Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring races

Tomorrow is my first 5K race for this season. The Irish Rover is a very popular race. I think most people view it as the first race of the season. I have only missed this race once since I started running 6 years ago. It was 2004 and I was still limping and recovering from a severly broken ankle.

I have a love/hate relationship with this race. I want to know where I stand with my speed and conditioning but at the same time, I worry about the results. Will I be disappointed? Or perhaps I will run a PR. This picture is my 07 finish.

I know once I get past the pre-race jitters and actually get the first half mile behind me, in between the gasping of my lungs and the screaming discontent of my muscles, my brain will be asking why. Why am I doing this? Who the hell talked me into forcing my entire body to try to run three miles "fast"? I desperately search my brain for the culprit to blame this on only to finally admit I did this to myself.

Eventually, I will cross that finish line and the bittersweet feeling of accomplishment will overcome me. Sweet because I can stop running and I made it. Bitter because I will probably wish I could have run faster and once the race is over, I will visualize it in my mind. It is then that my brain says I could have done things different, I could have done something to run faster. Why didn't I? Well one of these days, that "monday morning Quarterback" can run the race. I always critique my races and always think I could have done better.

Truth is, I have a certain base and speed in my training at this point. I will eventually admit to myself that this was a good and sound performance and anything short of that is directly related to my training. Yes it is true.......I am what I am.....The effort up until now is what I will run tomorrow.

I usually have three goals going into a race. 1. My realistic goal: This is what I can rationally expect when looking at my training. For tomorrow it is to beat 24 minutes. I think I can accomplish that and I should. 2. My unrealistic goal: This happens only on special days. When your body somehow goes above and beyond the training level. This is when you get into that groove and pull off something huge. For me it would be a PR for this race. So I am shooting for 22:50. 3. The bad day: This is when everything falls apart. you don't sleep good, you come down with a cold or you just can't get your groove. Just basically a bad day. For me, I will merely turn this race into a training run and shoot for something a little easier like say 25 minutes or less. I have had more of these days than I care to admit.

See you tomorrow.............

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