So, yesterday, I took on #3 of my November "to-do" list and ran the first of three shorter, local races I have on the books for this month. After having run a marathon in October, I have been looking forward to racing a 5K. There is nothing like gearing up for a race knowing that I will be done in about 20 minutes versus 3+ hours. It was a cloudy, chilly day, one of the few we've had all fall (which is nuts, but I'll take it). I warmed up with a friend/fellow coach and he very generously lent me his ear as I vented about some frustrating issues I'm currently dealing with at work. I have a few things I'm working through and this is about the third time in a week that I have bounced my thoughts off of him. As I'm writing this I'm realizing I should buy him lunch or a beer or both. Anyway, this race, in particular, is always fun because it's held in Lexington, which is where I coach, and I get to see a lot of my runners who typically volunteer before, during, and/or after the race. It's a treat to hang out with my girls without the pressure of practice or a race looming over their heads. I also get to catch up with some of the parents, many of whom run the race themselves, while their daughters cheer them on, which is really cool. At the start, I was feeling good. I had infused myself with as much 'high school girl energy' as possible and as a result was feeling quite bubbly. So, off we went. As I pushed myself through these 3 short miles, I was reminded why I like the longer, slower marathon distance in comparison to the all out sprint of the 5K. Grass is always greener, right? In the end, the race was, um, fine. I ran most of it with the same friend I had vented to earlier and then, well, then I just kind of lost my drive as he pushed on to the finish. It was a hilly course and by the start of mile 3 my legs were toast. But, that wasn't what took me down in the end. It was my mind. I wanted to push. I did. But at the same time, I didn't. Don't you just love running?? My time was okay. Not my worst, but far from my best. Like a "over a minute" far. Post race I hung out and chatted with friends, other runners, and parents which put me back in a good mood. Then I headed off to cool down on my own. As I shuffled along, my head swirled with many thoughts including but not limited to:
~ that was fun.
~ that kind of sucked.
~ where has my speed gone?
~ well, I did just run a marathon 3 weeks ago.
~ but I should be able to crush a 5K after a marathon, right??
~ maybe I still need more time to recover.
~ clearly I need more track work.
~ why do I even do this?
~ because I love it.
~ but I kind of hate it, too.
~ get a grip, Rebecca.
This morning, I got an email from my friend and fellow runner, Robin A. She had forwarded a list from the another mother runner site titled '10 Things I Wish Weren't True About Running'. Her timing was impeccable. When I read it, I felt as though it was written specifically for me; particularly the quote at the top of this post. It is so hard to see eye to eye with running. Every day is different. Every race is different. Some days are harder than others. Some days I just...don't...get it. And yet still, EVERY DAY IS THE DAY. And so I run.
Listen to this:
Easy to Love - The Jezabels