Sunday, March 3, 2013

Yes, I am slow... BUT I CAN COUNT!

I ran a race this weekend. I didn't race it ( I rarely do RACE races), I didn't intend to. I'm commited to this stupid heart rate training and I was commited to not getting caught up and going off of my plan. So today was among other things... a long run. A long run, different location, fun day with runner friend, finishing a race I started last year. Dang, this post could get long. Bear with me....

Race I started last year - Last year I attempted this race as a half marathon. I was new to trail running and excited to try an actual trail race. The course of this race is a 3 mile loop. Sounds lame, but it's not too bad, except the 23,000 water crossings... I'll get to that later. So, last year I was all hopped up on first trail race go juice and I twisted the livingg snot out of my ankle on the first loop. But, this is a pretty flat course and I thought I could stumble along. By the second loop my ankle would not stop rolling, so I threw in the towel and dropped at 10k. This year I was back to finish the race. Thirteen point one miles later... mission accomplished!

A long run in a different location - Mission accomplished... with some stories... of course. Where to start. Well, it was cold out. Not freeze your water cold, but cold. About 22 with the windchill. Add in water crossings and mud, a lot of both. I found that after you dunk both feet the first time, you surrender to the cold and wet and you move on. I also found that if you are heart rate training, your heart rate tends to jump up EVERY TIME you dunk your feet. Ugh... that'll slow down progress. But I had a race to finish. Onward!

One lap, two laps, three laps.... finishing up lap three and off to lap four when a race official starts ma'am-ing me (yelling ma'am at me). I turn around and he asks me if I am sure I still have a lap to run... Why yes sir, I may be slow but I do know how to count!!!! I understand that he's just doing his job, trying to account for all runners. I get that, but maybe next time, "One more lap to go? Good work!" For some reason this took the wind out of my sails. I knew I was in last place, but maybe having someone point it out was a little much. I wallowed for a minute or two. Then I said to myself, ok I'm not gonna let that f******* mess up my training run. So how can I make this better? How can I take away this wallowing?

Hmm.... First let me mention that when you're the last one on the course outloud conversations with yourself are completely acceptable and encouraged as far as I'm concerned. I thought things like, "you came back and your'e going to finish this race! And this will be a magical show of stick-to-it" blah blah blah postive B.S. and I knew it was B.S. It sounded like a script to a sucky Lifetime movie that I wouldn't even read the plot description of. So, Lifetime movie ending is out, what else you got? Something positive...

- I aced my outfit today. Not too warm, not too cold. Good work there! (this got the ball rolling)

-I feel amazing! My feet are cold but this heart rate training doesn't wear me out. I'm barely even tired!

-The perfect 1/8 inch layer of snow on every branch and leaf does look beautiful. I mean, I'm ready for Winter to be done, but that's pretty stuff.

-After I ran through a water crossing... GOOD THING I won't have to run through that one again!

All these stupid thoughts (and statements made outloud) had me smiling again. Not in a Lifetime movie way. But in a real way where I found the good stuff that was surrounding me and didn't get tricked into running in a way I didn't want to. It was good. Not I saved the world good, not I grew as a person good. But, good that I found my smile good.

Race was done, had two friends waiting for high fives at the finish line. I barely felt tired (yeah heart rate training!) Had a nice ride home with lots of nice conversations and coffee. Things aren't so bad.

Maybe the early weeks of heart rate training and small trail races don't mix. But I got in a 13.1 mile training run and got a finisher's hat. I'll call it a win.

And I killed my old pair of trail shoes. We had a good year together shoes...

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