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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Race Report: Memorial Day Dash 5k

A Race Report in Three Acts.

Act 1: The Setup.

Set yourself on fire-
Seek those who fan your flames.
-Rumi

I am a total pansy. When the going gets tough, instead of getting tougher, I usually throw my hands up in the air and make up some excuse or whine and bitch and give up. It sucks. I really want to be one of those runners who lays the hammer down and then when it feels impossible to keep going at that intensity, they burn through the pain and keep going. I WANT TO BE LIKE THAT. And truthfully, I think my body is definitely capable of it. But my mind, my mind is one lazy, fucked up sonofabitch.

So, in an effort to "toughen" up my mind, I want to race more. I want to push myself more to prove to my brain, that yeah, you lazy piece of shit, you can keep going and you won't die (hopefully).

I picked out this 5k a few weeks ago and realized that my runner partner/pacer Steve was unavailable to pace me on race day. Now, most normal people would just take their self-motivated bad asses to the start line and race on their own. Yeah, not me. When I found out Steve was unavailable I immediately asked my super fast bad ass runner boyfriend* if he would kindly slum it for me pace-wise and pace me for the 5k. Admittedly, I felt kinda bad. I mean, I kinda hated to have him pay the money for the race to leisurely jog around for 3.1 miles with me while I raced my heart out. But, obviously not bad enough to keep me from asking. He easily agreed.

 Act 2: The Race.

It became pretty clear on Monday morning that conditions weren't exactly PR friendly. The course is pretty whacked and has one good hill and a few other hills and it was about a bazillion degrees outside. Despite that, I came to race. No matter what, I was going to run as hard as I could. And, I realized with about one minute till the gun went off, even if I wanted to back off, I couldn't. Not with my boyfriend pacing me. I might be a total pansy, but I certainly don't want to look like one in front of him. This meant one thing... I was fucked.
Public Service Announcement: Don't run with your eyes closed.
Not because it's dangerous, but because you look like a
jackass in the race photos. 

And holy motherfucking shitballs was I fucked. I was racing my ass off and it felt awful. A mile into the race I really thought I was going to throw up and was contemplating whether to stop to let myself yak or to just try to do it while still running.

I became that exact person in races that I absolutely detest. That disgusting runner who is breathing heavy/sighing/grunting/moaning/throwing dagger eyes at the little kid who kept sprinting past and then stopping in front of me. I was a complete and utter trainwreck out there.
 This is the face of death.
Running next to the face of EASY PEASY.
(Around mile 1.5ish)

KoB was great though. He kept telling me I could do this and that I was doing this (by "this" I assumed he meant DYING, cause that's what "this" felt like). I couldn't even respond. I think I told him once that I was going to throw up, and I'm sure I grumbled about feeling like death (to which he would respond: Good!). But mostly I was just grunting and moaning and gasping for life.

One of the best things he told me was that I was okay and that it was supposed to feel like this. I needed to hear that. I needed to hear that it wasn't supposed to feel like kittens and ice cream. It was a good reminder that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. (Even though it felt like shit). And it kept me honest.

I had no idea what my time was going to be. I didn't think I was running fast enough for a PR, but it sure felt like hell, so I thought that maybe I was.

Act 3: The Finish.

Turns out my finish time was no where near a PR. But you know what? I didn't even care. I ran as hard as I could and I never quit. Sure, my splits got slower (I was dying) but I never consciously slowed down. I kept fighting (and grunting) till the very end. And for me, that is a HUGE success and something to be very proud of!

Epilogue:

While I never looked like a total pansy by backing off in front of KoB, I'm still pretty sure I embarrassed the hell out of myself with my utterly unattractive grunting and obnoxiously heavy breathing. Oh well.

Thanks KoB! You helped me kick the shit out of my lazy ass mind.

The End.

*I know there should be some commas in there somewhere, but I give up**.
** See how goddamn lazy my mind is? Jesus.


6 comments:

Carina said...

Love that. And I've looked at enough race photos to see that one is on one heck of an incline. Ugh. If you have a marginally solid 5k PR from a winter race, it's really tough to beat it in summer conditions unless the winter course was really hilly and summer was really flat or something. But you ran hard, that's what matters. Nice job!

Katie said...

ARRRRRRR!!!


that is all

chacha said...

5Ks are so painful. The only good thing is that it's over quickly. But man, the pain is intense for 20-25 minutes.

Tanya said...

Both of KoB's feet are off the ground in that first picture, so you must have been FLYING!

JEM said...

Awesome!!!! I have laughed my ass off reading this. Everything you said is soooo true.

Anonymous said...

Great job pushing yourself! Yes, "racing" a 5k is definitely painful! It's over quick, but it really is 20-25 mins of pure pain! Lungs on fire, legs on fire, everything just hurts, it's a great way to teach yourself mental toughness.