Run!, Slacker

Hell Y….eah????

I am a runner.

Or am I?

On Thursday evening I went for a run around the lake path, a route I’ve probably put hundreds of miles on over the years.   Some short, some long; it’s still home to my fastest unofficial 5K and once held a race that actually gave me my one and only first over all female win.

However that was years ago and this was not a race.  All my runs start with at least a 1/2 mile walk.  I know it drags down my overall pace but it’s how I warm up so I don’t care.   Much.  On this night I passed a woman running that I had never seen there before but let’s be honest I recognize the dogs more than the people.   We passed each other going opposite directions during my warm up walk.  We later passed each other again once I had started running.    Only this time she yelled “hell yeah” and gave me a high five.

At first it made me smile… then I started to wonder.   Was it a “hell yeah” in runner solidarity or do I just look so damn new out there? More like a newborn fawn these days than a runner?

I’ve made no secret that I’ve been riding the struggle bus since Big Sur.   First my back and hips were causing issues then my left foot has been a jerk for the last month.  Motivation has been lagging. Hell, the scale has hit the highest number I’ve ever seen. Oh and random asthma attacks have joined the party.

I don’t really feel like a runner anymore. I feel like a fraud.

Running is hard. Getting out the door is hard. Not giving up is hard.

I think that’s part of why I like the medals so much even if that seems petty. They remind me that I can do harder things. They’re a visual I can hold onto when I’m struggling through a 4 mile run. But then that also frustrates me. Why is it so hard??

I don’t want it all to be easy just a little less huffing and puffing would be nice.

I’m not new. But I am. I’m a runner… even on the days I’m not.

It’s one foot in front of the other, right? And repeat.

Run!, Slacker

10K Thursday

10K’s and I have a rough relationship.   4 years ago today, I lined up at the start of my 1st 10k.  It was my third race, I had previously run a 5k and a half marathon.   Having run a half, I figured how bad could a 10k be?    Umm, yeah.  I actually had this post planned this week without realizing the date.  Timehop can be so helpful sometimes. Or eerily psychic.IMG_0455I am smiling in this picture but this race was rough.  I had planned on running it withNikeC but she was so much faster than I was.   My training at that point was best described as non-existent.    She pulled ahead of me fairly quickly.    I don’t remembermuch other than I walked a lot and generally felt exhausted.  At one point during an out and back portion, I passedNikeC on her way back and she cheered me on.  I probably grimaced.  She texted me a few moments later to let me know I wasn’t last.    At that time in my racing, I was obsessed with not being last.    So I hung on to the finish.   I actually finished that race in the time goal that I set for myself -1:12 but was so disappointed.   For some reason it made me feel defeated and irritated.  I couldn’t understand how I had finished 13.1 miles 2 months previous.  I felt fried.   I think I took the next 2-3 months off- zero running.  Looking back I am not even sure why, but that feeling stayed with me for a long time.

Don't I look ready to race?  Ha!  Pre-Talley
Don’t I look ready to race? Ha! Pre-Talley

A long time.  That first 10K was May of 2011.  My next 10K was June 2013.   Every time I saw a possible 10k race before that, I thought hell no.  I finally decided to try another one, granted getting a comped entry helped.  🙂   So early one June morning, I headed out to Talley Vineyard for attempt #2.    I told myself anything around 1:05 would make me happy.  Right before the start, my mother dared me to break an hour.  The incentive?  $50.00.   I laughed.  I also didn’t anticipate that running in a vineyard was more like trail running and I was not prepared for that.   That said, I crossed the finish line in 59:11.  Hell yeah!

I ran 3 more 10K’s in 2013- 57:17, 55:57, 56:21.   I began to think I liked 10K’s.  A little less crazy than a 5K but only half as long as a half marathon.    I thought it could be my new favorite distance.  I went into 2014 with this mindset.  First up was the Heart & Sole’s 10K– 55:40.  This still stands as my PR but it was rough.  5 of the 6 miles, I felt like my achilles was going to snap.   I even stopped to stretch it out at one point.    It hurt.    Next up was Bands on the Run– 59:28.  The race where I phoned it in.   I was mentally not there and it felt rough.  I also hadn’t put it together yet that humidity triggered my asthma and with a race on the beach you get lots of humidity.   Oops.  Then there was the disaster that was the HOB Fun Run 10K– 1:08:03.   That September when I finally admitted I had to back off racing because my system just wasn’t tolerating it.   Stupid stomach.  IMG_4867So out of 7 10K’s run, 4 have been less than stellar experiences.  Where am I going with this?  This Saturday, I am running Bands on the Run again.   I haven’t really raced a 10K since Heart & Soles’ and I don’t think this will be a real race.  I have no idea what time to even shoot for.    I am hoping to use this as a tune up for next month when I run Talley again.    But I don’t want to phone it in either.    The course covers pavement, the high school track, a dirt trail, soft pack dune sand and hard pack wet sand.    I don’t think I could PR it even if I was in tip-top shape.    That damn dune sand takes a lot out of you.   🙂    And that’s ok, I want to enjoy the scenery and the music this year and not feel frustrated with myself.    That said, :59 and below would be awesome but we’ll see.

This popped up today too, is the world trying to tell me something?
This popped up today too, is the world trying to tell me something?

Speaking of the beach, I’ve run 4 races on the beach but this time I have shoe options.    So what do you think?  My normal shoes, trail shoes or my lighter weight pair of shoes?

Thoughts on 10K’s?  What’s your favorite distance?

Anyone racing this weekend?