April 8, 2006
5-mile race this morning at (and for the benefit of) a supergreat cancer hospital on the campus of the University of South Florida. I was certain that 6:30 pace would be completely doable, and in fact my husband said I should try for better, so I thought 6:25 - 6:30 would be good. I have no excuses for what actually happened. It was 72F and humid, and there were some grades and just enough wind to be annoying in my face and sweat-inducing at my back, and I could not keep up with the folks in front of me so I ran mostly alone, but so fucking what. I've raced in all those conditions before, and recently too. The splits are a study in linear apathy: 6:24,24,53,57,7:07. I spent much of the race counting to 30 (not 30s but 30 strides) and then checking the GPS, trying to keep a steady pace but finally just hoping not to slow down any faster, if you know what I mean. The last mile I even made a point of trying to pick it up for 5 whole seconds every 30, and look where it got me. I was 4th overall and 1st masters, and since I'd only ever run one 5-miler before (in 2002) this was a PR, but I was Not Happy, even felt crappy accepting the award, though I accepted it anyway (how crappy, I suck). What the fuck is wrong with me. Suck, suck, suck.
Posted by joe positive at April 8, 2006 11:40 AM
Joe (can't you become Josephine Positive, or at least Jo, then I would always want to refer to you in masculine?),
Bad days happen, and it sounds like your head was wrong from early on. It's past, done, move forward. OK, you may want to try to evaluate whether you get into a hole by going too fast early, but there's no point to dwelling on it. If I were you (male, 46, mediocre), the two things I'd want to get right would be a slower start and improving mile 5. That 2/3 through slump is easy to do, but not dumping whatever's left as you near the line seems like the weakness. Without knowing your abilities, though, I'm only guessing.
Posted by: Scooter at April 8, 2006 1:09 PM
You may have had a bad race, but you don't suck. Stick with it.
Posted by: duncan at April 9, 2006 10:26 AM
You just ran a marathon PR, give yourself a break! If I had run a marathon that recently, I might be _thinking_ about resuming speedworkouts relatively soon and considering racing in a couple months. It sounds like your body bounced back freakishly fast from the marathon, but maybe this is just the delayed reaction. Go easy on yourself!
Posted by: Alison at April 9, 2006 12:56 PM
I like your writing style. Sharp and concise. I sympathized with the self-deprecation yet found the narrative amusing. It's even funnier in light of being Joe "Positive." Duality, reality. Please forgive me. See it as anonymous "hope-goes-better-next-time" encouragement with a smile. Take care, corrado.
Posted by: corrado giambalvo at April 9, 2006 2:14 PM
You so do not suck. I think you rock. But if you really thought it was a bad day, remember we all have em and I'd take one of your bad days anyday!
Posted by: Dawn (aka Pink Lady) at April 9, 2006 3:44 PM
Folks, I ran this race too. An incredible shame that Karen and I couldn't touch base, which is all my fault because I didn't have internet access all week and she had no idea I'd be there. Also, I had to leave immediately after the race because I was in Tampa on business, so I missed the awards. ARGH! Almost a chance to meet a fellow blogger.
I was disappointed with my time as well. It was ULTRA humid: 88% - 94% during the race period, corroborated by several nearby weather stations. That level of humidity is always a factor. My shoes were SOAKED at the end of the run.
I ended up winning my age group, and I never thought I'd do that with a 31:31. But given the course and the conditions, I'll take it.
You had a much better race than you thought, Karen. Next time I'll find a way to email you beforehand so we can commiserate afterwards together!
Posted by: stephen at April 9, 2006 3:51 PM