29 weeks ago I ran my marathon debut, where, in addition to running tactically stupid and blowing up, I gave myself a stress fracture. So to say I was excited to finally race again would be an understatement.
Well sometimes excitement is not enough.
The result: 12:42 (4K) for 9th. 1 place worse than when I rolled out of bed to run this event on the fly last year (to be fair, this year was 45 seconds faster).
If not apparent already, I am NOT pleased with that result. Brad expects me to run faster than that pace for a half-marathon this fall, and he knows what he's doing. So yea, sh***y result. But the truth of the matter is that it's less the result, and more the performance, about which I'm unhappy.
Races can go poorly for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's racing stupid. Sometimes it's not being mentally tough, and I've certainly been guilty of both. Today, well, today it was just being flat. Even after a nice warmup, drills, and strides, I was just flat. Still, I stepped on the line hopeful that upon the firing of the gun, my legs would wake up, and I'd be able to tear it up. Sadly, they did not.
The purpose of today, in my mind, was to remember how to mix it up and make myself hurt. And I didn't really achieve either of those goals. Don't get me wrong, this is not an excuse; I gave what I had and achieved discomfort, but as many in this audience understand, that's not quite the same as real race hurt.
This is all to say, my first race back didn't go too well. So what? I know my training is just starting (I fully understand why I felt flat!), and the goal is to run fast over 21.1K, not 4K, come fall. And today did pass the most important test, that of being able to toe the line healthy. That's not nothing. So I'll content myself with that little victory today, knowing that there will be many bigger ones to take in the future.
Just hope that I don't have to wait another 6 freakin' months!