Not the result I was going for.
My ride picked me up at 6:20, 35 minutes after our planned departure time. He reeked of smoke and looked exhausted. “We’ll get there on time,” he kept repeating as we sped downtown, ferociously accelerating and sharply breaking at every single light. I couldn’t control myself – “you smell like an ash tray,” I blurted out. He rushed to pick me up after a late night with the boys and “very leisure post-boozing pizza”. Awesome. He’s either a champ for staying true to his promise of driving me to the dirty Jerz, or a freaking idiot for thinking that was satisfactory. I digress from 2 posts ago.
I hopped out of the car and met Sarah to warm up, did a slightly faster than race pace stride 20 minutes out, and all of my dynamic warm up drills. Felt pretty good. Felt pretty smooth. Felt like I could rock this! Got a great position on the start line, flew at the sound of the gun, and steadily reduced speed (whoops!). Settled into a comfortable pace 800 meters into the race and hit the first mile at 5:26. A mile later I came to the realization that my comfortable was too slow. I was either going to A) suck it up, put my grown up pants on, and stop being comfortable or B) get nothing out of this experience. Ain’t nobody got excess time, love, heart, or dreams to throw away on choice B. I sped up, dug deep, talked myself out of dropping out, and eventually made it to the finish line.
It’s still not a time I am elated with, but I believe it is a tiny piece of a much larger plan – to build base and strength now, to run fast later. I can take it as a step in the right direction, 4 weeks ago I could barely crack 6 minute pace. Whose to say I can’t make another big jump before my next race on September 6th?
Yet through all of these experiences, I’ve learned to not live and die by race times. You have to enjoy the every day for the journey to be worthwhile. And I know I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and still be excited to meet my friends in Central Park for a long run! Happy training!