Monday, 20 October 2014

D is for Disappointment

On Saturday I ran an impromptu local 10 k race, the Kimberley Vodacom Half and 10 k.  I didn't even know about the race until the week before, but decided to enter anyway, since a) It could serve as a learning experience for my goal 10 k race in December, and b) I've been lacking in the motivational department since my half-marathon in September, and I knew that signing up for a race would help me get out the door for a longish run.


The route map.  See one of Kimberley's big diamond mining "holes" on the right.

Can we just talk about this crazy weather we're having for a second?!  It's almost November and it's still freezing...  And I live in Hotazel Kimberley!  I'm so over freezing my butt off at race starting lines.  No really.  I shamelessly lined up with a t-shirt and a warm top, and only took the top off during the final kilometre of the race (and only so that I wouldn't be disqualified for not wearing a race number - I wore my number on my t-shirt under my top).  Sheesh!

This race was a huge disappointment for me.  I didn't plan on running a PB, but yet, after clocking some very good (for me) times in a recent 10 k trail run and half-marathon, I was kind of hoping that my "normal" pace had somehow gotten a little faster.  But it hadn't.  I'm still stuck on the old 53/54 minute 10 kays like a one-pace donkey.  Pfffft.

What was perhaps most disappointing, is the fact that I ran really, really hard, just to finish in a poofy 53:04.  You know when you run so hard that your throat hurts and you get that bloody aftertaste in your mouth?  That's how hard I ran.  And yet I didn't even come close to a PR (51:17), never mind a sub-50.  Sniff-sniff.


A disappointed little half-smile.  (And blocks and bells on the floor.  Welcome to my life).

Sitting in the car after the race, I had a good old solo pity party.  Perhaps my sub-50 10 kay goal is just too lofty for my abilities?  Perhaps my mind just isn't strong enough?  (At what age do you start to get slower instead of faster anyway)?  Perhaps I should just forget about this crazy goal and enjoy running?

Will asked me after the race what exactly went wrong, and you know what?  Nothing did.  The route was flat(ish), it was a small race with zero congestion and I felt good.  I just wasn't fast enough.  Simple as that. 


Pace and elevation charts.
   
Looking past the disappointment, though, I did learn some valuable lessons for my goal race in December:

1.  Don't go out too fast.  Old news, I know, but I need to keep the first few kilometres easy for a reason other than crashing and burning later on in the race: My body rebels.  Start off at sub-50 10 kay pace, and I get a side stitch before you can say "PR".  Lesson learnt.

2.  Fuel properly.  I didn't eat or drink anything before this race (I usually only do before longer races/runs), and I only drank water during the race.  I do think that half a banana before the race will benefit me, though (that's what I usually eat before a half-marathon), as well as a mid-race honey slurp or two. 

3.  Don't turn every long run between now and December into a chase for a PR.  It's counter-productive and discouraging.  Save the effort for race day. 

4.  Warm up properly.  Perhaps I'll be able to start out faster if my body is already properly warmed up by the time I toe the starting line?

One of the things that I did like about this whole experience, was that I was one of the first 80 finishers, all of whom received reflective running vests from a race sponsor.  Yes, they're nerdy and yes, they remind me of my days working as an environmental officer on a construction site, but none of that matters when it comes to the safety of my children.  From now on you'll see me rocking this vest on all our stroller runs - I should have gotten one a long time ago.


The race loot.

Hope you have an amazing week!

*Edited to add: After eating some dark chocolate and seeing the official race results, I regained a bit of perspective and remembered that I'm way too stubborn to just give up like that.  December 6, I'm waiting for you!  


8 comments:

  1. Great job on your run, we are our own worst critics sometimes aren't we. Nice vest!

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    1. You're so right, Christy, we definitely are. I only just started with speed and strength work, so I'm being way too impatient. If it were to be easy, I would have done it a long time ago, right?! ;)

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  2. Oh man, I know that feeling of the bloody aftertaste in your mouth! I've always wondered what exactly causes it. Sorry you didn't have a great race (well, I think it's great, but I know you were disappointed) - there's always the next one, and it was a good training experience!

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    1. I guess I'm just being too impatient, Lisa - I really need to work on that...! And you're right - I did learn a lot from it, so hopefully next time will be better :) .

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  3. That is still a good time, well done! The PB will come and also the sub 50. It will just happen. I ran a half marathon in Kimberley many, many years ago. 1995 to be precise... :)

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    1. I always remember that you once said that you ran your best times in your mid-thirties, Johann - and that always motivates me! I really hope it will be true for me too :) .

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  4. Nee wat Saar, dit was maar net een van daai dae glo ek, moenie te veel daaraan kou nie. Party dae is my lyf so stokkerig dat dit smaak ek het nog nooit gehol nie, en 2 dae later hol jy weer soos die wind. Ek het ook baie gesukkel om weer aan die gang te kom na die Lucky Star, dis n mental ding dink ek, na ek n PB gedoen het was die motivering maar lagerig...
    Hou aan met wat jy doen, jy SAL hom klap (tannie Mart-klap)!! xxx

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    1. Ai, dankie Saar - goed om te hoor dis nie net ek wat met die goed sukkel nie. Dis nes jy se: Partydae is mens so stokkerig jy kan iets oorkom en net daarna hol jy weer soos die wind. Poeks het altyd gese dis hoe gholf is - mens is nooit heeltemal sy baas nie ;) .

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