Sunday, April 26, 2009

That one race

So I'm cranky about a number of things right now, one of which is how much my race sucked yesterday. I always have one race every season that just sucks ass, and frustrates me, and my legs just refuse to move, and I spend the entire time KNOWING I'm going to run a time much worse than I'm capable of and there's nothing I can do about it. The Loras Open 5K was that race for this track season. I could see it coming a mile away -my legs felt like crap all week, I was completely not in meet mode when I woke up Saturday morning, and ironically enough, I felt good during the warmup (you would think that would be a good thing, but apparently not in my world). And the thought actually crossed my mind, with all this crap going on "huh, I haven't had my 'bad' race this season yet". Boy. I'm glad I thought that, before I went out and ran practically my slowest time of the season, and by far my crappiest feeling race. It sucks when you think about how much more effort you have to put in to run a crappy time - when your legs are dying and its taking every ounce of your effort just to keep moving forward at a slow pace, and the entire time you know that this isn't going well and there's just nothing you can do. Its frustrating as hell. And its frustrating to know that you're in 19:54 shape, probably even better shape than that, and go out and run a 20:32. UGH. I knew it was going to be bad when I went out in 6:13 and already felt like shit...then the rest of the race was basically just a struggle to survive and keep moving and not completely fail. I was really cranky right after the race. In the grand scheme of things I know its fine, we had a ridiculous week of training leading up to this, and I already broke 20 so I know that I can do it - one crappy race doesn't mean I suck, and of course there's gotta be THAT one race every season. But that didn't stop me from feeling frustrated and annoyed with myself for not being able to run better somehow. The sad part too was that it was my best race of the year, placement wise, and had I actually run well, I would have actually been in the top 10.

I don't want to dwell on it too much because I know a million different things contributed to it sucking and I can't make excuses for myself, but it still makes me cranky. Its hard having a limited number of times to race and I really don't want to end my 5K season on that note. The twilight doesn't have a 5K so I'm doing steeple which will be really fun, and I'm sure I'll PR, but since the 5K really became my love this season I'd really like to get one more crack at a really good time at the end...which I could possibly run at a last chance meet the week after Twilight. I don't that stupid? There's always the chance I'd do even worse. But I feel like after a good taper and NOT dancing every second that I'm not running, I could pull out at least a 19:45. I don't know. All I know is its time to back off - my legs are starting to poop out on me. I know that racing a 5K every weekend all season was probably dumb, I realize I should have jumped in a 1500 or something some weekend, but why - when every weekend up until this one I've been improving? Whatever. But tapering is sounding good, and hopefully my legs will stop feeling like bricks once I stop putting them through so much torture for a little while. Claire and Brittany didn't have good races either, and Brittany has been doing the same hard workouts, while Claire has been training for a freaking marathon - that can't be easy! So I think we all agree that its just the point of the season where the training starts to get to us...but after 2 weeks of taper, that training that got to us this week will be stored in our legs, ready to explode into our best times of the year...or so we hope.

Saturday was also our dual with the Illinois club, which was strange but definitely added some excitement to the meet, even though we ended up losing due to the fact that we don't have sprinters...and they do. So they cleaned up in the 400 and even though our guys ran great races in the 1500 and 800, we ended up winning the 15 but not by a huge margin, and we couldn't pull out the 800 - but what can you do when everyone we have running the race has already run a 1500, and most of their guys are fresh? Then there was the 5K - what a ridiculous mess. There was a huge downpour like 5 minutes before the race was supposed to start, and so there was all this confusion, and they said there was going to be a 10 minute delay. So a couple of our guys are still milling around or hiding under trees outside, but once they announced the delay Zach and (we thought) Ben went inside. Well all of a sudden, they're lining up to start the damn race! So of course our entire team was freaking out because 2 of our fastest runners weren't there...Claire ran inside to get Zach who had to sprint down the track throwing off his sweats to make it to the start line, but we still couldn't see we're all freaking out yelling "Where's Garbe??" and Dallas went and yelled at the ref that if they had called a 10 minute delay, there was no way they could start 2 minutes later without everyone there. It turns out Ben was at the line, so everyone made it and it was fine (although it definitely cost Zach his kick), but it was just stupid the way it worked out. Mostly it was just the ref being an ass...whatever. The guys raced really hard but it didn't end up being a big enough margin for the 4 x 4 to not matter...and we had no confidence in our 4 x 4, but nevertheless, it was EXTREMELY exciting. It reminded me of high school - when you're always fighting for team titles and sometimes it all comes down to that 4 x 4 under the lights. It was a great race - I haven't screamed so hard for our team - ever, probably, and we were seriously ahead for awhile, which was amazing...but then...their stupid actual 50 second 400 runner closed, and with that combined with a bad handoff to Jeff, there was nothing he could do. Its funny because all of the guys in their relay were fresh or had only run the 400 earlier, and we had one guy just coming off the 5K, two guys who had run an 800 and a 1500, and one guy who had run an 8K at Crazylegs that morning, then run the 400, and was then doing this. So the fact that they only beat us by a few seconds was pretty respectable.

Well, I really wasn't planning on this being this long...but when I get to rambling, there's no stopping me I guess. I'll sign off for the weekend with this video that I discovered and absolutely love. It makes me really happy and I think just really captures running just for the love of it. Screw bad races. I can deal. There's still nothing like running. :)

Onwards from AKQA on Vimeo.

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