I put off writing this blog post all day yesterday, thinking by this morning I would have a better idea of what to say about yesterday’s race.
But I’ve still got nothing.
I didn’t have a ton of fun (mainly because I was in pain the whole time).
I didn’t break any new time goals (in fact I finished slower than my last couple of races).
I ran with a friend, which I thought would be helpful in pushing me toward breaking the two hour mark, but in the end I think screwed me over. I felt guilty the entire time because my friend is so much faster than I am and I just felt like I was slowing us down.
At the end of the day, it’s my fault. I didn’t run my own race. I let me friend set the pace and I tried to keep up. We started out slower than my goal pace, but probably still too fast for me.
My legs felt like deadweight for most of the race. I took a short walk break through the water stop between miles three and four and after that my legs felt a little looser, but they tightened up again not much later.
I couldn’t even enjoy the spectators standing three and four deep along Chestnut Street because I was focusing on my crappy breathing, how sore and tired my legs were and how everything about this race felt wrong.
I passed my dad somewhere after the 10K and seeing him perked me up a little bit (he also got some shots of great signs along Chestnut Street while trying to take pictures of me and my mom).
By the time I got to mile seven I was angry. Angry at my friend for running the race with me when I wanted to run it by myself. Angry with myself for not being able to run my own race.
After the next water stop, I finally put on my music, tuned out everything around me, friend included, and tried to have fun.
The music was definitely helpful and gave me a small pick me up. I high-fived the Drexel frat boys and pushed up the big hill from mile seven to eight without a real problem. I felt strong through mile nine, but the wheels fell off when I was going up the steep hill between miles nine and ten.
I stopped to walk and take a Gu, but at that point, mentally I was over the race. My legs hurts, my ankle hurt and I just wanted to be done. I felt so defeated.
And I think a huge part of it was that I felt like I was failing in front of a friend.
If I go out and have a bad race when I’m running by myself, no one else knows.
But in this race, I felt like my crappy failure of a run was on display for my friend to see, and failing in front of a crowd sucks so much more than failing when no one is watching.
By miles 11 and 12, both of my quads were seizing horribly and I could feel the blisters on the bottom of my feet.
I somehow managed to enjoy the race for the last .1. I smiled coming down the hill, seeing the finish line and listening to the crowds. And I was happy to cross the finish line.
My final time was 2:07:51.
I wish I had a mulligan to do this race over again. I would do so many things differently. I would listen to my music from the start. I would set my own pace. I would run by myself and run my own race and be happy with whatever the outcome because I know I gave my best.
Live and learn, I guess.