One of my goals this year is to run at least one race every month. Obviously, the Chicago Marathon will be the biggest one of all. It will also be my toughest, and I don't want it to suck the running life out of me. Hence, the one-a-month goal. Running can and should always be fun. I'm hoping monthly races will remind me of that. And later this year, I'm hoping they will help me through some tougher training runs.
This past weekend, I ran my January race: The Frigid 5K in Niles, Michigan.
True to it's name, the race was very frigid. I ran it last year. It was equally frigid.
Believe Training Journal. I wasn't sure if I'd really like it, but it's proving to be an absolutely wonderful tool.
1) Win an age group award.
2) Run at a 7:15/mile pace.
3) Beat last year's time (23:55).
I accomplished two of those goals. I finished first in my age group with a time of 23:50. I didn't quite get to that 7:15/mile pace, but that's okay with me. The course itself was super slick and snow-covered. I did what I could.
I also learned a really hard lesson:
There will always be a runner behind you. Let them fuel you.
Here's the thing, with less than a quarter of a mile to go, I let someone pass me.
Literally slowed down to let someone pass me.
I should have pushed harder. I could have held her off.
I should have ignored her. I could have blocked her out.
She was on my shoulder, breathing down my neck and I just wanted her gone. So I gave in to my frustrations and let her pass just to get her away from me. Could I have held her off? Absolutely. But I gave in. Damn, I gave in.
I should have pushed harder.
I should have ignored her.
Thing is, no matter how hard you prepare for a race, whether you're in peak physical condition or not, it's your mental game that takes you above and beyond your physical abilities. Because if you believe in yourself, you and I both know that you will absolutely achieve for yourself.
But, I had a moment on Saturday. I gave in, and that's something I need to work on. But I'm not going to dwell on it. I came home from the race and this quote was on my calendar:
Forget the mistake, remember the lesson.
Next time, I'm going to hold her off.
Next time, I'm going to block her out.