Monday, April 23, 2012

Back to the races.

So I did it!  I got back on that line and started my first race in almost a year.  The race was in Athens, Ohio.  It was a small one put on by a bunch of college students at OU that have a running club.  The race was not until 1 PM so leaves a lot of time for the anxiety to run high and crazy.  But me and mom left the house around 10:30 AM.  We got there before noon and they were still trying to get setup.  There was this girl around 15 or so with her parents and you could tell that thought she was going to win easily.  Her parents were asking questions about the course and all the question you ask when you think you will win.  After I got registered I went back to the car and my mom asked about knowing the course and I told her that won't matter at this race because I knew there would be plenty of guys finishing ahead of me and possibly this young girl.

When I warmed up I went out on the course and right away  I was like OH no.  (I am a number person and love numbers and splits just anything to do dealing with numbers).  I can't stand to run on a treadmill because I stare and analyze the numbers the whole time.  So when I start I look and BAM I run into a little mark that says .25 miles, all I thought was this can't be good, then I went farther and .5 mile was marked. DOH!  So I had to tell myself "No you are not going to look at every quarter mile split."  That I knew would lead to over analyzing things and me not staying focused on the race.

Before the race my lack of confidence was coming out BIG time.  I was looking at all these runners and thinking they can break 24 mins too (since that is the goal I had set for myself).  I just kept thinking I am going to get smoked.  I looked over to my mom and said I hope this guys take the race out hard because I am not today.  Normally I lead races overall in the first 600 meters or so that is how I love to run my race but with the lack of confidence I had decided I was not going to go out hard. 

Right before the looked around and then realized oh man some of this is going to be on thick grass.  And sure enough we got the warning to watch our ankles that there were some holes in the grass.  ARGH!  So the race got started and a lot of people took off really really fast.  I was relieved they took off fast but worried because there were a lot of people out front.  And the young girl was way up in front of me.  As we got going I would say she at one point before the mile mark had a good 15-20 second lead on me.  But I could tell she was falling apart as we approached the mile mark.   As we got to the mile mark in 6:42, I pulled up beside her and just kept trying to run, well she took off with me.  Then she kept pushing me off the side of the bike path (it's a 2 line bike path).  So I was getting frustrated and would try to slow down some and then she did the same.  Whatever move I made she was making along with me didn't matter whether it was a surge or slowing down.  So at the turn around of the 5k (out and back course) I knew I need to get a jump so I could be on the inside of the turn around so right before it I surged to turn around the girl standing there.  And that little move was all it took.  I never saw her again.  And in  the final results I think she finished a good 1.5 minutes behind me so the race at the end looks nothing like what took place during the race.  But I kept going forward and at the 2 mile split I was told 14:18 and I knew something didn't seem right but I really couldn't figure out what was wrong at that time. (Later after the race I realized that they put the 2 mile mark where the mile mark was so it was actually the distance of 2.1 miles)  I kept pushing on and saw where we had a quarter mile left where we go up on the grass so I knew it was almost over.  I pushed on but got a little surprise for the last few feet.  A guy near the end yelled out my time so I stopped thinking that is where it finished but I was wrong I had to go another about 10 feet or so, so a little unexpected break.

I finished the 5k on my watch at 21:20, but at the awards they announced 21:12, which was not correct.  So I am going with the time my watch said and not what they gave me.  So my dad and me were both wrong about the time I could run.  I was hoping to break 24 minutes and the day before my dad was hoping for 22:30.  After I ran came the lungs burning for not having ran hard in almost a year, it was like that indoor track feeling.  But worse were the allergies or sinus pain I was having.  I couldn't stop sneezing and my nose was going crazy and I had this pain in my nose it was on overdrive. 

We got the awards none of which I can use because they are all for places in Athens and it's not worth the over hour drive to there.  But oh well, the real goal was getting my first race done.  I am really happy and pleased with my race and being the first female but if I have to be critical about a part I had too many guys beat me.  However, these guys are all in a running group together in Athens, so it's not like they were just regular Johnny come lately runners.  But still I didn't like having that many guys ahead of me.  Thanks

Friday, April 20, 2012

Starting Anew with a Time Trial

So I guess yesterday was the day I that would help decide if I was going to race it or not.  I knew is was coming but I was dreading the day- "The mile time trial."  Back in March when I was first going to try to race again I ran the course in 6:38 and my splits were 3:21 and 3:17.  However, since then I have done 2 fartlek workouts of 30 seconds and a minute in length.  So really not much and I have taken quite a few days off in the between time.  So I set my goal to run around 7:15 and since the mile I do is almost always into the wind we said 7:30 if it was strong.

So I push off this workout until as late as possible.  Finally I get out and warmup the 3 miles to the mile time trial spot.  (It's a straight mile down one country road)  So I start to pick up pace as I am getting to the mile marker.  (I am extremely nervous because I knew what was lying on this time trial.)  So I take off as fast as I can, which isn't too fast, lol.  The check my watch to my normal marks, which none have any significance of importance and can all be determined from any different angle at any spot, but I still check, nonetheless.  When I got to one spot that I know I can run at 1:45ish and I was around 2 flat I was rather anxious.  But I pushed on to the half mile mark.  When I hit it the time read 3:15 I was like ok, now restart like you are restarting the time trial over again for the last half mile.  When I got to the mile mark I hit my watch and read 6:31, so that meant I finshed in 3:16 for the last half.  I was pretty pleased with this run but some of the enjoyment came froming thinking I had only ran a 6:48 last time.  So I thought I had improved a great deal but then got home and found in actualality I had only improved 7 seconds in a months time.

So if I choose to look at it like whoa you only improved by 7 seconds in a month that is not good at all.  But I know what I have been through and the struggles with my depression and the lows I have had recently and how many days this has caused me to miss and then fact that I had only done 2 workouts, one being 5 x 1 min and 6 x 30 sec, full recovery.  I really have to look at it and think it was a win.  Yes maybe the improvement wasn't as much as I had throught but I really think that given what I have been through it easily could have gone backwards.  As I stated my goal was around 7:15 I was clearly expecting it to have gone backwards.  So I have to look at it as 7 seconds is progress in the right direction.

So this leads to the decision of my racing this weeknd or not (It will be my first race in almost a year).  I have decided baring nothing goes wrong in the next couple of days that I will go ahead and race it.  My dad and I probably have different goals in mind, we haven't talked about it yet.  I am thinking getting to the starting line is the first goal in and of itself.  So that will be the first goal to reach, going to a race and starting it.  Next to have a time goal to shoot for I am going to go with something realistic that won't be too pressure packed.  I think I am going to set my time goal at breaking 24 minutes.  I am sure my dad will have a faster time in mind but that's a different story to deal with. 

So I guess we shall see how things go this weekend!?!  Good luck to anyone else racing!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Realizing No One Cares and Life

Wow it's been a hard time realizing that no one really cares about you besides your parents. I am trying to make a comeback with my running and to do that I need to first get to the starting line which means the first race back will be a 5k. This is huge for me. Getting to the starting line is going to take a huge effort, when you know you aren't in your best shape but have to start somewhere.

My life is all over the place lately. My training isn't consistent or hard/fast. My depression runs my life lately and most the time doesn't even allow me to go outside and run. Some days I try to force myself to go run when the depression is bad and I get about 10 feet down the road and break down crying and quit. This is the reason I have not ran a race is almost a year. Because I have lost all confidence is my running. When I start to get some confidence in my running(not that I am running fast, but that I am stringing a few days of training in) a bad day comes, which leads to a few more and then a streak of days off. So any confidence I had gets shattered again. This is the cycle I keep going through. And this is why I can't get myself is shape to run either ultras or to run fast. With my training or not-so-much training I can't get in shape to run fast and I can't get my endurance up to run far.

So I am just stuck in the same spot. So this is why I want to try to race this weekend. (I tried to race a few weekends ago but life got in the way again). I am very scared to race again because I know it won't be fast which could lead to some disappointment and possibly more setbacks. But I need to get in shape and racing has always been my way to get myself in shape. With life going so far down the wrong track I want to feel that super running high I get when I run fast. And this is the way that can lead to it.

So will I actually race or not? It's yet to be decided.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quote

If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams. ~ Les Brown

Will possibly write more on this later.....