RETURN to RACING- TURKEY TROT STYLE!
So, I signed up for the Ashburn Farm 10K for this past Thanksgiving as it has been a race I’ve historically enjoyed. It is nice timing- not too early in the morning, not too late/ allows for a still FULL Thanksgiving day of time, it is well put together by a church in Ashburn, it is for a great cause of helping a school in Uganda, and I like that it has a 10K, 5K and 2K walk option- so nice for families and all levels.
I have been running still about 35 miles / week through the fall and trying to do one day a week of some focused intensity and intervals. *Of course, with the disclaimer of always keeping those intervals under the level of injury, as years later, I am still under the scrutiny of my hip and hamstring and what that will allow me to do.
I went into the race hoping to work hard in the race because this leaves me feeling the best for the rest of Thanksgiving- like I”ve really earned my relaxation (and FOOD!!!) But, of course, I wanted to show up, to see people I knew there, to have it FEEL FUN as well!
I drove by myself to get there and it was a GORGEOUS SUNRISE MORNING! I was so thankful that I was up and able to enjoy seeing the pinks and oranges of the sky. It was a reminder to me that sometimes, sleeping in is overrated! I literally will take a sunrise any day over sleeping in, and as I age, I seem to love my sleep more and more!
All the morning logistics done and race was about to start. Cold weather- I think about 35 it was? But it didn’t feel too terrible. I was worried I had overdressed since I saw some people in shorts and tanks?????? But, I knew to trust myself and my many artic layers😊
I lined up not at the exact front, but in first few rows a bit between 7 and 8 min pace markers. The race began and for the first 60 seconds, I was like, “ohhh these races are so good because the people you are around kind of keep you from going out too fast, and this feels right and good so yea!” And then the first minute was over and a few minutes in, I was like, “ok, this hurts and I don’t enjoy this feeling.” It felt like a 5K hurt, which I always experience as kind of a sense of panic in my body when my breathing hasn’t caught up with my output and I’m in a deficit. Since I’ve felt this before, I recognized it, but was worried because I thought I was really at a reasonable pace, had warmed up and gotten my legs and breathing ready for this effort, and I felt like this reaction was a bit on the other side of the line that I was wanting to play with. Even my ARMS felt a sense of fatigue. *Disclaimer- I do get this sometimes for 5K’s- like almost an initial tingling in my arms until I normalize and settle into mile 2.
Anyway, so I trusted my pace, kept at it, tried to mentally get a bit soft and feel a little bit of relaxation in my jaw, focused on good form and being efficient, gentle forward lean, fast arm and foot cadence, driving each other. Mile 2, my misery continued. I felt annoyed at this continuation. My thought was, “I don’t like this.” I didn’t really want to do 6.2 miles of misery and I felt like I should be more settled into my uncomfort. As I was wondering when that might happen, my mind drifted to when WAS the last 10K I had done (running/ not as part of a triathlon). And it has BEEN A FREAKING WHILE!! And then MY LIGHT started to kick in, realizing--- this feels this way because THIS IS WHAT I NEED! I haven’t DONE this and if I want to be BETTER AT THIS, I NEED TO DO THIS! I am fine going out and doing 1 mile intervals with a jog recovery, or sprints with x amount of walk recovery, these “known” workouts to my body’s system. BUT THIS IS IT, this is ME BEING OUT THERE, as we do… BEING VULNERABLE. SEEING WHAT IS AVAILABLE! SEEING HOW HARD WE CAN MAINTAIN, HOW LONG WE CAN MANAGE PAIN AND A BIT OF SUFFERING. HOW can we strengthen our minds to stay with the effort, to remain in the arena of discomfort and challenge and unknown. So, yes, I began especially by mile 3 to WELCOME this race of re-entering this place of being open to testing and hurt and work.
I stuck it out, and LOVED the race by the end. Oh, I was a bit miserable also. But.. I challenged myself as best as I could throughout the entire thing. There was about 60 seconds at mile 4 that I did back off for a little as I thought I was going to need a bathroom😊 BUT, I picked it back up and survived that as well😊!!
My splits (so that I can use for training and my next 10K which I am looking to plan) were:
7:22, 7:27, 7:32, 7:34, 7:44, 7:08, 7:24. 46:40 total time.
I honestly cannot wait for the next one.