There are a million reasons why the old me would have been mad about today's race
*Holy crap was that slow
*I didn't put myself in a smart place to run with a pack
*I lost focus while alone and splits were all over. 5:24-5:57
*Not a lot faster than my altitude 10 mile from years ago
*3 minutes behind my teammate
*Didn't make myself "hurt"
*ran a workout not a race
*wasn't top ten
The new me who has dealt with injury since December is a lot different I am beyond happy. Can't stop smiling happy. Here are the reasons why. The reasons I kept repeating in my head as the race was going on.
*3 months ago I wasn't even running
*i was only a bit slower than when I raced the ten mile in 2012 (granted it was a bad race for me in 2012 but I was also in great marathon shape at the time)
*yes I was 3 minutes back but I did catch a couple people
*i ran the whole race solo in the wind and I did not self destruct (this may be the biggest accomplishment)
*yes my splits were sporadic but I think it was more not remembering how to race than fitness. I'd get to a mile mark and see the split and run faster and next mile would be good.
*after 6 months of no racing I was still able to get 11th American. Not great but did I mention I wasn't even running.
*i feel like buying an Elliptigo was a justified purchase as it kept me in a spot to at least be a bit respectable after so long off.
*as much as I didn't want to run this race it gave me the fire to get home and just really get to work!
*For once I practiced what I preached. Told Chase to just have fun no matter what and the whole race his little voice kept reminding me to just have fun.
*i don't feel like I raced, I feel like i got a good workout in.
*i have a little bit of clarity as to what I want to do next.
*my knee did not hurt at all! No pain, no tightness nothing
*longest effort I've put in since before Christmas!
*my body still remembers marathon pace
What do I do now? I have been very hesitant to commit to any races. Do I want to jump back on the track and go to nationals? Do I want to race the half champs? Do I even want to race so out of shape?
The race today gave me a bit of clarity. I just looked into it last week and realized i already have a qualifying time for track nationals from my 32:48 last year, which makes me feel better. just knowing i have a little more time. So for now i think the best thing to do is register for USA track and field championships as well as the USA half champs. Stanford may be too soon for me to jump in to a 10k on the track. Yes it could get me a good effort and maybe get me a step closer to the shape I want to be in, but it could also end up with me having a bad track experience when I don't run what I want. I already have a love hate with the track I don't need to push it toward the hate side. My experience with track last year was
*I liked the first Stanford race
*the second (my DNF) seemed so intense
*Portland track festival was so much fun! They played music while I was running. I loved it made me feel more relaxed
*Than the trials were just an amazing experience.
So this year maybe instead of rushing speed and worrying so much I don't do Stanford and I do Portland again? For me the track is a place to get a PR right now I don't have PR legs. Could I in three weeks? Maybe but I could also do a fun road race between now and my next big one -the 25k champs. This gives me not only time but another race. For me I need to get back in and really remember how to push myself to the hurt zone. All workouts lately have been ok but even I can tell alone I'm just running hard and not pushing myself like I was pre injury. Maybe it is a little bit of being scared the injury will come back. Maybe it's just not remembering how to do it. I do know that is one thing I am really gonna work on before the 25k. Today I was smart, I knew I could not go out with the people I am use to racing with. I needed to be smart. Normally I race balls to the wall the first couple miles and just hang on as long as possible. Not being able to go out with my pack was so hard, I want that back. I want to race with my friends. Now that I know my leg can hold on I think I need to focus on getting me back. Today's race was just to test the waters, see just how out of shape I was and while I was worried I would just end up making myself more discouraged instead I found my fire! I hope to be back to myself on the roads very soon!!!!