It's so frustrating to know that there is speed in there, yet mentally being unwilling to go get it. There was a point in today's race where I calculated what I needed to do to go after the win and I consciously decided not to do it and just coast along where I was. Why do I even bother?!
It was crazy windy and cold again. And I woke up with a sore throat. I didn't worry about it though, because it was that day before the onset of a cold sore throat and figured I'd be fine. (Now I feel like crap, but this morning I didn't feel too bad). But it was sunny and the sun usually gets me pumped up to run. My plan was to go out fast since it was a downhill first mile. My plan did not consider that that entire mile would be straight into a 26 mph headwind. Seriously, the wind was so loud right before the mile marker we turned and suddenly it was almost silent and I could hear people breathing and footfalls. Craziness! Even so, I ran 5:52. My goal was between 5:45 and 5:50 so this was pretty good.
What wasn't good was that another woman, TM (who is truly a lovely person in real life!) was running with me (one who used to drive me crazy and just beat me in every race!) and I let her distract me from my race. Shortly after the mile the course turned to go uphill. I surged past her and hammered up the hill. As soon as I crested she came charging back and passed me and instead of answering I just let her go. I hadn't totally given up yet. I delusionally told myself that I would go after her later. Yeah right!
I knew there was a hairpin turn and it came up way faster than I expected it to, which was a nice mental boost. Mile 2 went by in 6:10 and this wasn't too bad and also a positive. But neither was enough boost for me. TM hadn't made any progress on me in a while, but she was far enough ahead of me that it would take a lot of work and a concerted effort to catch her and pass her. Plus we were back into the wind and there was a big hill looming. I had more or less put my legs on cruise control and given up trying to change gears. I turned up the hill and my good friend CV passed me. Cool! Now she can go beat TM and I don't have to, I thought.
I basically sat back the last 1.1 and watched CV try to catch TM. I finished in 19:24 and felt like I finished a tempo run or maybe did 5k at 10k pace. Lame. CV ran 19:20 and TM ended up winning in 19:14.
There are some positives. I have some speed in there. On such a shitty day 19:24 and 35 seconds off my p.r. isn't that bad. And hello! It's my first race back after resuming training. Plus, it was nice to get out and mingle with friends and acquaintances. It was crazy fun warming up in the crazy wind with CV and fun rehashing the race cooling down with CV and TM.
There is no excuse. But at the same time I need to figure out what the deal is so I can improve. I feel like I was just too tired. Tired from lack of sleep and too much day-to-day stress and hard training these last few weeks and from being sick on and off since Thanksgiving. I just didn't feel like making myself more uncomfortable and tired. I flashed back to those races in 2007 when I battled it out with TM and she out-kicked me and I just didn't feel like dealing with that. But again, why do I do this? What's the point in racing if I'm just going to do a 5k fast tempo run and not, um, race! I need to find some motivation and really decide if I want to improve and just flipping do it. As mrp says, I need to cultivate a "get it done" attitude. That's always been and continues to be my weakness.
Anyone know any good tips on how to de-wussify and get tough?