Monday, May 31, 2010

Joy-less at NCM 5K

I ran the 5K at the National Capital Marathon Race Weekend. Coming into the race, I was really nerveous about my hip. Lately, it's been bugging me a lot and I was worried the psoas would tear again, so I haven't been pushing much. The time spent not running was not good for my mental health and I felt aggressive on Saturday all day. I worked very hard on Saturday to get my mental in a much positive state, only to have my hard work smashed by some negative energy dumped on me 2 hours before the race.

I usually get emotional at the Start Line, but this year, I was annoyed. Annoyed at the people with strollers - strollers should not be allowed in such a big race. Annoyed at the man who already stunk as if he'd just run a marathon. Annoyed at the obvious walkers who were standing near me (there was a woman with a peasant skirt and a stray hat standing next to me). Things got worse when the race started - it took me more than 6 minutes to get across the start line, which is to be expected in such a big crowd. However, you usually start running once you approach the start line, but this year, I wasn't able to run until I was at least 100m passed the start line. I could have dealt with that if I hadn't had to run around all those walkers who had put themselves in front of me at the start line. Totally annoying. If you're going to walk, you should be at the back of the group, not in the middle of it.

I was happily surprised to be able to run for 5 minutes staight at the start of the race, and happier when I was able to run for another 5 minutes afterwards. But then, things got ugly. The sun was unbelievable hot, the humidity was high, my mood was very negative and I started to suffer. I made it to Pretoria Bridge because I knew my friends would be there to cheer me on and it was so great to see them. However, after that, I physically and mentally crashed and I had to walk for at least 5 minutes before I was able to cool down.

I eventually made it to the water station, at the 4K mark. By the time I got there, I was overheating and had felt like puking for at least 2 kilometers. I poured some water on my neck/back and drank a glass of water and this gave me some energy. At this point, I was at 31 minutes and I knew sub-40 was totally possible if I could just find some shade to run into. The about-to-puke feeling didn't leave me until long after the race. Had I known, I would have brought water with me.

I made it across the finish line in 39:27, which is my 4th best time ever in the 5K. I was pleased with the result. I was even more pleased that I hadn't torn my psoas. What a relief!

I usually feel joy at some point in my running races, but this year, I didn't feel any. This sucked. I wish I wouldn't get so affected by other people's anger and negativity, but I just do. I wouldn't say those people ruined my race, because I'm responsible for how I respond to other people's actions, but I'm writing this here to recognize that this is something I need to work on so that other future races don't get ruined by whiners.

Now is the time for triathlon season! On the program: a Sprint Tri Relay in 2 weeks, an Olympic Tri Relay in mid-July and my first Sprint Tri in August. This should be a fun summer!