So, I went for a run in the park this morning. There happened to be 8,000 other people there.
Seriously…I wish I could say that I ran a race this morning, but I just can’t. I totally bonked. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but for some reason I am training a lot faster than I am racing lately. And it’s starting to piss me off.
Race: Scotland Run 10K
Date: April 3, 2010
Conditions: Warm (70*) and sunny
Mile Pace: 7:55
Overall place (all): 1,787 / 7,790
Overall place (females): 318 / 3,717
Age group place (F 25-29): 97 / 1,049
For perspective, a couple of weeks ago I did a 10K tempo run in the park, on course that was actually hillier/harder, and finished two minutes faster. And last November I did a 10K after three weeks of no training, fresh off of a marathon, and was almost 90 seconds faster.
Again, I have to ask…why do I bother to train if it doesn’t, apparently, make me faster?
I can think of a couple of things that might be “the problem” here:
- Overtraining. Possible. And I definitely have increased my mileage lately, and started adding more speed work. But 30-35 miles/week really is not that many miles. In my years of running I’ve done much higher mileage and handled it just fine. Besides , I intentionally took it very easy on the pace this week, so I should have been pretty fresh.
- Going out too fast. I know I go out too fast. I always have; “go out hard and hang on” has always been my most effective race strategy. But while that may work for a 5K or shorter race, it’s tough to hang on for more than a couple of miles. I probably went out a bit too quick today, hitting my first mile at 7:20; that’s on the faster side of my goal pace (I was shooting for a 7:30 average), but nothing crazy. Nothing that should have torched my legs like it did. When I’m just running a training run I don’t have a problem holding 7:20 pace. When I am in a race it feels like a damn sprint. So frustrating.
- Bad attitude. This may be the root of the problem. I don’t feel like I get overly nervous or keyed up about races, but I do know that today, somewhere around mile three, a little voice in my head started nagging me: This is hard. It doesn’t feel good. I’m not going to finish in the time I want, so why even try? Just finish. That’s good enough for today. And maybe it is. I mean, does it really matter whether I run 49:00 or 47:00 or 45:00 in my race? I’m not going to PR. Lots of people are going to beat me, even if I run the race of a lifetime. But it bugs me that I’m spending money and time and effort to do these things; I should be giving it my best effort. Clearly, I am not.
Sorry for the mini-therapy session. If any fellow runners out there have any ideas on how I can conquer my own subconscious and stop being such a headcase, I’d love to hear them!
In any event…it’s over and done. It was a beautiful day for running and I got a decent workout in. The hubs came up to the park to cheer at the finish line – as well as absorb some post-race whining, both of which were much appreciated. And I now have a very cool “Scotland!” baseball cap, courtesy of my race swag bag. Sweet!
Today’s EAT: Nothing to take your mind off of a poor race performance like brunch with bottomless booze, right?
Some friends are in town from Boston and we met up at The Garage for their jazz brunch with unlimited drinks. I had a lobster sandwich, a salad, and about seven (very weak) mimosas. Got some good vitamin C from the drinks, along with some vitamin D from the sunshine! Nothing beats patio brunches on a sunny day.
Today’s DRINK: Well, clearly I’ve gotten a good start to my day on this front. Not sure what the rest of the afternoon/evening holds, but I’m guessing we’ll end up out at a bar somewhere!
Today’s RUN: Race + warm up + warm down = about 9 miles.