Wednesday, July 30, 2014

breaking in the singlet

On Saturday, July 26th I ran my first race in my shiny new Oiselle singlet. It was amazing. Well, the race not so much I guess, but racing in the singlet was everything I had hoped for and more. The race was a 5k in Somerville, MA called Running on the Streets of Gold. I ran with my totally awesome teammate, braid twin, and new friend Rebecca. She picked me up around 7, after I made her wait in the parking lot while I finished gathering all of my stuff. I am a terrible packer and planner, I am great at throwing things in a bag last minute. 

at least I have an awesome new spike bag to throw it all in

We got to the race early so we would have time to do about a 15 min warm up, get our bibs, and braid some hair. Thankfully, I perfected the art of the french braid at a young age. Also thankful I was able to share this skill with Rebecca on Saturday. When we got to the race we were pretty surprised by the number of people. There couldn't have been more than 20. We weren't sure if we were in the right place until we spotted the porta potties. We were able to grab our bibs pretty quickly, along with a fresh copy of Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul. Definitely the first time I've gotten a book at a race! After we got our stuff, we ran just under 2 miles to warm up. The sun was already warm and the humidity was already making things sticky. My singlet was soaked before the race even started. 

I look half asleep because I was...
(picture stolen from Rebecca)

Once we returned from our warm up miles, there were many more people lined up to get their bids and take a trip to the porta potty. After some delayed announcements, the race finally got started close to 8:30 (it was supposed to be an 8:00 start). It was their first year doing the race, so we cut them some slack. I went in to this race not knowing what to expect. Of course, I always want to shoot for a PR, but even more importantly I want to walk away knowing I gave it all on that day. Training lately has been extremely up and down with the weather (heat and humidity is NOT my friend). I also very rudely woke up at 2:30am Saturday morning and was not able to go back to sleep. I finally rolled out of bed around 5:45 and hoped some extra caffeine would give me some wings. I knew very early on this would not be the case. Rebecca is a super speedy bird. I knew she would be running much faster than me, even on my best of days. My thought was I would just try to keep her in sight as long as possible. It didn't take long after a couple turns, and some hills before I could no longer see her. I was flying solo and feeling pretty beat up. 

I had two options. I could give in to the pain, slow way down, and just use the race as a training run. Or I could embrace the pain and push on knowing I 'only' had a couple more miles to go. I chose the latter. I knew if I completely gave up I would be really upset when I finished. So, I chose to push forward and give the most that my body could at that moment. Near the finish, the course did a weird little out and back and I was able to see Rebecca in the distance still running strong. It gave me a little boost I needed to finish strong as well. 

I crossed the finish line at 23:47. Not even close to a PR, but not my slowest 5K either. It was however a fun day with a great teammate. I'm starting to understand that just because every race doesn't result in a PR, it doesn't mean every race that doesn't result in a PR is a bad race. Racing is fun because it's a challenge. You can't predict how your body will perform on any given day. You can only keep challenging it and hoping for great results. All I can ask of myself is to give my best in that moment. I want to walk away from each racing knowing I gave my best. Thankfully, I can say I gave my best effort at that time, during that race on Saturday. 

after we run...we drink coffee!
(again stolen from Rebecca)

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