Okay, I think six days is enough time to have recovered from the mental beating I took thanks to this race and I can throw together a quick recap.
This was just not a good race for me. As I keep writing about recently, I’m in a pretty rough rut with running right now and I knew that going into the race so I didn’t expect a lot. Additionally, this race has a knack for falling on particularly hot and humid nights and this year was no different. Still, I thought I could shoot for 24:00 and that would be pretty reasonable. I was wrong.
Before the race, I did a very easy two-mile warm-up run around Westfield and felt reasonably okay, despite the horrible heat and humidity. I didn’t think I had anything to worry about. When it was time to lineup at the start, I was careful to seed myself appropriately. The race actually had signs on the side to indicate the pace you should be able to run if you’re lining up there. I put myself a little in front of the 8 min/mile sign. I looked around and, judging other runners by their looks, figured I was in a pretty good spot for what I was looking to do.
Things were tight at the start of the race, but I tried my best to keep from going out too fast. Unfortunately, my first half mile was around a 7 min/mile pace and I knew I needed to back that off. Thanks to a big hill in the second half of the first mile, I had no trouble dropping my pace quite a bit before crossing the first mile marker.
Sadly, I was already feeling like crap after that hill and had to back it off a lot more in mile two. I couldn’t believe how much I was struggling through a 5k, but there I was. At this point, I just wanted to hang on and get the thing over with.
Mile three was even worse, though. As I got about a quarter mile into it, I started feeling nauseous. With less than I mile to go, I wanted to push through and deal with it on the other side of the finish, but it was the kind of nausea that can’t be reasoned with. That’s when it happened and I did something I never thought I’d have to do. I walked in a 5k. I pretty much hated everything about my life, but I knew if I didn’t walk, I was going to puke. I spent a couple tenths of a mile power walking before picking it back up again and running it out to the finish.
I crossed at 26:20 which, while not even close to a personal worst, is very slow for me. I nearly had a breakdown and sent out this tweet:
I walked...during a 5k. I walked. Seriously.— Amelia "Merry Holidays" Gapin 🎄🕎🎅❄️🕯️ (@EntirelyAmelia) July 23, 2014
Not cool of me at all. I was frustrated and running has been entirely not fun for me lately, but I shouldn’t have tweeted anything that implied it’s not okay to walk during a run if you have to. I apologized when I got home and had calmed down a bit, but I really was down on myself all night.
Hey, real quick, it wasn’t cool for me to make such a big deal about having to walk in a 5k like I did. I’m sorry. I let frustration win— Amelia "Merry Holidays" Gapin 🎄🕎🎅❄️🕯️ (@EntirelyAmelia) July 24, 2014
There’s nothing wrong with having to walk at any distance. Only matters that you’re out there doing it at all.— Amelia "Merry Holidays" Gapin 🎄🕎🎅❄️🕯️ (@EntirelyAmelia) July 24, 2014
I think it’s most disappointing to have such a horrible race because I had a kick-ass race just a few weeks ago on the 4th of July. But, you know, it happens, right? This year seems to be all about learning this lesson over and over again.
At least I got pizza at the finish and Chipotle for dinner. Oh, and a nice rain run back to the car since the skies absolutely opened up while they were doing the awards after the race.