the last girl and planned to just draft for a bit and get my bearings before kicking in at the end.  She started to slow down and the two girls in front of us split so I sped up again to catch the second girl.  I caught her with the same plan to draft again but she had started to slow as well.  With the third and final girl about 20 yards ahead of me at this point I thought “This is good, I’ll take this spot right here.”

I rounded a corner with about 0.65 left and there was a girl from that group standing on the sidelines cheering.  To say she was shocked to see me in front of her other friend was a HUGE understatement.  She promptly yelled to her friend behind me, “Don’t you dare let that girl beat you!!”  Which may have been meant to fuel her friend but really ended up lighting a fire under my a$$.  I finished 3 seconds behind the first girl from that group and 38 seconds in front of the other.

PR by 30 seconds!

PR by 30 seconds!

On top of all that, I PRed by 30 seconds and got third overall female again.  I got a different picture/plaque thing this time which was cool.

splits

What I really got from this race was confidence.  I was in there with these girls that I view as “the real deal.”  I had put myself, in my mind, in a league far behind them.

So the moral is, give yourself a little credit everyone, guaranteed you are better than you think!!

Charlestowne Landing 5k

Last night was the first of a 5k series at Charlestowne Landing.  There are five races in the series that goes until July.  The race takes place a park in West Ashley, SC and it is absolutely beautiful.  We actually went to a wedding there last year!

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from myself for this race.  I haven’t run a 5k in 5 years so I was really winging it.  First off, I have to say it was so much fun.  By the time I was kinda hurting I only had a mile left which is a lot easier to power through than 6 miles.  It was also cool to start a race and not be thinking, in 3 hours, I will still be running.

I ended up running a 20:52.  This was by far a 5k PR.  I think my best time in high school was a 22:12 (maybe 21:12, I can’t remember, it was 8 years ago people)!

Splits

Splits

Not too shabby considering I had no idea I could run a mile faster than 7 minutes!!

On top of that, I got third overall female!! I couldn’t believe it!

Award from the race!

Award from the race!

Post race, I got a free massage, had a free beer and they had food but I wasn’t quite up to eating yet.  We did however stop and get some TCBY for a fundraiser on the way home.

tcby

I got banana and peanut butter swirl with a few chocolate chunks!  Delicious!!

So, overall success I believe.  I do wish I hadn’t started the series out so hard because it is just going to make it that much harder to get better!

Have you ever completely surprised yourself in a race?  Is it not the best feeling ever?

 

Something New

There is a local race series called Race the Landing at Charlestowne Landing that runs from May-July.  There are five 5-k races on Thursday nights through those months.  Each run has a different theme night with food and beverages after.  What could be better than than?!  The races are also held in a beautiful location…

ctlrunIt just doesn’t get better than that.  A few of my friends got married here about a year ago, it is gorgeous.  Also, if you register for all 5 you get them for the price of 4.

Sounds perfect right?

I thought so, with one little hiccup…

I have NO idea how to run a 5k anymore.  I looked up my Athlinks, the last time I ran a 5k was in 2008!!  SERIOUSLY?  I couldn’t believe it.

I know I can run a lot faster than a marathon or half, but I know that to my mind that will mean SPRINT, and I will be worn out in a half mile.  I will have to do some practicing with shorter runs and maybe start throwing in some speed work for sure.  I will probably run the first one to feel it out and then go from there I guess.  It will be fun to have something fun and easy to do for a few hot months before getting back into marathon training for a Fall marathon (potentially OBX).

If anyone has any tips for running a fast 5k without burning out early, help a girl out.