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NYRR Mini 10K Recap

June 12, 2011

I honestly don’t even know what to write about this race. At first I didn’t even want to do a recap, but I decided I needed to write it down (or type it, whatever) to put it behind me. Also, I know the reality of racing and running is that every race cannot be a PR, and every race won’t be great. With the good, inevitably comes the bad. And this was bad.

This whole week, I’ve felt a bit tired and off. I feel a bit sleep deprived still from wedding/fun Memorial Day weekend and weekend trip to Villanova. I cannot remember the last time I just let my body sleep and not wake up without an alarm! I found myself drifting off around 9 pm this week, which is not typical. This should have been a sign that I needed more shut eye. Also worsened by the fact I had to be offsite for a work event at 7 am on Friday morning, the day I always try to sleep the most pre-race.

Most race days, despite the earlier-than-normal wake up, I feel amped and ready to go when the alarm goes off. I’ve always found this a bit surprising and lucky how good I usually feel race day. Well, yesterday I felt like I could have easily slept another 5 hours. I felt groggy and foggy as I made my coffee and breakfast, instead of fresh and awake.

I jogged my typical 2 miles or so from my apartment to the starting line as my warmup, and I was just about spent by the time I got there. The humidity (96%!) , my legs, my breathing, everything was bad and I just wanted to stop and go back to bed. Nonetheless, I checked my bag and made my way to the first corral. There was really no adrenaline as I stood around the starting line, I just was not ready to go.

My plan was to start conservatively, despite the flat first mile on Central Park West, and pick it up after 5K. I went out exactly as I wanted, but it felt extremely difficult. I kept trying to get into the groove but never really did. I saw my Central Park Track Club teammates ahead and knew I should be up with them, but I couldn’t really change gears to move up. Around the 5K mark I knew this race was not going to play out as I wanted to. Around the 4 mile mark I seriously just considered stepping off the course. My breathing was really heavy, I was gasping, my legs were lead, my head was in a fog, I wasn’t even racing. Why was I even bothering?

I guess the only thing I am proud of about this race is that I didn’t drop out. I am proud of sticking it out even though my time wasn’t going to be near my best, and I felt flat. I have never DNF’ed a race (except one high school track meet where I passed out..whoops). I am afraid that if I begin to think it’s okay to drop out when things don’t go well or as planned, it’ll just become a crutch.

My final time was 42:32, just about 2 minutes slower than I ran at the Healthy Kidney 10K about a month ago. I was pretty hard on myself after that race, knowing I am capable of breaking 40 minutes. Yesterday was even worse.

As much as I know everyone has bad races, honestly I was really disappointed and upset. I have been doing more track/speed workouts to get used to a good 10K race pace, took my runs easy this week to freshen my legs, but guess I just wasn’t fully rested and ‘on’. Again, after over 10 years of racing and running, I KNOW bad days happen. Still doesn’t make it easier to handle when those bad days do come around.

After the race, I was happy to spend more time with my CPTC teammates as we got food and ‘brunched’ at the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. This helped take my mind off the bad race for a bit, and reminded me that the reason I love to run is to have fun, and now, to be part of a team again! Still, I called my mom on my walk home and couldn’t help but tear up a bit as I explained how awful I felt.

I took a bit of a nap post-race, and finally stopped moping in time for a huge dinner at Mel’s Burger Bar with Dan! We got wayyyy too much food, but it was delicious! Spinach dip and chips, brisket chili, burgers (mine on toasted sourdough-yum!), fries, and chicken meatballs. OMG. Definitely walked home with a big food baby 🙂

Today, I got about 12 hours sleep (much, much needed) and need to run some errands: grocery shopping, returning a movie, cleaning, and going to a total body conditioning class at the gym. 16 Handles may or may not also be in the plan 🙂

While I wanted this race to be a big ‘bang’ before taking the next few weeks easy with running before starting my build-up for the NYC Marathon, it just didn’t happen. And I’m disappointed, but it’ll be okay. I’ll keep chugging along, and ensure I am well-rested and amped by the time November 6th rolls around.

How do you deal with a disappointing race or experience? Do you tend to dwell on it, or accept it and move on? I am generally really hard on myself, often much more critical than I should be. I definitely need to do a better job at moving onward and upward after a bad experience, but still learn from what went wrong. Note to self– as much as I can function without much sleep, it won’t make for a good race!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2011 6:41 pm

    Sorry about your race experience, Lindsay! I felt pretty much exactly like you did, if that makes you feel any better. Standing at the starting line, I just totally wasn’t ready to go. But we got through it and can put it behind us. I’m pretty excited for an easy couple of weeks and then to start marathon training (thinking of the positive!). Also, 16 Handles can cure a lot of sad moods. 🙂

  2. June 12, 2011 6:46 pm

    Awww girl! By most standards, you ran an awesome race, but you’re on a whole different level than little ol’ me, so I completely understand your disappointment! That weather was wretched, and you needed your rest! Just like you, I always try to get a lot of sleep two days before a race, because if I sleep only a little bit, two nights before, then race day I feel like crappppp! Such is the world of demanding jobs. Boo!

    Anyway, I hope you’re feeling better and can reflect on this knowing you ran a great race for these poor conditions.

    I ran in the “Great” Chicago Marathon of 2007 – the one where it was 80 degrees at 8 am in October. Yep, that one CERTAINLY didn’t go as I planned. I ran it a full hour slower than my first marathon, and after 4 months of intense preparation, I was pretty disappointed. I decided to focus on shorter distances for a bit, including 15Ks, which turned out to be my favorite distance. This year’s National Marathon helped me to prove to myself that I could still do it :-).

    You’re an incredible runner and I know that you know this was just a bad day for you. Next time, it will be better! Hold your head high!

  3. June 12, 2011 8:53 pm

    I’m exactly the same way. I’m way to competitive. I keep trying to tell myself that “running doesn’t matter,” but for some reason it does. I’m actually kind of embarrassed by my “wanting to be kinda good” at running.

    Anyways, since I started out so bad at running, I PR’ed pretty much every race. And now I don’t. And, of course, I get mad. Its completely irrational. So, after going all crazy on myself like “WHY DO YOU SUCK, MEGGIE?!?,” I try to look at the circumstances around the race and if it was my best effort for that day. I’m still working on being “ok” with that though.

    I ran 52:21 and my PR is 49:52 which I ran in Dec and thought maybe with all that marathon training I’d be better by now. I guess with my “only social running” plan the last 4 weeks, a marathon a month and a half ago, and the CRAZY humidity, my race was still “ok.” I did feel like crap for most of it though — heavy legs, felt tired by the first mile, etc. I’M BLAMING THE HUMIDITY! It gave me a good kick in the butt for NYC marathon training.

    Anyways, a race completed is still a good day and you can consider this one a mental victory for the books. You’re still an amazing runner – I can only dream of being that fast!

  4. June 12, 2011 10:57 pm

    Awww I’m so sorry about your race! It was a rough day out there. The humidity made it so tough, and it sounds like your life was so busy in the past few weeks. Not that this makes it any better, but Tony reminded me that 90% of our races in life won’t be PR’s but we still put forth our best effort for that day, which you did! I read this and was exactly what I felt about my own race, which was almost 2 minutes slower than Scotland as well. You have lots of great running to look forward to though and there are plenty more races this year. Plus marathon training starts soon!

  5. June 13, 2011 6:51 am

    Sorry it didn’t go as hoped. It sounds like there were a lot of cards that weren’t in your favor and at the end of the day, sometimes it just isn’t your day. I dealt with a ton of those races over the past 6 months and have been putting in the speedwork, miles, etc. It actually did pay off for me on Saturday but that’s after a few hiccups over the spring. Keep moving forward, you have the right idea:)

  6. June 13, 2011 7:56 am

    It sounds like a lot of people (myself included!) had similar sentiments as you…not that it makes any easier. It was a gross day and sometimes you just don’t feel it, which I’m sure you know from your history of racing! While it would have been an awesome race to have everything click right before marathon training starts, you’re still a strong runner with soooooo much potential!

    I’ve had bad races (even ones where I PR’d and still thought I ran terribly…), and I dwell on them for awhile and then move on. You can learn from these races and move forward, or you can think about everything that went wrong….I think it’s better to learn from the hard times to run better in the future. There will be plenty more 10ks to rock in the future. 🙂

  7. June 13, 2011 5:34 pm

    Lindsay I’m sorry – I understand how tough and disappointing races like that can be. Even when circumstances are beyond our control (feeling burnt out, needing rest, the weather, injury, etc) it doesn’t make it any easier to cope with it. When I look back at my last marathon I still shudder a little, just thinking about how terrible it felt and how upset I was to do so poorly. But I always need to bring myself back to the fact that every bad race experience makes me a stronger, mentally tougher runner, and the only way to have those races take on some positive meaning is by learning from them. Your body was definitely not ready for a 10k this weekend, even though you wanted to run one! Have faith that you will have MANY great races to come, and that your hard work will pay off when the day is right.


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