SACTOWN 10 MILE | NAVEL GAZING
As I flew to Sacramento I wrote a blog about why I was racing SacTown 10 mile and what I hoped to accomplish. Then I decided I'd read it to myself anytime I wanted to navel gaze so hard my head would get sucked into my own stomach.
Dangerously close to getting sucked into my own navel. Paging Carrie Bradshaw.
I love running, I love racing. SacTown looked like an awesome event and had prize money through 5th place. I felt like top 5 was attainable, and SRA puts on fabulous events. It was a great goal to keep me afloat during this depressing WA winter. The carrot of sunshine dangling in front of me.
The training block didn't have high highs, or low lows. Okay, there was one low low. See: 10 x mile where I think I actually had to yell at myself outloud on the Ruston bike path. I put in the work, sometimes missing paces, but for the most part I was on script.
Getting dropped off at the airport by my entourage
As per usual (because of my unreasonably high anxiety over nearly everything?) by the time I boarded the plane I was questioning why I thought I was so special that I should leave my family to race 10 miles. I tried to wrap my head around a race that wasn't 26.2 miles with 'something to prove'. Over that past year I've been fighting the voices that say I'm a fluke. I know no one who means anything to me thinks that, so I should probably stop thinking it myself. I'll let you know if I succeed.
After admitting this, the best advice I got was "enjoy being with yourself in the moment" (Erin) and "decide what it means to you and just move on you little ___" (my sister).
I decided what it "meant", oh gawd here comes that navel gazing, was a bit of a rekindle the romance trip with running. So I mean, no, I didn't get running pregnant but I feel like we had some meaningful conversations and put that spark back in our affair. We relaxed in an ice bath, took short walks to get coffee, I obsessed over which outfit to wear on our big date (I went with the classic little black shorts), I journalled (wrote notes on hotel stationary)... it was just the magic we needed after this long, endlessly rainy winter.
The race brought to the surface what I knew my core weaknesses were. Literally my core is weak and so is my mental game. Like I said, my training was there(ish), but my mind will not shut the f__ up. It brought the signature spiral on race day, where my erratic breathing became a sharp side stitch before even the first 400. Once that dude shows up it's all I can think about. Trying to breath it out, testing how fast I can push before it gets worse. Yada yada, you get it. It's a side stitch. My legs are feeling almost recovered, but my stomach still feels like I was gut punched for an hour in a bar fight.
I hate talking in my head during a race. So rookie. I want to be pushing so hard, that my only thoughts are primal. But there I was talking to myself about my stupid side stitch (or stab as the race went on). Around mile 3, I decided it was great practice. Time to try things to shut my brain off, time to try things to push through the stitch. Because the time was going by anyway and no matter what I wouldn't DNF.
I pushed as hard as my stitch was down for, I closed on 5th place, got within 10 seconds but couldn't close the deal. I immediately dropped to my knees after the line (pass out probs) and yes, I cried a little bit as I stared at the blacktop where I'd celebrated my OTQ 15 months ago. That 10 seconds was the prize money that would have negated my flight cost. And I'm cool with crying over that. But then I got up, cooled down, and moved on.
To wrap up this tour of my navel...
. SRA puts on a fabulous event from every angle. If you're looking for a marathon in 2017 -
cannot be beat. Perfect size, amazing course, flawlessly organized. I got to meet other runners, ate a couple amazing dinners without begging a two year to finish her veggies. Plus I learned more about the event's mission to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and why it's crucial. There is so much essential care that is not covered by insurance. And between Credit Unions for Kids and runners raising money, they raised well over $200,000 (trying to find stat, I think it's a lot more). DYK Cherry Blossom 10 also raises money Children's Miracle Network Hospitals? 10 milers for kids!
Bonus: I got another John MacKay quote gem to add to "better people are having worse days!" There was no one behind me as I closed on 5th, so it was "all reward, no risk, all reward!" Sadly this sage advice didn't mean my wheels could turn over any faster. Even a quotable dad can't make up for lack of speed.
The only picture of me and my roomie for the weekend, post race