Back in February, I signed up for the Run On Party Pack. It consisted of three 5Ks and everything that each race included for free (tech shirts, hats, tumblers). The Santa Fe Trail 5K was the third and last 5K of the series.
The race fell on a Thursday and I was unsure even up to the day of the race if I was going to make the 45 minute trek to Dallas for the race. My concern was that the race started at 6:15 p.m. and I get off work at the earliest at 5 p.m.
Around 4 on Thursday, I made the decision that I’d try to get down there and run. At 5 o’clock sharp, I left my desk and changed my clothes. Fifteen minutes later, I was in the car and heading down to the race site near White Rock Lake.
Traffic wasn’t too bad, but I ended up parking at exactly 6:07 p.m. It was cutting it a little too close, but I got my d-tag on and started walking towards the start line. I could here the MC talking to the crowd. I was walking fast and trying to pin my bib when I turned the corner to here the final countdown. I was staring straight at the front of the start line with a bunch of runners counting down.
I started running to cross the street and head TOWARDS the start while runners started running TOWARDS me. Yikes. Not the way I wanted to start. I got my bib on and started fumbling with my iPod. I wasn’t going to cross that start line until my iPod was set up and I was ready. Unfortunately, I had no time to stretch. Bad move.
I crossed the start line with a few walkers and began running after the rest of the runners. I caught up to them pretty quickly. We immediately came to a ginormous hill. I got about half way up and decided to save my energy and walk the rest of the way.
It wasn’t the best area to run so I really didn’t have much of a view to distract myself from the task at hand. Since I was doing this run solo and I didn’t have any pockets, I don’t have any photos. I tried to shove my phone into my bra before the race, but had no luck since I have a pretty big Android.
The race consisted of one big loop once we hit the trail. A sharp turn led us back the opposite direction towards the finish line. I didn’t get too far on that trail when the side stitches started. Since I didn’t stretch or warm up in anyway, this was not a fun race. The humidity was too high for comfort as well and I was quickly having to slow to a walk.
This was definitely not how I wanted this run to go. I wanted to get under my previous 34 minutes. I kept at it though as the side stitches continued. I ended up having to alternate between jogging and walking. It started to drizzle and after the second mile my iPod screamed out “LOW BATTERY.” Great! If I didn’t start moving it, I was going to lose ALL motivation to finish this thing.
Luckily, I was able to find some pacers to run with.That’s the beauty of running races. You can easily find someone who has your same pace and keep up with them. You have the choice to kick it into high gear and pass by them or have an easy run and stick with them. I tried to stick with some people, but ended up having to walk a few times and lose them.
We made another sharp turn and I knew I was coming in to the home stretch. I could hear the MC calling out the names of people finishing and I knew he’d be saying my name shortly. I rounded the curve and saw the time at 35 minutes. I was a bit disappointed. The only thing going for me was that I crossed the start line well after the time clock started. Maybe there was still hope?
I ended up making my way to the car instead of heading to the post-race festivities. I just wanted to leave. As I got back to the car, I had to fight back some tears. I knew that I was being way too hard on myself, but I was just disappointed.
Disappointed that the race was at 6:15 p.m. I mean c’mon! I bet a lot more people would have done the race if they had pushed it back to 7.
Disappointed that I didn’t just stop and stretch for a minute. I wonder if it would have helped even though I was losing time.
Disappointed that I didn’t push myself and fight through the cramps and the humidity.
Disappointed that I struggled to control my breathing when I’ve really learned to control it on my regular runs.
I checked my official time last night.
I finished in 34:38. Not horrible considering since I started racing I’ve shaved a minute off my time. I want my pace under 11 minutes. That’s just not good enough for my standards. To help with that, I’ll be buying one of these very soon.
I’ve got good things to look forward to in the hopes of beating my 34 minute curse. The Undy 5000 to support the efforts to find a cure for colon cancer is coming up later this month. I’m looking into running a 4.2 mile race in December and a 5-miler on New Years Day.
I WILL beat that time. It’s just a matter of which race it will happen at.
Have you guys ever had a crummy race? How did you deal with it? Did it motivate you?