Though I love to run with family and friends, I truly appreciate the solitude that running alone brings me. I find myself being lost in the moment, lost in my thoughts and finding a bit of clarity on the other side of a run.
Gibbon Running quotes posted this, and I couldn’t think of a better way to sum it up.
"I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone… The hour or so I spend running, maintaining my own silent, private time, is important to help me keep my mental well-being. When I’m running I don’t have to talk to anybody and don’t have to listen to anybody. All I need to do is gaze at the scenery passing by. This is a part of my day that I can’t do without."
-Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
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(photo: Dave Griffin)
This was supposed to be my race - a fast course, cooler weather, and a chance to finally go sub-2:50. First race of the season was a flat fast course and I managed to eek out a 2:51. Second race had rollers, but was much hotter and the swim had a tough current but I managed a 2:56. I’ve hoovered at the 2:50 mark for the past few years, but I just can’t see to break it.
The swim: 32:47
It was going to be upstream to start but have a nice current on the way back. So of course I had a great swim out, and a tough swim back. I lost my mental game and the crowd about half way through. I’ve gotten much better with swimming around other people and out to a good start, but I seem to lose traction midway through and then lose my mental game towards the end.
The bike: 1:14 (well I’m pretty sure it is 1:20 and that my T1 was not 8 min long!)
The bike was awesome - flat with a few climbs. There were a number of miles where I could just fly. Having been in the last swim wave, I was having a grand old time flying by people on the bike. Passed one girl in my AG and knowing last year there were only three, I was stoked. Managed to follow this amazing woman who was kicking ass and wearing just a swimsuit.
I was trying to balance going for it with having enough to run strong. But I definitely loved chasing people down - pretty much my favorite part of the race.
With some pep talks from my coach and friends, I took the railroad tracks faster than on my trial run, but not quite at full speed - still a bit skittish with them.
Run: approx. 55 min (so my results say have a 37 min T2 and a 20 min run… I know that is not right!)
Tried to start out strong but not too fast knowing there would be an uphill climb to mile 3. However when I was passed by someone in my AG then passed by the girl I had passed on the bike and then passed by someone else in my AG I was all but fully demoralized. I was running strong but it wasn’t enough. They passed me like I was barely moving. My watch stopped picking up satellite around mile 2, which may have been a good thing in the end. On the climb up to mile 3, I was passed by another girl in my AG - ugh, seriously?!?
On the way back I remembered to enjoy the view over the bridge (thanks coach for the reminder to enjoy the time running). I tried to pick it up, but it was getting hot and I knew I still had a few miles to go. When I saw the mile 6 sign I started to push hard - I could do anything for nearly a quarter of a mile. I should have known the sign was in the wrong place, after all, I had come out that way and it was much closer to the mile mark out. But I had convinced myself that I was going to push it until I threw up - go hard or go home!
Needless to say I pushed it for longer than I hoped, but in the end I caught my friend from the bike - she was still kicking ass. Finished strong, didn’t throw up, but definitely left it all on the course.
Total time: 2:53:46.
I’d lie if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I wish I could say that all of the positives made up for it - felt good, nothing hurt, still ran strong, fun weekend. And while they are all amazing things, I had thought this was finally in my grasp, something I could do just for me -not for anyone else - just me. I’ll get over it, but today I will give myself to wallow a bit. Tomorrow, will be another day to kick ass and take names.
Its been one of those weeks….work stress has gotten to the point where I’m just shutting down. Decided since the deadline of 5 pm today was already missed I’m going to go to sleep, enjoy a ride + run tomorrow and deal with it by Sunday. Trying to controlled the things I can and let go the things I can’t.
Today was much better, though not my best run. The fact that storms rolled through at it was 20 degrees cooler definitely helped! But this whole fixing my form thing BITES! I’m about 1 1/2 minutes per mile slower and it hurts. This time it wasn’t miserable pain, but I lost feeling in my right foot about halfway through the run. Trying to keep focus on the long game, fixing my form sucks right now, but I know it will pay off later. I think… Well at least I’m out of my dark place.