On Saturday, I ran the Fanny Freezer 5k. In the days leading up to the race, I was excited. My training has been going well. My pace per mile is improving every day. I can feel myself transforming each time I hit the pavement. I was ready. I was psyched.
Even after arriving at Shoaff Park and meeting up with my running pals, I was ready to kick this race’s butt, but just 0.75 miles in, I realized this was gonna suck. And suck it did. The cold air stung my face and burned my lungs, making me feel short of breath and exhausted. Snot started running out of my nose and down my face (yuck, I know!). I had some tissues tucked into my pocket, but I was so cold, I didn’t want to move my arms. That might sound extreme, but I am being serious. My whole body hurt. I was miserable.
Worst of all: I felt like I was being left in the dust. Runners of all ages were passing me and I couldn’t get going. I felt awful. I felt defeated. I wanted to quit. So bad. I actually played out the scenario in my head- I’d just take off down the street towards home and hope Jon found me eventually.
But somehow, I kept on trucking, putting one foot in front of the other. I kept on pace with my intervals and I finished the race. And this is what I looked like as I did. Sooooo cold!
Usually, when I get done with a 5K or 4 mile, I feel fine. This time, I was physically and mentally exhausted and burst into tears as Jon approached to congratulate me. I wanted to do better. I wanted to feel better. I felt like a failure. I questioned my Indy Mini goal for the first time since starting this journey. My running buddies surrounded me and lifted me with words of encouragement- and I soooo needed that in that moment. (Thank you Alec, Laura, Kevin and Scott!)
Once I got home and reviewed my pace information and final time, I realized I actually did well. I set a new PR for that course and distance, averaging 11:07/mile and finishing in 33:28. All the bad feelings were unwarranted. I allowed myself to lose faith in my interval system and get caught up in “beating” people I thought I should be able to beat. I forgot that my training is my own and my pace is my own. I let in all the demons and allowed them to beat me down. I beat myself out there.
I am so thankful to Jon and others who continually support and encourage me. And thanks to Kevin, who once again provides inspiration just when I need it. Today, he shared this blog post with me about the wall he hit at the Indy Mini last year. Thank you for sharing and thank you for encouraging me to write about my experience.
It happens to all of us. The most important thing is we keep going. We get back out there. We never give up. I am NOT giving up.