I was originally supposed to run in the Pajama 5k in Charleston. I had won the entry on Active, but then Stephen was going to have to work… As it turns out, last minute that was not the case but with a baby, you can’t just make last minute plans to go out of town for the night. So, I did what anyone in my running mind would do, I found a local race.
The Race to Save Hearts is a charity run, with all proceeds going to the American Heart Association. It started last year, Rachel McFall put together this run to honor her mother who she had lost to a heart attack just a few months prior to her 50th birthday. Rachel was in high school when her mother passed, and it is inspiring for such a young lady to want to organize this event to raise awareness of Heart Disease.
Last year at this time I was just days from giving birth to Gabriella, so I did not run in this race. This year, I thought fate may have stepped in, I felt this was exactly where I needed to be. I lost my father in 2008 to congestive heart failure, he was diagnosed with heart disease when I was 10, at which time he was 38 years old. The doctors gave him 2 years to live. He of course being Irish and stubborn lived until he was 62, and even then – he was gone too soon if you ask me. My dad had a plethora of ailments; heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity – secondary ailments of peripheral neuropathy and edema, so bad he could barely get a shoe to fit. It’s hard to lose a parent, regardless of how old you are, but I felt for Rachel as I heard her story, and I wish her all the best.
|I kept telling myself…|
The morning was COLD, like 42 and windy. I had hopes of cranking out an awesome race, dreaming of a PR (it’s been a while since I had one of those), upon arriving to the cold wind, I was beginning to think, perhaps not. It didn’t take long before we decided that the crisp wind was just a little too much for the baby, so Stephen took her back to the car before the race started. Unfortunately, the weather also kept the number of participants down to probably the number of degrees it was outside.
As I got to the start line, I popped my headphones in and press play… nothing. Not a light, not a flicker, nada. Awesome. I hate running without music if I am runnign by myself. I needed Eminem to keep me warm today and I was left with nothing. Then we got the Get Ready – Bang! and off I went, eager to make this a PR. I started off WAY too fast, and did I mention for some unknown reason, I didn’t bother switching my orthotics to these shoes? Duh. I felt good for the first mile, averaging a 9:13, but then I hit a wall and mile 2 was 11:27 avg pace, mile 3 little improvement, 10:48. The last 10th of a mile I kick in, but I was mentally destroyed. Final time, 32:25 with an avg pace of 10:26. My slowest time since my first race at 8 weeks postpartum, and before that, well never. How depressing…
Could I be losing my mojo? I need to get back on this ‘horse’ so to speak, kick it up a notch and get off this lazy train. I have become complacent. How could this have happened to me? Well the real question is, regardless of the how it happened – how do I fix it? I will mention here that I did place 3rd for my age group, remember there were like 40 people who showed up, so my odds were pretty good. I hate that I went in wanting to do so well and I kinda sucked… bad.
What does this really mean in the grand scheme of things? Simply put, S%#t happens. sometimes you just have a crappy run, sometimes you haven’t hydrated, haven’t trained or even haven’t rested enough… and sometimes you’ve physically shown up to an event where mentally you’ve hung the vacancy sign. Regardless of the ‘why’ of this race, I’ll lived to run another day (god willing). So I will do what I would advise anyone else to do. Put your big girl panties (or big boy briefs) on, and just try again. It’s not the end of the world, and since I am sponsor free, I have nothing to lose… I just need to swallow this craptacular race like liver & onions, and move on. Remembering only that I want to do better, figure out what changes I need to make, and then execute.
So my point? Keep going. We tend to hold on to the bad outcomes a lot longer than we do the good. It’s not always going to be your day, or your race but it is just one race, it is just one day. Mentally we need to train ourselves to accept our shortcomings as a natural part of life. Draw from them, the learning experiences they can offer, and toss the rest to the side. We can’t always be the best at everything, but we can give everything our best.
For the record (after checking again): my iPod was completely charged, apparently there is a lock of some sort (I’ve owned this thing for oh, almost 4 years and never used a lock) and unbeknownst to me, it was locked…ugh.