Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some Days You Got It, Others.... know the saying. Today was the Capital of Texas 10k, or if you live in Austin, "Cap 10k". This is supposedly the largest 10k in Texas, as today they were expecting 16,000 people. And it is yet one of the many that we can jog down to the start line in about 5 minutes from our house.

It starts right on Congress Avenue bridge, just near downtown. I am doing a half-marathon next weekend, so at first I thought I shouldn't race this. But with all the hype in town around it, I figured what the I signed up on about Wednesday and away I went.

The start was at 8:45, which is a nice 'later' start for a running race. I woke up to a lovely 70-degrees and 95% humidity! It seems to always do this on running race mornings in Austin; yesterday it was 50. Ah well, everyone has to deal with it. I jogged down to the race around 8:00 or so, and ran into my friend Richie, so we warmed up together. My legs felt ...ah, not so great, a bit heavy but I hate to make excuses so I brushed it off.

Right at 8:45, we were off! My mantra was 'CONTROL' on this one. It is a very tough first 3 miles, as we run to downtown (gradual uphill), make a turn and then really hit some big rollers from miles 1.0-3.0. According to the elevation map, it is 'all dowhill' after this but is is most definitely not. I went out in 5:30, just about 5-10 seconds behind the lead women, in a good position. I really felt pretty good, controlled. We made the turn and hit the hills, where I still felt pretty strong. It was by the mile 3 marker which I came through in 17:30 that I really started to get tired, as my legs just felt spent. I was 'on pace' for about a 36-min race, but I knew the rest was not easy by any stretch. Between miles 3 and 4, I was flat out hurting. I tried to stay positive, but I think the humidity really started getting to me and I knew I would have trouble picking up the pace (or even holding it). I figure everyone experiences this in a humid, hilly race, but then 3 guys swiftly cruised by me...damnit.

At this point it was 'don't quit, don't quit'. It is really tough to see a good race slip through your fingers, and as hard as you push, it just is not happening. The mile 4 and mile 5 marker could not come soon enough at this point! I was in 4th place for the women and then I was passed just after mile 5 by a women who I had passed at mile 1, and from the bridge on (last .5 miles) I just wanted to finish. I crossed in 37:15, which was about 15 seconds slower than last year.

So...what can I take from this?
My immediate thoughts are these:
1) You suck, what the hell? You are trying to focus on running and what is this shit about?
2) What happened out there...were your legs still tired from the training week? Was it the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band show Friday night? (there has to be a reason right?) :)
3) Freaking 5th place! Yuck! You wanted to go a 35+ or low-36 minutes...WTF?!

My rational, 'what can you learn from this' thoughts are these:
1) Learning experience. Took out a very tough course in 5:30, yes felt good but may have been too fast...continue to try to take races out slightly slower and be like Chris Kimbrough, build, build build.
2) It is what it is. This is a great training day, and in the BIG picture this is not a bad race. Just not what you had expected.
3) Every race will not go your way. Period. This is life, deal with it, learn from it and move on.

So now I will focus on next weekend. The frustrating thing about being an athlete is that we put a lot of time and energy (mental, physical and emotional) into what we do. So, when things do not go our way, we tend to (or at least, I do) 'beat ourselves up' a bit. I think this is ok to an extent, but it is stepping back, seeing the bigger picture not only to a season but to life and movin' on. So that is what I'll do. Yes, I would like to have seen a faster time but ultimately does that define me as a person? Definitely not.

Thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

you're right Kelly... some days we have it, and some days it's just not there the way we want it. You still have to look at that and everything else you have done the past few months and be proud of yourself. If anything, you still went fast and did a MORE than respectable time. You kick butt Kelly Belly... even on your "off" days! Put this behind you and look forward with a positive attitude

Abby said...

great outlook. I enjoyed reading your scattered thoughts.

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