Today was my 2nd slowest 5K ever. Grr. How did I regress that bad?
Lilies for Lily 5K in Neffsville the afternoon after I ran the MHA Ladies 5K, convinced that I would break that 30-minute 5K barrier I've been trying to bust through. It's the first race I've ever ran by myself, without a support system there. I just wanted to better my time, not make a whole day out of it.
(On top of that, it was for a great cause. Lily is a 7-year-old who had a choking accident and now suffers from brain damage due to the incident. The 5K was put together as a fundraiser to help her family with medical costs. You can donate to the organization on the Lily Grace Higgins website or through the Lily Grace Higgins Fund Facebook page.)
These past two weeks since the MHA race, I have been absolutely off my game. I have only ran once since then and my diet has just gone to crap with the last weeks of school. So many social things, so many bad choices. I figured it wouldn't hurt that much since a typical workout for me is a 5K anyway.
I showed up this morning, feeling pretty confident... stretched out really well, something I don't usually do. I started at the very front of the pack to make sure I didn't get stuck behind anyone and could just do my own thing. I was SO proud of myself because my first mile was 9 minutes and 43 seconds. WOO! Fastest ever.
Then my body shut down.
I was cramping so bad that with every strike of my foot on the pavement, my abdominals hurt. I could feel them jiggling. I couldn't catch my breath or take in breaths that felt deep enough because of the humidity. I started to walk hills. I was just done. I wasn't mentally there and I wasn't feeling my best physically.
About halfway through, I got a giant bug in my eye and ran the last half of the race trying to fish it out. I was moving slowly as it was and I didn't want to stop dead in my tracks to figure it out. (I didn't get it out until I was in the car, by the way.. gross. Just a big ol' gnat.)
The last 3/4 of a mile were fantastic, looping back around to where we started on a nice downhill grade. I really pushed myself through the end, but was so pissed when I turned the corner and saw the timer.. it was at 36 minutes and I came down to the finish, crossing at just over 37 minutes.
What the hell.
I was so angry with myself that I couldn't even be proud of the sub-10 mile that I started with and had worked so hard to nail. Had I kept up that pace, I could have gotten very close to breaking 30 minutes.
I'm going to use today as a lesson. I learned that:
1. Nutrition plays a huge part in my running and I can't forget that. Whether I'm training for faster 5Ks, longer runs, or even Zumba, I can't let that part of the puzzle slide.
2. Humidity and I are not friends. Therefore, I need to get my ass outside more often and run through the humidity, even if it's just one or two mile runs.
3. No more wine the night before a race. Need I say more?
4. I can totally run a sub-10 mile and not die.
5. Races are just as doable when you do them by yourself.
6. You can't go two weeks without running and expect your best time.
7. I freaking hate hills.
8. I need to stop being afraid of hills.
Saturday is the Tiadaghton Run, a race I've wanted to do forever. My parents' house is on the race course for this and I've spent so many summers watching people run past, wishing I could do it. I signed up for it this year and have decided to run the 10K. It's a pretty hilly race, so I am telling myself that I will haul ass walking up the hills and nail it on the downhills. I have to control the food this week and make sure I get out twice to keep myself rolling. Friday will be an off day because I have 6 Zumba classes and at leat 2 runs this week... that's a lot of working out in 4 days!