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“Bad” Races

07/22/2009

So we all know, you have good races and you have bad races.  Hopefully the “bad” races are smaller, less consequential ones that in the end help prepare you for the challenges you’ll face as you train for the larger ones.  In any event, I’ve had a few myself over the years, and last Saturday came another.  Despite my easy week, my legs were feeling fatigued on Thursday after my long bike on the new expresso machine.  So, I decided I would get myself to the pool on Friday not only to give my arms some training, but also so I could make sure I start getting in more swimming.  It was a good swim and I ended the work week feeling good, if not a little tired.  Saturday morning we (Matt and my Mom who was in town visiting) headed to Central Park for the NYRR Race for Central Park!  This was a run I was really excited to do, given the park has become my running location, and oh how I enjoy it!  I started off pretty fast, zooming in and out of people.  At about mile 2.5 I started to feel my legs getting weaker.  I was not feeling it.

My Mom passed me at that point, and I thought- okay I’ll take it easy for the next mile and then catch up with her.  So I slowed down a bit and pushed on through the rolling hills on the West Side.  As I descended towards the 3.5 mark I got a cramp.  I was not going to let it stop me, especially since I hadn’t been able to kick in to overdrive yet, and I needed to soon.  But then, it did stop me.  I walked for a couple of paces and then went to get right back in to the run.  No go.  The cramp worsened and without even wanting to, I stopped again.  I walked for about 2 minutes until the cramp subsided and then got back in the race, literally.  I pushed as hard as I could, the cramp still lingering in my side, and finished, thank God.  I was bummed.  I hadn’t done the math, but I figured I was under 9 minute miles, which was good, but I wanted to get to at most 8 minute miles and I really wanted to beat my Mom, or at least in a show of mother-daughter bonding finish with her.

I had a bad race.  The results came in later that day and I ran 8:41 minute miles, which is great, but having just done 8:04 on a 5 mile race I don’t see it that way, hence the ” ” around bad.  My Mom kicked major ass running 7:49 minute miles and coming in 3rd in her age group out of 63.  I wish I had finished with her!

When I told a sales associate about this later as we were chatting about running, he locked at me funny and said, “So your bad race is not a normal persons one, huh?”

Yeah, I guess not.  But still, it pushes me to keep my training up if not step it up, and make sure I’m taking care of my body in the meantime.

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